06 Jan 2020

CACC Congratulates Maria Silva as the 2020 recipient of the Richard E. Cone Award for Emerging Leaders!

María Silva, Director of Community Partnerships, University of San Diego Named California Campus Compact 2020 Richard E. Cone Award for Emerging Leaders Recipient

University of San Diego’s María Silva, Director of Neighborhood and Community Engaged Partnerships at The Mulvaney Center for Community, Awareness and Social Action, recognized for her impact on service-learning and community-campus partnerships throughout the San Diego area.

California Campus Compact has selected María Silva, M.A., as the recipient of the California Campus Compact 2020 Richard E. Cone Award for Emerging Leaders in Community Engagement.

In 1999, California Campus Compact developed the Richard E. Cone Award for Excellence & Leadership in Cultivating Community Partnerships in Higher Education. Since then, the award has been bestowed annually upon an individual who has made significant contributions to the development of partnerships between institutions of higher education and communities – partnerships through which student learning and the quality of life in communities are simultaneously improved. This year, for only the second time, the Richard E. Cone Award recognizes an exemplary early-career individual who is an emerging leader in the field of community engagement, whose work has had a positive impact on campus and in the community, and who is guided by the best practices of community-campus partnerships. It is the hope of California Campus Compact that this award will inspire all higher education institutions to consider ways to deepen their efforts to institutionalize and sustain authentic community-campus partnerships.

“I am so happy that Maria is recognized in this meaningful way! She is so deserving of this award!” said Elaine Ikeda, Ph.D., Executive Director of California Campus Compact. “We are grateful for Maria’s powerful leadership as she epitomizes what this award truly means. We are excited to highlight her exemplary work in the field of service learning and civic engagement.”

María holds a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology (2012), magna cum laude from the University of San Diego (USD) and a Master’s of Arts in Migration Studies (2018) from the University of San Francisco (USF). Her role at USD has involved managing partnerships with community based organizations in the San Diego/Tijuana region. She has both worked in global community engagement as a participant and facilitator, and has had AmeriCorps volunteer experience (2012).

Community partner and local Pastor Noel Musicha shared, “I have seen her work tirelessly to advocate for the people of Linda Vista as well as broker numerous initiatives to bring resources to us. Maria’s work has had a lasting impact not only on us as neighborhood leaders and partners but also on University of San Diego students and our constituents.” He said that “Maria has also helped open up a dual pipeline that has inspired and encouraged student volunteers to come and serve alongside the community as well as help the community use space at the University campus for different neighborhood projects and programs. The list of her footprint in the work that we do together is tremendous and endless.”

Associate Vice President of Community Engagement and Anchor Initiatives at The Mulvaney Center for Community, Awareness and Social Action, Christopher Nayve wrote in his powerful nomination letter, “Maria is one of the very few people I have met who unambiguously and wholeheartedly lives and practices the concept of radical hospitality in a way that truly holds the academy accountable to equity, community, love and mutuality.” He felt that her binational orientation to Mexico and the United States was critical to her approach and allows her to naturally understand and practice how to navigate literal and figurative border crossings.

Mr. Nayve continued, “Maria has built enduring and genuine relationships with many community partners throughout the region. Her practice of developing deeply rooted, democratic, reciprocal relationships was a fundamental shift in the traditional ways universities engage in community and her approach is considered a best practice for universities that engage social innovation, community engagement, place-based justice, with an anchor mission. He concludes with “Maria’s humble and powerful approach has transformed our campus and our ability to translate her abilities to USD’s anchor institution and community engagement framework provided important learning for the students and faculty she advised…”

About the Richard E. Cone Award for Excellence & Leadership in Cultivating Community Partnerships in Higher Education

Richard E. Cone, Ph.D., has been a voice in the national dialogue on experiential education, civic engagement and service- learning since the 1970s, and has provided a guiding spirit and voice in the development and evolution of California Campus Compact since its beginnings more than 20 years ago. For 25 years, he directed the much-lauded Joint Educational Project (JEP) at the University of Southern California from which he retired in 2002. In 1999, California Campus Compact presented Dick Cone with the first Richard E. Cone Award for Excellence & Leadership in Cultivating Community Partnerships in Higher Education. Since then, the award has been bestowed annually upon an individual who has made significant contributions to the development of partnerships between institutions of higher education and communities – partnerships through which student learning and the quality of life in communities are simultaneously improved. In 2017, California Campus Compact decided to create the Richard E. Cone Award for Emerging Leaders for Community Engagement. This award recognizes an exemplary early- career individual who is an emerging leader in the field of community engagement, whose work has had a positive impact on campus and in the community, and who is guided by the best practices of community-campus partnerships. It is the hope of California Campus Compact that this award will inspire all higher education institutions to consider ways to deepen their efforts to institutionalize and sustain authentic community-campus partnerships. As it often has been said, a community’s character is reflected in the people it selects to honor. Each award will be presented on alternating years. For more information on the Richard E. Cone Award and a list of past honorees, please visit http://cacampuscompact.org/cacc-richard-e-cone-award/.