In 2018 IAS established the Outstanding Community Partner award to honor the extraordinary contributions of partner organizations. Recipients advance the IAS values of equity, inclusion, and social justice and link student learning and faculty scholarship to real-life experiences that positively impact our region and world.
In 2020 we are excited to recognize two phenomenal partners: Seattle Children’s Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center and Rent Mason Bees!
Seattle Children’s Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center (ABC) offers lifelong learning for people 18 and older with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities. Through classes and activities, ABC provides meaningful opportunities for adults to build on strengths, increase confidence, and promote independence. ABC began working with UW Bothell in 2014, and IAS faculty and students have partnered with them on multiple meaningful collaborations that promote inclusion and mutual understanding.
On this award, ABC Director Tammy Mitchel responded, “When we pursued this collaboration over five years ago, we knew how critical it would be to align thoughtfully with UWB and provide a rich training ground for the next generation of leaders. However, I do not think we could have ever imagined how crucial this partnership would be to our mission as it has provided so much value to our team and our families living with developmental disabilities.”
For the last two years, IAS faculty member Deborah Hathaway has partnered her students with ABC students through a drama class. “The experience was incredibly special and meaningful,” says Hathaway. “We shared leadership, we collaborated on learning goals and we supported one another. The ABC staff went above and beyond in educating me and all of our undergraduate students. We worked collectively as a team to not just teach drama, but to create a classroom of acceptance, inclusion, and joy!”
Rent Mason Bees supports the future of food production by promoting the health and conservation of native mason bees which are critical pollinators to orchards and crops and help sustain ecosystems. The Bothell-based business is the only program in the country that rents mason bee kits to orchardists and backyard gardeners seeking an alternative to the burdensome efforts of beekeeping. IAS faculty and students have partnered with Rent Mason Bees since 2016 to support research and mapping of bee habitat and survival.
UW Bothell alum Olivia Shangrow (Biology ’17) connected with Rent Mason Bees while in Amy Lambert’s course, Pollinator Diversity and Conservation, and serves as the campus’s liaison for community-based learning and research. “It has been really meaningful to me to stay connected as an alumna to UWB,” she says.
Lambert considers Rent Mason Bees an invaluable partner and was thrilled to see them recognized. “Rent Mason Bees has consistently supported student learning and research. The owner, Jim Watts, and biologist/field operations and marketing specialist, Olivia Shangrow, have supported numerous students who have participated in service learning, independent studies, and class projects. For the first time, students see themselves as "scientists" doing field-based research. They learn to see pollinators, study pollinators, and eventually become moral agents - and stewards - of pollinators. Rent Mason Bees is a critical part of this kind of transformational learning.”
Learn more about these amazing organizations and their impact on the IAS community in the upcoming Spring edition of IAS Intersections!