Service Learning Institute

Updates and News

2023 Spotlight on Service: Shaped by Service

Each year, the Service Learning Institute honors CSUMB's commitment to service, social responsibility, civic action, and social justice by recognizing the contributions made by students, faculty, and community partners to the tri-county region. Spotlight on Service celebrates student achievement in service learning while recognizing innovative, socially relevant collaborative work involving service learning faculty, student leaders, and local community partner agencies.

2023 Service Learning Awards

  • B.A. Cinematic Arts & Technology

    Alyssa Soto

    Watsonville, California

    Community Partner: Transportation Agency for Monterey County 

    “This experience helped me see that service creates a lasting impact, even if the work you do is a small part of a larger project.”

    B.A., Ethnic Studies

    Michael Mendoza

    Community Partner: Monterey Peace & Justice Center

    photo of David Ledesma

    B.A., Global Studies

    David Ledesma

    Fresno, California

    Community Partner: Monterey Adult School

    “This experience expanded my understanding of service greatly, I had previously only done grassroots and organizational advocacy. I now see direct service as such an integral part of service.”

    Photo of Austin Teague

    B.A., Humanities & Communication

    Austin Teague

    Carmel, California

    Community Partner: Carmel High School

    “Being able to see how a classroom is conducted from the viewpoint of the teacher and having the chance to connect with the students made me feel a lot more confident in my ability to pursue teaching as my future career.”

    photo of Alyssa Lee Ann Powell

    B.A., Japanese Language & Culture

    Alyssa Lee Ann Powell

    Salinas, California

    Community Partner: CPY (Community Partnerships for Youth)

    “Service, and teaching in general, is about creating global citizens, establishing new horizons for students to reach, and showing students that they are all powerful in their own way and can do whatever they set their minds to.”

    B.A., Music

    Iván Garcia Buelna

    Community Partner: Palenke Arts

    Photo of Lily Vang

    B.A., Psychology

    Lily Vang

    Elk Grove, California

    Community Partner: Spreckels Union School District

    “Service is a process that can’t be rushed. Dedication, time, effort, and passion towards an outcome work together to create the best possible change.”

    photo of Anthony Chun Lorenzo

    B.A., Social & Behavioral Sciences

    Anthony Chun Lorenzo

    East Los Angeles, California

    Community Partner: Salinas Unified High School District

    “This showed me how the needs of a community can vary dramatically and how as academics, we should not assume that we know what is best. Service is a reciprocal relationship between community and person.” 

    photo of Diana Vazquez Centeno

    B.A., Spanish Language & Hispanic Cultures

    Diana Vazquez Centeno

    Seaside, California

    Community Partner: Palenke Arts

    “My service learning experience has inspired me to keep making a difference in the educational trajectories of first-generation students like myself.”

    photo of Koraima Castro

    B.A., Visual & Public Art

    Koraima Castro

    Salinas, California

    Community Partner: Public Space in Salinas’ Chinatown

    “Service Learning has inspired me to incorporate community issues into my career as an artist.”

  • photo of Angelina Benavides

    B.S., Business Administration

    Angelina Benavides

    Greenfield, California

    Community Partner: Greenfield Library

    “I will encourage those around me to seek ways in which they can serve their community. I will also find ways to continue to serve those in underserved areas.”

    photo of Ruben Larios, Jr.

    B.S., Sustainable Hospitality Management

    Ruben Larios, Jr.

    Spartanburg, South Carolina

    Community Partner: Salinas Public Library Literacy Program

    “I always knew I wanted to collaborate and work with individuals my whole life. Working with people from different backgrounds only reinforced that I was made for my major. Service is what I do.”

  • photo of Simone The

    B.S., Human Development & Family Studies

    Simone The

    Eastvale, California

    Community Partner: Veterans Transition Center

    “Service learning solidified my desire to work for a non-profit, working directly with people in need as a case manager.”

    photo of Jordan Armstrong

    B.A., Liberal Studies

    Jordan Armstrong

    Santa Cruz, California

    Community Partner: KinderCare Champions at Brook Knoll Elementary School

    “My service has continued to make me more confident working with children. They are the future of our world, and giving them the knowledge and confidence to move through the world will continue to push me toward becoming an educator.” 

  • photo of Talya Mainzer

    B.A., Collaborative Health & Human Services

    Talya Mainzer

    Marina, California

    Community Partner: Gateway Center of Monterey County

    “My service helped me understand that systemic structures intended to serve certain communities are sometimes in conflict with practical service. It is necessary to be patient and creative in an effort to advocate as effectively as possible. I have become acutely aware that when providing services, never underestimate the capabilities of those being served.”

    photo of Sarah Anaya

    B.S., Kinesiology

    Sarah Anaya

    Oxnard, California

    Community Partner: CSUMB’s Basic Needs

    “Food is an essential part of life, and with the Basic Needs mission to ensure the students of CSUMB have food, it allows the students to have one less worry in their life. It allows the students to focus on their studies.”

    photo of  Amelia Martinez

    B.S., Nursing

    Amelia Martinez

    Salinas, California

    Community Partner: Interim, Inc.

    “I gained a further understanding of social justice and civic growth through service learning. In addition, I have developed an appreciation of the importance of being involved in improving the quality of life of others through advocacy.”

  • photo of Rosalinda Luna Razo

    B.S., Agricultural Plant & Soil Sciences

    Rosalinda Luna Razo

    Salinas, California

    Community Partner: Olinga

    “I will continue sharing with new generations the importance of agriculture. Advocating for our region's future workforce has become a meaningful goal in my career.”

    photo of Raquel Gonzalez Ortiz

    B.S., Biology

    Raquel Gonzalez Ortiz 

    Ontario, California

    Community Partner: Dorothy’s Place

    “Having the opportunity to be a service learner has brought me closer to what I stand for and my purpose in life.”

    photo of Madelyne Willey

    B.S., Communication Design

    Madelyne Willey

    Tehachapi, California

    Community Partner: Foundation for Monterey County Free Libraries

    “This experience has shown me that I can combine my love of design with my passion to serve the community. I will be looking for more opportunities to use my skill set to serve the community around me.”

    Photo of Matthew Fernandez

    B.S., Computer Science

    Matthew Fernandez

    Gilroy, California

    Community Partner: Seaside Creates

    “Developing a relational database for the city of Seaside Planning Department has given me the real-world experience to develop for the industry with confidence while being able to serve the community.”

    photo of Bibiana Carrazco

    B.S., Environmental Science, Technology & Policy

    Bibiana Carrazco

    Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico

    Community Partner: Regeneracion Pajaro Valley Climate Action

    “I understand that service builds community, and it is a mutually beneficial experience that allows for collaboration and personal growth. I am proudly representing the Hispanic and Latinx community in everything I do but particularly on issues of environmental justice.”

    photo of Jacob Morales

    B.A., Environmental Studies

    Jacob Morales

    Los Angeles, California

    Community Partner: Communities For Sustainable Monterey County

    “This work expanded my service perspectives by linking me to the people that truly care about environmental equity within Monterey County and has allowed me to build relationships with like-minded individuals in order to ensure our communities remain champions of diversity and environmental justice.”

    photo of Cydney Hampton

    B.S., Marine Science

    Cydney Hampton

    Vallejo, California

    Community Partner: "At Home Service"

    “This experience has made me more patient with people, more caring, and definitely more understanding that everyone has struggles, even if they are silent about them.”

    photo of Sandra Troncoso

    B.S., Mathematics

    Sandra Troncoso

    Soledad, California

    Community Partner: Salinas High School

    “I feel more motivated to become a teacher, I see what these students need. I want to keep my students motivated and engaged so that they enjoy coming to class. I now know what is expected of me as a teacher, and I have gained a great colleague for the future that I can contact if I have questions.”

    photo of Cody Leporini

    B.S., Statistics

    Cody Leporini

    Watsonville, California

    Community Partner: First Tee Monterey

    “This has influenced my career goals because it showed me how I can serve small businesses.”

Other Awards

  • The Civic Action Award recognizes the outstanding work of a partnership between a CSUMB faculty member or student and a community group that seeks to improve the quality of life through public or civic engagement.

    photo of Alejandro Gómez

    Alejandro Gómez; Service Learning Student, Music Major

    photo of Javier Tamayo (civic)

    Javier Tamayo; Executive Director of Alisal Center for the Fine Arts

    Alejandro has taught and mentored East Salinas youth in introductory and intermediate-level guitar classes. For his civic action project, he introduced for the first time an advanced guitar ensemble that specializes in group work and performance. Alejandro’s longstanding partnerships with Alisal Center for the Fine Arts and other community arts organizations demonstrate his active engagement with core social justice values of authentic, collaborative, and reciprocal relationship

  • Since 2000, the Marian Penn Partnership Award has been presented annually to one faculty & community organization team that reflects the values of the Service Learning Institute and has made an exceptional contribution through service learning.

    photo of Dr. Angie Ngoc Trân

    Dr. Angie Ngọc Trân; Political Economy Professor

    photo of Hector Azpilcueta

    Hector Azpilcueta; UNITE HERE Local 483

    The relationship between Dr. Angie Tran and Unite Here Local 483 began at least 15 years ago.  Their relationship persevered through the pandemic, allowing students to join the union’s online leadership training.  Dr. Tran’s current Global Studies service learning course titled Sweat, Service, & Solidarity examines labor rights, particularly migrant worker rights, unionization, and labor mobilizing in the U.S. and other countries. Finding local organizers to bring these global issues to life was imperative for Dr. Tran. Unite Here Local 483 was a no-brainer, particularly because they represent the service workers here on campus. This semester, 4 students have held over 200 face-to-face meetings and called over 500 union members from local hotels. The purpose is to ensure members have a primary care physician, have appointments for care, and know how to access union benefits like insurance. This partnership is possible because of the deep concern, empathy, communication, follow-through, and trust in each other that has developed over time between professor and organization.