Naidoo and Peacock Receive Awards for Excellence in Community Engagement

Apr 27, 2021

The University of Alabama’s Council on Community-Based Partnerships has recognized Dr. Jamie Naidoo (Foster EBSCO Endowed Professor, School of Library and Information Studies) and Dr. Cynthia Peacock (Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Studies) with Excellence in Community Engagement Awards. The awards celebrate their outstanding work in faculty/staff-initiated community engagement efforts.

Naidoo was recognized for establishing the “SLIS Book Bonanza for the Black Belt and Beyond.” Since its launch in 2009, the Book Bonanza has provided more than $150,000 in brand new children’s and young adult library books for more than 70 schools around the state of Alabama. For more information about the SLIS Book Bonanza for the Black Belt and Beyond, visit their website here.

Peacock was celebrated for her course COM 595-003: Political Primaries and Caucuses. In Spring 2020, Peacock traveled with five UA students to participate in field research ahead of the Iowa caucuses.  The team designed a research project and gathered data at political rallies and caucuses for four days. This research about presidential candidate support has been presented at the National Communication Association’s annual conference and was recently published in the campaign issue of American Behavioral Scientist.

Students on the C&IS team learned research skills such as survey questionnaire design, participant recruitment and data analysis techniques to explore critical issues in political campaign communication. The course was designed to deliver high-impact, engaging learning opportunities to graduate students interested in political communication research.

“As a teacher, there is nothing more fulfilling than seeing students excited about learning,” said Peacock. “Attending the rallies and caucuses brought to life so many of the theories and concepts that we had been studying in the classroom. Doing field research with a fantastic group of graduate students from C&IS was the experience of a lifetime. I appreciate the supportive colleagues and wonderful students who make it all possible.

Naidoo and Peacock received the awards on Thursday, April 22 at the 15th Annual Excellence in Community Engagement Awards celebration. For a full list of this year’s winners, visit their website here.

The University of Alabama Center for Community Based Partnership’s role is to connect faculty, staff, students and community partners in research-based projects designed to solve critical problems identified collaboratively by community members and the University. Each year, Excellence Awards for Outstanding Engagement Effort are presented to recognize projects that successfully demonstrate strong synergistic collaboration between the University and community organizations and/or extend the classroom experience.