Congratulations to graduate student and RCP Fellow Catherine J. Bruns for receiving the prestigious University of Minnesota President's Student Leadership and Service Award!
The award is given annually and recognizes the accomplishments and contributions of outstanding student leaders at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. It is presented to students for their exceptional leadership and service to the University of Minnesota and the surrounding community.
In Bruns' case, the award recognizes her many accomplishments as a doctoral student in Communications Studies, including partnering with the Resilient Communities Project and the City of Little Canada to create and implement an inclusive community engagement plan for the community.
Bruns was part of a multidisciplinary team of graduate student RCP Fellows that spent the summer of 2020 creating community engagement guidelines and best practices for Little Canada's Pioneer Park Master Plan. During the fall 2020 semester, Bruns partnered with school teachers and administrators at various Little Canada schools to implement arts-based youth engagement activities. She developed short introductory videos to explain the project and how students could influence the park design process, a visual preference survey, and an art exercise that allowed students to express their own vision for a dream Pioneer Park.
Bruns' enthusiasm for community engagement and the power of youth were evident throughout the project.
“I am proud to have led a collaborative team project as part of the Resilient Communities Project Fellows Program," Bruns said. "Our partnership with the City of Little Canada engaged hundreds of community members and reinforced the City’s commitment to designing an accessible and equitable community park.”
View the final reports and presentations from this project:
- Best Practices for Community Engagement (Summer 2020)
- Developing the Pioneer Park Master Plan (Fall 2020)
The President's Student Leadership and Service Award is a collaboration between the Office of the President, Office for Student Affairs, University of Minnesota Alumni Association, and Student Unions & Activities. To view a list of other President's Awards recipients, visit