December 5, 2012

LSU’s Center for Community Engagement, Learning and Leadership, or CCELL, has awarded ten LSU faculty, students and community partners with the second annual set of CCELL “Happy” Awards for excellence in service-learning including John Scalzo, instructor, electrical and computer science.

The “Happy” was initiated to commemorate former CCELL director Jan Shoemaker’s ten years of distinguished service, commitment to education, and service for the common good.

Since 2011, Scalzo has worked with student teams in his capstone senior design course to develop, create and present an engineering design at Baton Rouge Magnet School. Scalzo has partnered with BRMHS teacher Lai Cao through the service-learning program to incorporate practical and meaningful experiences for both the high school and college students participating.  Scalzo has also worked in conjunction with his senior design students to assist the BRMHS Robotic Team and has supervised the students as they constructed a centrifuge machine to be used in all physics classes at BRMHS. Scalzo volunteers as a guest speaker for the high school and a science fair judge.     

“I was moved that Mrs. Cao took the time to nominate me for the award,” Scalzo said.  “The service-learning partnership between me and Mrs. Cao is just beginning, but it has already benefited both of our students in so many different ways. I can’t wait to see what we can do once we really figure out how to maximize our efforts.”

The 2012 Happy Award recipients are: Connections for Life, community partner; Alma Dawson,  Russell B. Long professor, library & information sciences; Highland Elementary School, community partner;  Betsy Irvine, executive director, Louisiana Delta Service Corps; Lisa Johnson, assistant professor, kinesiology; Sandy Joslyn,  graduate student, public administration and American Red Cross volunteer; Younghee Lim, associate professor, social work;  Mary Hannah Prevot, senior in art; John Scalzo, instructor, electrical engineering and computer science; and Yejun Wu, assistant professor, library & information sciences.

Recipients of the award were honored at the Happy Award and Partnership Celebration on Thursday, November 8 in the Fellowship Hall of University Presbyterian Church. The celebration served as an opportunity to recognize Happy Award winners and honor the work of all members of the service-learning community.

CCELL promotes community engagement by serving as a clearinghouse for service-learning pedagogy and community partnerships; promotes learning by informing and helping to coordinate planning, research, pedagogy, and assessment associated with service-learning and other innovative student learning initiatives; and develops student leadership skills by facilitating service-learning and related student initiatives.

For more information on CCELL, visit



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