OGDEN, Utah – When associate professor of design engineering technology Jeremy Farner talks about building community, he means it literally. He’s helped build schools, homes and orphanages from Ogden to Africa.
For his exemplary accomplishments, Farner is the recipient of this year’s Lindquist Award selected by the Lindquist Award Committee. He will receive the honor during a Center for Community Engaged Learning (CCEL) celebration, April 10 from 3:30-4:15 p.m. in Shepherd Union Building.
Farner joined the Weber State faculty in 2008 and since has taken students around the world to improve lives and opportunities through improved facilities. He has worked with teams to build a women’s training center in Mozambique, Africa, a dining hall and kitchen for an orphanage in Thaton, Thailand; a training center, communal water spigots, and preschool in Chiclayo, Peru; two classrooms and a library in Mozambique, Africa. He and the Global Community Engaged Learning team are in the final stages of preparing a trip to Uganda, Africa, to construct a library and teacher housing.
In addition, Farner is the construction chair for Habitat for Humanity of Weber and Davis Counties. He and his students designed and donated countless hours to build three Habitat for Humanity Homes in Ogden, which are now occupied, and are working on the next three.
“I am definitely addicted to the rush I get after working with other WSU faculty and staff for an entire year on these project and seeing the appreciation of those we have given a hand up to.” Farner said. “We have a motto that we give a hand up, not out. We stimulate the local economy and morale of the communities we complete these projects in.”
In a letter of support for the Lindquist Award, Jeannie Gamble, Habitat for Humanity executive director, wrote that the entire community benefits from Farner’s inspirational leadership.
“Jeremy has demonstrated time and again his unusual commitment to providing abundant opportunities for his students to learn in both the classroom and the world outside,” Gamble wrote. “He epitomizes how students and community partners, both with their own needs and assets, can come together to facilitate community-engaged, service learning.”
Farner and his students now are working with Habit to design a “tiny-home” community of 150 to 200 small, energy-efficient homes.
The award is named for John A. Lindquist, a strong advocate of education and the community, who spent a lifetime supporting Ogden, Weber County and Weber State. Lindquist’s ties to WSU date back to the late 1930s, when he attended Weber College and was a student body officer. Throughout his lifetime, he generously supported cultural, academic, athletic and student activities and programs.
“The Center for Community Engaged Learning is honored to house the John A. Lindquist award, and is grateful to Kathryn Lindquist for starting it to honor her father’s legacy and commitment to community,” said Melissa Hall, CCEL director. “Selecting an awardee is never easy as Weber State has a number of faculty and staff committed to community engagement. This year, Jeremy Farner rose to the top for his work both locally and globally. What many don’t realize is the lasting impact Jeremy has as his projects often continue over to classes and volunteers beyond his own. Jeremy is an innovative leader in his field, providing his students with unique opportunities that allow for creativity and sustainable planning.”
Along with the Lindquist Award, the CCEL celebration also will recognize many community partners, faculty, staff and students involved in community engagement.
Political science major Aimee Urbina will be honored as one of three students in Utah selected as a Newman Civic Fellow, for her work fostering a culture of sustainable practices on campus. A first-generation student, she has also advocated for student engagement through Latinos in Action, Amnesty International and the American Democracy project.
During the 2017-18 school year, which ends in April, WSU students have logged 67,043 hours of service with faculty teaching 252 community-engaged learning focused course sections.
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