DSC Business Department professor Dr. Kevin Barrett and assistant professor Steven Day were each presented with the “Civically Engaged Scholar” award for their work with DSC’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which provides free annual personal tax assistance to the community during the tax preparation season. In 2011, the Dixie State VITA program was rated as the second-most productive VITA site in Utah. DSC students donated nearly 3,000 hours of community service in assisting over 1,150 community members in the completion and filing of their tax returns at no charge, which facilitated the return of almost $1.9 million in federal and state tax refunds back into the community.
Dixie State Multicultural/Diversity Center (MCDC) coordinator Kristine Whittaker was given the “Civically Engaged Staff Member” award for her efforts in elevating the center’s community involvement. Among the many activities the MCDC took part in was the creation of a “Diversity Week” at each of the area’s local high schools. In addition, the center participated in a number of community service projects, including a diaper drive, food drive and various painting projects for the Dixie Care and Share, a recycling program for DSC, and provided cultural entertainment for the elderly.
In addition, DSC freshman elementary education major Jayme Pickett (St. George) was presented with the “Civically Engaged Student” award for her work as president of DSC’s Rotaract Club, a Rotary International sponsored service club for young men and women ages 18-to-30. DSC’s Rotaract Club visited every third-grade classroom in Washington County to provide students with dictionaries and discuss the importance of service and leadership. In addition, the club hosted a Santa Breakfast fundraiser, provided hundreds of hygiene kits for the Dixie Care and Share, and hosted a booth at the Special Needs Carnival in Washington County. The club is also raising funds in order to travel to Puerto Penasco, Mexico, to build three houses and provide educational materials to elementary schools in the area.