JoAnn Miller Exemplary Community Partner Award

2021 Winner: YWCA of Greater Lafayette

The YWCA of Greater Lafayette is more than deserving of this award for several reasons. First, it is important that all community-based agencies start to think about the ways in which they can meet the needs of those with marginalized identities, something that the YWCA of Greater Lafayette has continuously focused on, and has developed best practices to engage a diverse community. That in and of itself has been a central learning point for my students and I as we think about the unique ways in which diverse populations access and benefit from community-based resources. Additionally, this project has allowed my students and I to learn about the unique interactions that take place when several community partners interact to solve a common problem, which has also been a critical consideration in thinking about how interventions and resources are developed and implemented.

2021 Winner: LTHC Homeless Services

LTHC Homeless Services is the ideal community partner. Part of their explicit mission states “We understand homelessness is a big issue, and it’s okay if you don’t know everything about it. Since 1989, we’ve been working to teach others about the housing crisis in Tippecanoe County.” Their passion for helping the homeless and educating others about it is evident in all they do. The time, guidance, dedication, and patience that they provide to students make them exceptional co-educators and have allowed for invaluable learning experiences for Purdue students.

The JoAnn Miller Exemplary Community Partner Award recognizes local nonprofits, schools, or government units that contribute to the educational growth of Purdue students by providing volunteer and service-learning opportunities. It includes a $1,000 cash prize. In 2015, the award was renamed in memory of JoAnn L. Miller, who was Associate Dean of Engagement and head of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies in the College of Liberal Arts. She worked passionately to further engagement with the community by Purdue students, faculty, and staff.


Non-profit agencies, schools, or governmental units located in Tippecanoe County that have demonstrated excellence in creating and sustaining opportunities for engaging Purdue students in volunteerism or service-learning within the county are eligible for the JoAnn Miller Award.

Nomination Process

Purdue faculty, students and staff are invited to nominate community partners for this award.

Nominations must include the following elements:

  • Community need(s) addressed by the agency’s programs and how the agency addresses the need(s)
  • How Purdue students have been involved in the agency’s programs and the benefits they have received from their experience
  • Contribution/value that student involvement brings to the agency and the population it serves
  • Why the agency is deserving of the award
  • Number and level of students engaged with the agency each year

Nominations are due March 19, 2022. Nomination form, HERE.

Selection Process

Nominations will be evaluated and awarded by an ad hoc committee of Office of Engagement staff based on the following criteria:

  1. “Meaningful service” is defined as service that is reciprocal, students learn about challenges/issues in the community and are empowered to address them while the partner agency receives valuable services and resources
  2. The partner agency acts as co-educator for the students.

Awardees receive a $1,000 cash prize, a plaque, and are honored at the Office of Engagement’s Annual Awards Luncheon and the United Way’s Annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon in the spring.

Past Recipients

2021 – LTHC Homeless Services and YWCA of Greater Lafayette
2020 – Glen Acres Elementary School
2019 – Caregiver Companion
2018 – Drug Free Coalition of Tippecanoe County
2017 – Food Finders Food Bank
2016 – Hanna Community Center
2015 – LTHC Homeless Services
2015 – Wabash Center