This year’s winners of the annual Grove City College Florence E. MacKenzie Campus-Community Awards are Dr. Jennifer Scott Mobley ‘99 and Alex Eckard, respectively.
The awards are presented each year to recognize those who work to bring the College and the greater Grove City community together in meaningful, beneficial ways and strengthen a town-gown relationship that goes back to the College’s founding as a community endeavor in 1876.
Campus winner Mobley, professor of Communication Studies and assistant dean for Service Learning, is an award-winning educator, organizational communication scholar and Gallup-certified leadership coach. She has served on a task force on the future of higher education and work for the National Association of Colleges and Employers, and she is a member of the Women's Leadership Council for the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania and the Executive Women's Council of Greater Pittsburgh and a volunteer for the Pittsburgh Fellows.
Mobley’s teaching, research, and consulting focus on the nexus between community engagement and leadership development. She has helped faculty interest in service learning grow by serving as a point of connection between community members and educators, demystified the process of the service-learning experience, and even offered to act as a liaison between the community and College on many occasions.
“Through Dr. Mobley’s classroom to community connections, students learn that they are equipped by their Grove City experiences to make a difference in their communities, both now and in future work,” her nomination said. One student described Dr. Mobley as a professor who “gives students a voice, but she also listens.”
Community winner Eckard serves as area director for Young Life in Mercer County, which is a ministry connecting College students as mentors to high school and middle school students in order to build relationships and share the gospel. He has lived in the borough of Grove City for six years, knowing the importance to live among those he serves. Eckard is also the head coach of the Grove City Area High School Varsity Boys’ Soccer Team and is seen frequently at high school sporting events. He brings Grove City College students and alumni with him to these events too, according to his nominator.
For the past two years Eckard has also served as an Elder at Gateway Evangelical Presbyterian Church, a church that seeks to love, empower and connect college students and community members. “He is the epitome of bringing folks together in meaningful ways – going to meet them where they are,” his nominator said.
Both recipients will be honored at the reception and awards ceremony on Feb. 11 in Carnegie Alumni Center on campus. For more details about the event and the awards, visit www.alumni.gcc.edu.
The Campus Community Awards are named for Florence E. MacKenzie, the wife of former Grove City College president Dr. Charles S. MacKenzie. Her efforts to cultivate the relationship between the College and the Grove City community included serving as president of Grove City Woman’s Club, the Shakespeare Club, the Women’s Bowling League, secretary of the local United Way and president the Grove City Hospital Board of Trustees, where she oversaw the merger of the Bashline/Rossman and Grove City hospitals, today known as the AHN Grove City Hospital.
Following her death in December 1981, President MacKenzie created the Campus-Community Awards to honor her vision and effort and appointed a committee to seek nominations of qualified individuals from both areas whose volunteer efforts embodied the spirit of her work. The awards have been presented since 1983.