Pair of CWU students honored with Student Civic Leadership Awards

  • May 27, 2024
  • David Leder

Two Central Washington University students were recognized for their civic engagement and community involvement this spring when they received a 2024 Student Civic Leadership Award.

Kevin Lomax and Nastasjja Bach were honored by the Washington Campus Coalition at an April 19 ceremony at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

Every year, the Student Civic Leadership Awards celebrate students from across the state who are dedicated to making a difference on their campuses and in their communities.

“It was a lovely event and inspiring to see so many students being recognized for their community and civic engagement,” said Associate Vice President of Equity and Belonging Verónica Gómez-Vilchis, who accompanied Lomax and Bach to the ceremony.

Governor Jay Inslee and other dignitaries from state government and higher education also attended the event. Dr. Verónica Vélez, an Associate Dean at Western Washington University, served as the keynote speaker, sharing her story as an immigrant child growing up in Los Angeles.

CWU President Jim Wohlpart commended Lomax and Bach for their achievements in a letter he sent them prior to the event.

“Higher education institutes recognize the importance of service and volunteerism,” he wrote. “Students like you are essential partners and leaders in creating community change. The thousands of service hours invested every year by students like you represent the highest ideals of higher education and public service.”

Kevin Lomas receiving award

Lomax, a graduate student in Information Technology Management (formerly ITAM), was nominated by the CWU Sustainability Team for his work to develop a sustainable smartphone alongside a student team. He also led student recruiting efforts for the Sustainability Living Learning Community in 2022 and has been involved with SOURCE for the past three years.

The nomination, written by Professors Sue Rivera and Susan Kaspari, also pointed to Lomax’s work with computer science students at Ellensburg High School, where he shared his research and answered questions about sustainable IT. 

“This type of community engagement demonstrates civic leadership and encourages high school students to consider attending college, including CWU,” they said, adding that Lomax also maintains a 4.0 GPA and serves as the CWU ResNet apprentice intern.

Nastasjja Bach receiving award

Bach, who is pursuing a degree in early childhood education with a minor in special education, was nominated by the Student Leadership, Involvement, and Community Engagement (SLICE) for her leadership on campus and in the community. Bach’s nomination pointed to her passion for educating children and her involvement in creating opportunities for her peers to connect with members of the Ellensburg community.

“As a student employee, she has gone above and beyond,” the nomination said, adding that she took it upon herself to create a program called Generations United, which offers acts of services for senior citizens in our community.

The project started when a local senior citizen with disabilities called the SLICE office to ask if there were students available to help maintain her yard. Bach coordinated student volunteers to help rake up the leaves and pine needles, and clear the sidewalk pathways so that she could move around decreasing her risk of falling.

“She has gained the trust and respect of her peers and staff due to her honesty, integrity, and her hard work,” the nomination said. “Her passion for serving others and constantly thinking about equity has resulted in us nominating her for the WACC Student Civic Leadership Award.”

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