UNM President Garnett S. Stokes, along with Regent President Doug Brown and his wife Sarah Belle Brown, honored the 2019 recipients of the Sarah Belle Brown Award for Community Service at a recent reception at University House.

“Tonight, we celebrate members of our UNM family who make extraordinary contributions to our greater community,” President Stokes said in her welcoming remarks. “Universities across the country have forged a common bond around the idea that service is not only beneficial to the greater good, but also fosters compassion and global thinking, and feeds the souls of those who choose to volunteer.”

Every year, a faculty member, staff member and student are chosen through a nomination process to receive Sarah Belle Brown Community Service Award. Each of the winners was selected based on their extensive history of community service, advocacy and social responsiveness. 

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Stacy Sacco | Faculty Award Winner | Anderson School of Management

Stacy Sacco is a faculty member at the UNM Anderson School of Management, and Director of the Small Business Institute. Sacco devotes the majority of his personal time to serving his community through creating and promoting resources for job opportunities, events and businesses. He hosts a free website linking local businesses to resources in the area. In addition, he founded and hosts the annual MarCom Mixer that connects hundreds of members to the top 20+ marketing- and tech-related professional associations statewide.

“I am blown away to be receiving this recognition,” Sacco said. “I really love UNM and Anderson, and I’ve worked with Dean Brown and his wife for years. So, to have them give me a pat on the back is a big deal for me – it’s personal.”

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Tracy Owen | Staff Award Winner | UNM Valencia Advisement Center

Tracy Owen is the supervisor of academic advisement at UNM’s Valencia campus. Her community service record stretches back into the 80s, when she first started advocating for economically disadvantaged youth. She continued serving through volunteering at the Albuquerque Rape Crisis Center, and as an advisor for the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society for the last 13 years. She is very devoted to her students, as evident by her more than a decade at UNM; and continues to be active in her community through leading volunteer groups on various projects such as cleaning senior citizen yards, gathering supplies for HART (the Homeless Animal Rescue Team) and toiletry drives for the Victims of Domestic Violence Shelter of Valencia County.

“My first volunteering job was with UNM when I was 19, helping with youth employment support,” said Owen. “I graduated from here at UNM and love everything about this school, it’s near to my heart – I was shocked and pleased to be recognized with this award.”

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Aaron Boswell | Student Winner | Department of Psychology

Aaron Boswell is an undergraduate student in the Department of Psychology. Boswell has been an advocate of children under CYFD care through volunteering with the department for the last eight years. He is a youth advocate for Leaders Uniting Voices Youth Advocates of New Mexico, a youth run organization with strong ties to CYFD and is dedicated to providing a voice to youth in foster care. As a volunteer, he specifically advocated for sibling visitation rights and youth housing. He was also named 2019 Outstanding Young Leader by the Foster Club for his contributions to foster youth. Moving forward, he is innovating public speaking trainings for youth, and hopes he can teach them how to use their story for positive change.

“My partner nominated me, and we thought it was going to be a really long shot that I get it, so we were really, really surprised when I was named an awardee,” Boswell said. “It was really cool and an awesome opportunity to be recognized for the work that I’ve done and continue doing.”