The University of New Mexico has named three Lobos as the recipients of the 2016 Sarah Belle Brown Community Service Award. Javier Garcia was named as the student award recipient, Janet “Jaye” Francis was named as the staff recipient and Frances Vitali was named as the faculty recipient.

Serving New Mexico is central to the University’s mission. Everything done at UNM—education, research, patient care, as well as public service advances the interests of our state. To support and promote the University’s commitment to public service, former Regent and Anderson School of Management Dean Doug Brown established this award in honor of his wife, Sarah Belle Brown.

The Sarah Belle Brown Community Service Award recognizes the volunteer work of members of the UNM community, for the good of the greater community.

Numerous nominations were received giving the award committee the difficult task of selecting only three outstanding individuals. Each of these individuals have displayed passion and an unrelenting dedication to the community.

2016 Sarah Belle Brown Community Service Award winners:

  • Javier B. Garcia, student winner: Civil liberties and constitutional literacy are at the core of Javier’s contributions. His service to children and families, particularly immigrants, has helped some of the most in-need members our community. His work with the American Civil Liberties Union, Southwest Indian Law Clinic, and Marshall–Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project, a project that educates high school students on constitutional rights, are just a few examples of his dedication to equal protection under the law.
  • Janet “Jaye” Francis, staff winner: Janet’s dedication to community service goes beyond her own capabilities. She inspires and leads her students at UNM Anderson School of Management to help numerous charitable organizations. She has been involved with the American Indian Business Association at Anderson since its inception in 1994, making an impact on countless lives with her compassion and expertise. Her nominator points out “Jaye believes that volunteering isn’t just a one-person activity, but something that should be shared with others whether it be her students, co-workers, or her family.”
  • Frances Vitali, faculty winner: One of Vitali’s service contributions “brought Civil Rights issues home” to more than 250 students in Farmington through an oral history performance. Many service projects were noted in her nomination, and her recent performance was noted as an excellent example of experiential education. “As Vitali continues to share her research in the Farmington African American Oral History Project she brings to light a whole sector of our community which had lived in the shadows—almost forgotten.”

Faculty and staff recipients each receive a cash award of $1,500, while the student recipient receives a $1,500 scholarship, all generously endowed by former UNM Regent and Anderson School Dean Doug Brown and his wife, Sarah Brown.