The Office of the President has announced the 2014 Sarah Belle Brown Community Service Award winners. This year’s recipients include student award winner Priscila Poliana, graduate student, Urban and Regional Planning; faculty award winner Dr. Arti Prasad, division chief, Department of Internal Medicine and executive medical director, Center for Life; and staff award winner Ashley Taylor, senior academic advisor, Anderson School of Management.

“These outstanding individuals exemplify UNM’s commitment to community service,” President Robert G. Frank said. “They have gone above and beyond to help those in need and inspire change for the best.”

The Sarah Belle Brown awards have been generously endowed by former Anderson School of Management Dean Doug and his wife, Sarah Brown, to recognize the volunteer service work done by members of the UNM community for the greater good. The faculty and staff recipients each receive $1,500, while the student recipient receives a $1,000 scholarship.

Poliana, who was the past president of the UNM Graduate and Professional Students Association, is the current project planner for the STEM UP Cooperative where she has facilitated the improvement of participation in science, technology, mathematics and engineering programs for minority and economically disadvantaged students.

As GPSA president, Poliana distinguished herself in a number of ways including increased transparency in fees and tuition costs and helping to enact a tuition freeze in 2013-14, the first in many years. A member and co-founder of the Brazil Club since 2011, Poliana helped facilitate the inclusion of international students in the greater UNM community.

Prasad, who despite working long hours to advance her own career as a clinician educator taking care of patients and teaching students, has routinely contributed a significant amount of time and knowledge to community service activities including serving on the medical advisory board of the Cancer Services of New Mexico since early 2000. She volunteers her time twice a year at the Family Cancer Retreat giving lectures to cancer patients, families and caregivers. 

Prasad’s extensive community outreach and presence also includes giving public service lectures to People Living through Cancer, Lymphoma and Leukemia Society, Nancy Floyd Haworth Foundation Educational Seminar and a variety of other non-profit organizations.  A highly respected speaker, Prasad frequently gives presentations to a large variety of both private and public organizations. 

Taylor, who has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and psychology, is highly-involved in the community as a volunteer at Crossroads for Women, an Albuquerque organization that provides support for women who are homeless and/or suffer from mental illness or drug addiction. Taylor has organized supplies and clothing drives at Crossroads for Women and helps plan events and volunteer activities. Volunteer work is central to Taylor’s interaction with the community. Each year, she prefers to spend her birthday performing random acts of kindness for others.

For more information, visit Sarah Belle Brown Awards