Wheelock Receives Blackburn Award for Mattahunt Work

December 18, 2012

Only one year after the re-opening, the revitalized Mattahunt Center serves as model for public-private partnerships in other urban communities

Pictured (from left) Adrian K. Haugabrook, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success, Chief Diversity Officer;  Marta T. Rosa, Special Assistant to the President, Office of Government and External Affairs; Jackie Jenkins-Scott, President, Wheelock College; Shellice Baker, Youth Coordinator, Mattahunt Wheelock Community Center; Rashad O. Cope, Director, Mattahunt Wheelock Community Center The American Association of University Administrators (AAUA) presented Wheelock College with the 2012 John Blackburn Award for its work revitalizing the Mattahunt Community Center in Boston's Mattapan neighborhood.  Wheelock College believes its mission—to improve the lives of children and families—extends well beyond the borders of its Boston and Brookline campuses. The Mattahunt Community Center is an ideal example of that philosophy in action.

"Wheelock is honored to receive the John Blackburn Award as a testament to the tremendous progress made at the Center to create opportunities where children and youth can thrive, families are supported, and those who work with children and families are appreciated," said Wheelock College President Jackie Jenkins-Scott.

Wheelock College was introduced to the urgent needs in the Mattapan community by Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the City of Boston in 2010. The Mattahunt Community Center, located in Boston's Mattapan neighborhood, was closed in 2010 because of severe city budget constraints. Guided by its mission to improve the lives of children and families, Wheelock worked in close partnership with the Mattapan community to set a collaborative vision for the center focused on the expressed needs of the community ensuring that the Mattapan residents' voices informed the future programs and services offered at the Mattahunt Community Center. The Center re-opened in 2011 and is now a thriving, sustainable community hub that offers a growing roster of academic and recreational services and activities driven by community needs and priorities. An average of nearly 200 families per day currently access and benefit from the Center's robust portfolio of programs and activities.

Awarded annually by the American Association of University Administrators and named for a former AAUA President and General Secretary, the John L. Blackburn Award recognizes outstanding examples of college and university leadership that demonstrate creative solutions to common problems, and/or illustrate successful efforts to meet demands-whether from legislative bodies, accrediting agencies, the public, strategic objectives, or other internal or external forces.

"We [The American Association of University Administrators] were attracted to the Mattahunt Center Revitalization because it represents a unique expression of the Wheelock College mission of improving the lives of children and families," said Jerome L. Neuner, the AAUA Awards Chair. "It is also a model partnership between a city, a community, and a college." Past recipients of the Blackburn Award include Emory University's "Excellence through Leadership Program" and Elaine A. Johnson from City College of San Francisco for Bio-Link.

Dr. Adrian K. Haugabrook, Wheelock's Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success, Chief Diversity Officer, and Rashad Cope, the Director of the Mattahunt Community Center, will attend the award ceremony in May 2013 on behalf of the College.

Pictured above (from left) Adrian K. Haugabrook, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success, Chief Diversity Officer;  Marta T. Rosa, Special Assistant to the President, Office of Government and External Affairs; Jackie Jenkins-Scott, President, Wheelock College; Shellice Baker, Youth Coordinator, Mattahunt Wheelock Community Center; Rashad O. Cope, Director, Mattahunt Wheelock Community Center (Photo by Beth Kaplan)

For more information on the Mattahunt Community Center, visit the Mattahunt Community Center web page.

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