Prominent leaders of the Uniservitate programme appointed as new members of ACES

The Induction Ceremony for the new members of ACES (Academy of Community Engagement Scholarship) was held on Wednesday 12 January.

This institution, created in 2013 and made up of leading academics and professionals, appointed 38 new members between 2019 and 2021, in recognition of their valuable contributions and commitment to promoting initiatives that bring together research, education, community and the public good.

The academics appointed in 2019 had not been able to participate in the induction ceremony, suspended due to the pandemic in 2020, and joined this year’s virtual ceremony along with those appointed in 2021.

Among the new inductees, from institutions all over the world, we are proud to mention three outstanding leaders of the Uniservitate Programme:

– Maria Nieves Tapia, Director of CLAYSS/Uniservitate, (Argentina). Nieves had been appointed member of the Academy in 2019.

– Bojana Culum Ilic, University of Rijeka (Croatia), Member of the Academic Council of Uniservitate.

– Chantal Jouannet Valderrama, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Uniservitate’s node institution for the Latin America and Caribbean region.

The ceremony, held virtually, was also attended by the directors of the organising institution, among them its president and founder, Burton Bargerstock, and the attendance of leaders in higher education and university social commitment from the five continents.

At the event, the new members, after being officially introduced, renewed their commitment to continue working and making valuable contributions to finding innovative solutions to complex social problems for the common good.

The following is Nieves Tapia’s response to the question posed to all the new academics to “summarise the achievements of which she is most proud”, which briefly covers more than 25 years of commitment to education and service-learning, and which was shared with those present:

“The first thing I would say is: in my professional life, I am proud to have always been part of great teams, first in the Ministry of Education of Argentina and now in CLAYSS, the Latin American Center for Solidarity Service-Learning. So most of my proudest accomplishments are our proudest accomplishments: we were able to introduce service-learning into the national policies of our country, and 25 years later these policies are still alive, in spite of all the political and economic crisis we have survived. Twenty years ago, we started CLAYSS in my living room with a few friends, with big dreams but no resources. Today we are a leading NGO in the field, not only in Latin America but around the world, providing training, technical advice, research, publications and more to educational institutions at all levels, governments and other institutions, and building strong collaborative networks such as the Ibero-American Service-Learning Network and the Central and Eastern European Service-Learning Network. Finally, I am proud that we have been able to give visibility worldwide to the Latin American engagement experience, and contributed to build a global dialogue in which we can all learn from each other”.

For more information about ACES: https://academyofces.org/

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