The Center for Civic Engagement would like to announce the 2020 Hall of Fame inductees. Each year, the Civic Engagement Hall of Fame honors an undergraduate student, graduate student, faculty, alumni, and staff/administrator, who has displayed a sustained commitment to their communities.
Abby Mariano, undergraduate student inductee
Abby Marino is a senior studying political science with a minor in educational studies. During her time at Salem State, she has been a member of the Community Service Initiative, as well as secretary and president, has participated in volunteering with Habitat for Humanity during alternative spring break trips, and is a Center for Civic Engagement Fellow. She was also the event organizer for Let’s Move, Salem! 2019, a member of One Campus, and was a congressional intern in Senator Markey’s office in the summer of 2019.
Abby says, “...I am an RA in the residence halls and was able to then connect and build relationships to talk more about civic engagement with my residents…”
Cleziane Oliveira, graduate student inductee
Cleziane Oliveira is a graduate student at Salem State who studies social work. She currently interns at Eliot Community Human Services, providing community-based services for families struggling with mental and behavioral issues. As a bilingual mental health counselor, she uses her language proficiency skills to help families in need access to appropriate services and help them become part of this community. Working as an international student activity coordinator at Salem State has allowed her to be in contact with students from different countries and cultural backgrounds.
Cleziane says, “...The best way to help [a] person is to empower [them] to solve [their] own issues and problems. We need to provide people with an empathetic environment where they feel vulnerable yet empowered to deal with adversity..."
Gretchen Sinnett, faculty inductee
Gretchen Sinnett is an associate professor in Salem State’s Art and Design program. Her courses explore art in light of social-historical and aesthetic discourses, examining how art and visual culture both reflect and help shape the societies from which they emerge. Since spring 2013, her Arts in America classes have been conducting a service-learning research project for the Danvers Historical Society (DHS), which helps them continue researching and promoting their collection.
Sinnett says, “...My partners at the DHS and I select objects that raise questions about how visual and material culture participate in social discourses about politics, immigration, aspects of identity, such as race, gender, and social class, etc. Our research sheds light on local histories that have been largely forgotten and demonstrates that the challenges our country currently faces often have a long history. And in a society inundated to the point of overload with material objects and visual images, the project provides students and event attendees the opportunity to slow down and carefully consider select objects, drawing attention to the ways in which the objects we use and images we see shape and reflect cultural beliefs…”
David Silva, staff/administrator inductee
Since arriving at Salem State University in 2015, Provost Silva has actively sought opportunities to serve the local community, with an emphasis on helping members of underserved populations gain access to education. In the North Shore community, he has been involved in various leadership roles, including the House of the Seven Gables Board of Trustees, the Board of Directors of LEAP for Education Board of Directors, where he served as board president, and the Portuguese Americans for Higher Education Board of Directors.
In his own words, Provost Silva says, “...The focus of my commitment to the community lies in helping organizations realize their mission to improve access to education and educational resources in communities that have been historically underserved and under-resourced. Leveraging the knowledge, experience, and social capital acquired over a 30+ year career in public higher education, I work to connect individuals and organizations so that we can create collaborative solutions to challenges that face challenges when it comes to navigating institutional systems that are, by their mere existence, function as barriers to educational access and academic success. Given my own lived experience as a child of immigrants, I am especially drawn to organizations with missions to help first- and second-generation families make sense of often complex educational systems…”
Pedro Soto, alumni inductee
Pedro Soto ’09 has been involved in local advocacy issues in Springfield, Haverhill, Peabody, and Lynn, MA, for over ten years. While his work involves working with the general public, he pays special attention to reaching groups in the community that are typically not at the decision-making table and connecting underrepresented community groups with resources.
Pedro says, “...Over time cities are shaped by its citizens, trade, migration, and many other factors. One of the greatest assets any community has is its people. As leaders, it's important that we maintain a steadfast commitment to empowering our young people to become the leaders of tomorrow. One of the initiatives that I’m part of is the Planners of Color initiatives. Other planners and I of color across the state have come together to discuss ways that we can start to create a pipeline of city planners to serve in underserved communities of color. Over time, our hope is that people of color, with varied cultural competencies and understanding, can help inform the ways their own communities develop and change…”
Pedro is the City of Lawrence Planning Director. In his spare time, he enjoys photography and printmaking.