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April 4, 2013

Erica Nelson has been named a recipient of the 2013 South Carolina Campus Compact (SCCC) Civic Engagement Leadership Award, it was announced today.

Nelson, who serves as the Coordinator of Life Skills and Outreach for the Gamecock athletics department, will receive the South Carolina Civic Engagement Professional Award on April 8, 2013, during an Awards Ceremony and Luncheon at the SCCC Civic Engagement Leadership Summit, held at Columbia (S.C.) College.

SCCC member campuses from across the state nominated students, faculty, staff, and campus partners who have exhibited exceptional achievements in civic engagement on their campuses and in their communities. A national panel selected one recipient for each of the four award categories – Student Service Achievement Award, Faculty Award for Service Learning, Civic Engagement Professional Award and Engaged Community Partner Award.

The SCCC said this about Ms. Nelson: “Encouraging extremely busy student-athletes to devote time to outreach and service can be challenging. However, it has become Erica Nelson’s passion to facilitate student-athlete’s learning beyond the classroom through service. Erica oversees “Team Gamecocks” which represents the bringing together of all University of South Carolina student-athletes for the purpose of conducting community service and outreach to Columbia, S.C. and the surrounding area. In 2011-2012, through Erica’s leadership, all 20 sports teams made over 200 appearances and contributed over 5,300 hours of service to the community. This is an increase of nearly 2,000 hours from 2010-2011 and results in an average of 10 hours of volunteer service per student-athlete. A sampling of some of the service projects student-athletes engaged in included reading and speaking to elementary and middle school children, visiting patients at the Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital, participating in Dance Marathon and Relay for Life events, helping to sort and organize donations at the Harvest Hope Food Bank, and even spending their spring and summer breaks on service trips to Mexico, El Salvador, and Haiti. Erica’s efforts have enhanced the culture of service within the Department of Athletics and helped student-athletes integrate and apply their learning beyond the classroom.”