Cornell University: Community Work Study Program Student Employee Awards

Two graduating seniors are this year’s Community Work Study Program (CWSP) Student Employees of the Year. Joy Davis ’22 received the off-campus award for her work with the North American Food Systems Network, and Grace Choi ’22 was the on-campus award recipient for her work with David M. Einhorn Center for Community Engagement.

Through CWSP, sponsored by the Einhorn Center, Cornell students who are eligible for Federal Work Study can work for nonprofit organizations, schools and municipalities in Ithaca and Tompkins County. Student Employees of the Year are nominated by their CWSP supervisors based on their leadership, professionalism and teamwork, among other skills.

Davis worked as a program assistant for the North American Food Systems Network (NAFSN), a national professional development association for people working to strengthen local and regional food systems. NAFSN is facilitated by the Lyson Center for Civic Agriculture and Food Systems, a project of the Center for Transformative Action.

In her role, Davis co-produced and co-hosted the Finding Your Future in Food Systems webinar series. A strong representation of her values, the webinar is an inclusive space to educate emerging professionals on opportunities in the food system across North America. An urban and regional studies major in the College of Architecture, Art and Planning, with a minor in community food systems, Davis has made food systems a personal mission, working with Anabel’s Grocery, GreenStar Coop and InstaCart; doing research for the COVID-19 Tompkins County Food Taskforce; and volunteering with Cornell Dining’s Southern Tier Food Bank and the local Salvation Army.

Choi was hired as a community program specialist (CPS) in the Public Service Center — now part of the Einhorn Center — in 2018. Working at the front desk in the Engaged Cornell Hub, Choi became a knowledgeable reference source for all six units in the Hub — supporting a wide range of operational functions, promoting engagement opportunities, assisting students interested in community engagement and providing support to professional staff and student-run programs.

An industrial and labor relations major with minors in business and law and society, Choi was promoted to manager in her senior year, where she provided leadership and coordination for these tasks as well as oversight of other CPS staff. Upon graduation, she plans to attend law school after a gap year of tutoring and continuing her work with Eunoia, a nonprofit she founded in 2016.