Senior Ivan Jimenez Wins Governor’s Civic Leadership Award

Zag Grads 2019

April 29, 2019
Gonzaga News Service

SPOKANE, Wash. — Ivan Jimenez, a Gonzaga University senior engineering management student from Sammamish, Washington, is one of three students statewide selected as recipients of the 2019 Governor’s Civic Leadership Award for his service and social justice activities.

Jimenez was recognized and presented with a $1,000 check at the Washington Campus Compact Students Serving Washington Awards ceremony on April 19 at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. The awards recognize the top student civic leaders at Washington Campus Compact member institutions who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and commitment to addressing critical campus or community issues.

The three winners were selected from each higher educational institution type: two-year, four-year public, and four-year private schools.

Jimenez  — who is also earning a concentration in civil engineering — was honored for his involvement since his freshman year in multiple programs at Gonzaga’s Center for Community Engagement. He became a Zag Volunteer Corps student leader at O’Malley Apartments, a housing center for low-income senior citizens and people with disabilities.

Jimenez's senior engineering design project focused on a sustainability effort to address pollution and environmental degradation by converting exhausted coffee grounds into activated carbon for water treatment.

“I came to Gonzaga for the mission, to be educated as person for others. I knew I was not going to be able to live that out simply by being in my classrooms,” he said. “So, I found a way to actually put this into action and meet different people from different perspectives.”

At O’Malley Apartments, Jimenez was instrumental in developing a community bingo night and “Dining Buddy” program that connects residents with students — among other significant efforts.

“I used to think that me going there was a huge benefit to them and it was a really backwards way of looking at it,” he said. “Now I understand that I was going there to just be human with them.”

Jimenez also serves on the board of directors for the GU chapter of the American Society of Engineering Management and is involved in mission-integration activities in the Gonzaga School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Most recently, he worked with several departments to bring a speaker to campus who focuses on inclusive design and social justice within engineering.

After graduation, Jimenez plans to serve in the Peace Corps in Peru and pursue professional opportunities that combine his passion for social justice with his training in engineering.

“The most important thing I’ve taken away is being able to redefine my values and think about what is going to take me into the next step of my life, my journey and my career,” he said. “There are certain things that I hold true. One of those things is that every person you’ll ever meet has infinite worth and I think that’s something I can apply to every single situation I’ve ever encountered in the world.”

“We are so proud of the contributions Ivan has made to Gonzaga, and look forward to the many ways that he will continue to serve his community and work to create a more just and equitable world,” said Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh.

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