2011 Ehrlich Faculty Award

Boston, MA — Campus Compact has named Sherril B. Gelmon, DrPH, Professor of Public Health at Portland State University, Portland, Oregon, as recipient of the 2011 Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award. The award is bestowed annually to recognize senior, tenured faculty for exemplary leadership in advancing students’ civic learning, community engagement, and contributions to the public good. To qualify for the award, the faculty member must boast an extensive career that exhibits true dedication to service, to her/his community, and to the integrity of higher education.

In his nomination letter, Professor Dwight Giles, Jr., senior associate with the New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE) and Professor of Higher Education Administration at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, (a 2003 recipient of the Thomas Ehrlich Award himself) says, “Sherril’s work is a pioneering example of the integrated synergy of teaching, research, and service that is simultaneously cosmopolitan and local.”

Former Portland State University President, Judith Ramaley, notes about Dr. Gelmon’s work, “…she exemplified the values of engagement in her own scholarship and teaching and was one of the first faculty members to be advanced to the rank of Professor as an engaged scholar using the revised promotion and tenure guidelines adopted by Portland State University.”

Dr. Gelmon trained as a physiotherapist at the Universities of Saskatchewan and Toronto, and earned master’s degree in Health Sciences from the University of Toronto. She received a Doctor of Public Health degree from the University of Michigan. She currently is chair of the Division of Public Administration at the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government, College of Urban and Public Affairs, at Portland State.

“My work as a faculty comes from both personal and professional roots,” says Dr. Gelmon. “I grew up in a progressive, Jewish, western Canadian family infused with the values of continuous learning, social activism, community engagement, and respect for cultural diversity.”

Today, Dr. Gelmon usually teaches at least three graduate courses annually that involve community engagement. “In all of these courses, community-based work is designed in collaboration with community partners to ensure mutual and reciprocal benefit, and students conduct reflective activities as well as developing academic products. Students in my classes are continually exposed to a variety of community engagement opportunities that help them to develop outcomes that reflect civic learning and orientation to community engagement both in their professional and personal lives.”

Among her professional activities she is senior consultant with Community-Campus Partnerships for Health and was founding chair of the International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE).

The Ehrlich award brings $2,000 plus an opportunity to present at the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Annual Conference in January 2012 in Washington, D.C., where Dr. Gelmon will formally be presented the Ehrlich award.

Four finalists have also been acknowledged for their achievements. They include:

Stuart Greene

Associate Professor of English Center for Social Concerns
University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana
sgreene1 {at} nd(.)edu

Frederic Waldstein

Irving R. Burling Chair in Leadership, Director of the Institute for Leadership Education 
Professor of Political Science
Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa
fred.waldstein {at} wartburg(.)edu

Sunil Bhatia

Director, Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy 
Associate Professor of Human Development
Connecticut College, New London, CT
ssbha {at} conncoll(.)edu

John Poulin

Professor of Social Work
Widener University, Chester, Pennsylvania
jepoulin {at} mail.widener(.)edu