Campus Compact Names Finalists, Recipient for 2004 Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award for Service-Learning


Richard M. Eberst
Health Sciences and Human Ecology Department
California State University, San Bernardino, CA

A focus on community partnerships is the distinguishing characteristic of this year’s Ehrlich Award recipient. ‘The primary reason universities exist,’ says Richard Eberst, ‘is to partner with community stakeholders to help improve the overall quality of life and health within the university’s service region.’ This framework has guided his work at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB), where he has been a leader in service-learning since his arrival in 1991.

His approach embraces the educational value of community partnerships as well as the public purposes of higher education. Thus, his pedagogical creed is that ‘the best format to fully engage students in learning is to provide experiences that articulate course goals, objectives, and assignments to the real-life needs of the community.’ At his own institution, Dr. Eberst has been instrumental in shaping the strategic plan for the university to ‘adopt a long-term strategy for university engagement in community partnerships.’ In order to operationalize the community focus of the strategic plan, the university’s president asked Dr. Eberst to direct a new office of Community-University Partnerships (CUP). Placing service-learning at the core of community-campus partnerships, Dr. Eberst also became the founding director of the Office of Service-Learning at CSUSB.

CSUSB’s provost nominated Dr. Eberst for the Ehrlich Award ‘based upon extensive experience’ and ‘substantial vision as to how and where service-learning can be institutionalized in higher education.’ In recognition of his accomplishments and contributions in the field of service-learning, Dr. Eberst has served on the CSU system-wide corps of Service Learning Directors; in addition, because of his efforts, the Chancellor’s office has recognized CUSB with the ‘Pioneer’s Award’ for service-learning leadership.

Dr. Eberst is a three-time finalist for the Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award for Service-Learning. This year, in addition to receiving the Ehrlich Award, he has been named the recipient of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education’s (NERCHE’s) 2004 Ernest A. Lynton Award for Faculty Professional Service and Academic Outreach. This is the first time that the same individual has received both awards in the same year.


Karen Bojar
English Department
Community College of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pa

Karen Bojar’s most recent published article, ‘Feminist Pedagogy and Teaching Activism,’ captures both her scholarly interests and her understanding of the role of the community college in educating citizens. Since 1988, she has used service-learning in a course titled ‘Community Involvement: Theory and Practice.’ She has also employed service-learning in teaching women’s studies, an area in which she is active in both teaching and research. She contributed a chapter to the AAHE volume on service-learning in women’s studies, and she has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study ‘women and volunteerism,’ a topic on which she has published extensively. She has also chaired the Feminist Activist interest group of the Women’s Studies Association.

Dr. Bojar has been a leading force in institutionalizing community involvement and service-learning at her college, earning recognition from her president as ‘a pioneer in the field of service-learning, particularly at community colleges.’ Her activist teaching and scholarship reflect her connection to her local community and her commitment to the community college mission of civic preparation. ‘My commitment to service-learning,’ she explains, ‘is tied to my involvement in my community. My extensive ties to local community organizations have enabled me to be a more effective service-learning practitioner, and my students’ enthusiasm for service has strengthened my own resolve to remain engaged in the life of my community.’

John W. Eby
Department of Sociology
Messiah College
Grantham, PA

John Eby’s devotion to service-learning comes from two sources. First is his international service experience, which has led to the recognition that analysis and research are necessary for good intentions to be translated into effective action. Second is his involvement in the academy, which has demonstrated that ‘theory, teaching, and learning can be irrelevant and even misleading if not tested and informed by application.’

For Dr. Eby, service-learning ‘encourages students to examine their own humanity and spirituality as they interact with the rich traditions and diverse experiences of others.’ It provides ‘a holistic approach to social issues that includes direct service, social action, social policy, and civic involvement.’ He is particularly interested in the unique manifestation of service-learning at faith-based colleges, which usually have strong traditions, a clear mission, and a value commitment that includes service, civic engagement, and social justice.

Dr. Eby has been central to efforts at Messiah College to build academic excellence while strengthening the college’s contribution to the local community. The president of Messiah College recognizes Dr. Eby’s leadership in the development of service-learning on campus, noting that it as has provided ‘the foundation on which we are now building a broad college-wide initiative to engage our regional community.’

Joan L. Gluch
School of Dental Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA

A central focus of Joan Gluch’s efforts at the University of Pennsylvania has been to transform the traditional clinical fieldwork of her profession into what she describes as ‘a combination of literature review, practical community experience, and reflective discussion as the best way for students to learn in a community health setting.’ She was the key figure in transforming the teaching of core dentistry skills while making a genuine, positive impact on the West Philadelphia community. Her leadership in curriculum innovation has resulted in the reorganization of the community service-learning program at the School of Dental Medicine so that during each of their four years at the school, all dental students are require to take a year-long service-learning course. Current community-based projects involving her students include the PennSmiles school health program and Oral Health Outreach with HIV/AIDS clients. Dr. Gluch’s research has been directed toward documenting the oral health status of clients and the effectiveness of the educational programs.

The University of Pennsylvania’s associate vice president recognizes Dr. Gluch’s leadership in ‘developing academically based community service (ABCS) across all four years of the dental curriculum’ and cites the impact of her work ‘across the university’s several health, professional, and graduate schools.’

Marlene Groomes
Department of Psychology
Miami Dade Community College
Homestead, FL

In the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Marlene Groomes developed the SOAR program ’“ Student Outreach to Aid in Recovery ’“ at the Homestead Campus of Miami Dade College (then Miami-Dade Community College). This project is typical of ways in which she connects student learning to the needs of the community. Dr. Groomes engages her students in ‘arduous study in the living laboratory of the community’ so that they make ‘dynamic connections with course competencies and curriculum, and life’s lessons.’ Her students tutor and mentor at-risk youth, undertake drug prevention education, and work on community projects such as a crime prevention study in conjunction with a local police department.

Dr. Groomes’ extensive experience with service-learning methodology has made her a leader in bringing service-learning to other parts of the campus, and she serves on the management team charged with institutionalizing service-learning college-wide. She has worked both to create courses in which her students have a direct impact on improving the quality of life in South Florida communities and to conduct qualitative and quantitative research on the effect of service-learning on academic achievement. The president of Miami Dade College notes that ‘through her efforts in a series of projects, hundreds of students have contributed thousands of hours of service to youth in the South Dade community.’

Pamela Kiser
Department of Human Services
Elon University
Elon, NC

The provost at Elon University notes that Pamela Kiser’s expertise ‘has informed the working of a wide range of committees as Elon has continuously increased all aspects of engaged learning for our students.’ Dr. Kiser has recently been named Elon’s Faculty Development Fellow for Service-Learning. Perhaps her most significant contribution to engaged learning has been the development and implementation of a model for experiential education that serves as a centerpiece for service-learning on campus and informs multiple experiential programs across departments.

Dr. Kiser has also developed a critical thinking model called the Integrative Processing Model (IPM) to help students think through and learn from their experiences. The IPM, she writes, ‘requires students to wrestle with their experiences on a number of different levels, ultimately integrating what they know and what they are experiencing with who they are, their values, and their behaviors.’ She has received funding from the Carnegie project on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning for the development of IPM, and has disseminated the model widely, both through articles and book chapters and through trainings on her campus and on other campuses. The infusion of her work on experiential learning across the campus was central to the adoption of a new provision that all students at Elon complete an experiential education requirement in order to graduate.

Margarita Maria Lenk
College of Business, Departments of Computer Information Systems and Accounting
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO

Margarita Maria Lenk is passionate about teaching, about her students’ learning, about contributing to the well-being of communities, and about building the deep relationships necessary to sustain her educational goals. She is committed to developing civic-minded professionals, and she has integrated service-learning into courses ranging from freshman introductory courses to MBA courses. This, she says, allows students to develop in two ways: to ‘focus on themselves as ’˜whole’ students and learn what is important to themselves and their society; and to help them develop their softer skills while developing a solid sense of personal responsibility.’ Her aim is to help students develop what she calls ‘macro-social professional wisdom,’ explaining that ‘I believe that our society needs a ’˜conscience’; accountants have played that role for many centuries, and the development of a wise conscience is more important now than ever.’
Dr. Lenk has received numerous teaching awards at the university, as well as the state of Colorado’s Outstanding Accounting Educator Award. She holds an appointment as an Engaged Scholar with Campus Compact, and is a member of the Campus Compact/AAHE Consulting Corp for service-learning and civic engagement. She has been instrumental in infusing service-learning into the accounting and computer information disciplinary associations, including serving on the American Accounting Association’s Active Learning Committee.

Marybeth Lima
Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA

The learning outcomes of Marybeth Lima’s courses include both mastery of the technical aspects of the discipline and civic competencies. She helps students conceptualize the process of engineering design as well as practice their profession ethically and democratically. ‘My methodology,’ she explains, ‘involves a guided process of ’˜democratic inquiry’ in which students learn the technical information necessary for the design process and the cultural and social information necessary to work meaningfully with the community and to produce an appropriate design.’ She has chosen to concentrate most of her efforts on K-12 schools in Baton Rouge, with a personal goal of providing a safe, accessible playground for every child in the city’s public school system.

Dr. Lima has received recognition for her teaching from her students, her community partners, and her colleagues both at LSU and nationally. She has contributed to the engineering volume of the AAHE series on service-learning in the disciplines as well as to other published work on service-learning in engineering. Most recently, she has worked with other faculty on campus to gain recognition of service-learning as a rigorous form of scholarship in the university promotion and tenure process. The chancellor of LSU notes that ‘Dr. Lima has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to service-learning at LSU to the great benefit of her students, fellow faculty, and the greater Baton Rouge community.’

David Scobey
College of Architecture and Urban Planning
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI

David Scobey offers what he describes as ‘a humanist version of the scholarship of engagement.’ He has been a leader, both at the University of Michigan and nationally, in shaping community-based education in the arts and humanities. His work not only provides a framework for connecting the humanities to community building, but also helps to broaden the concept of civic engagement beyond traditional understanding and practices. ‘Artists and humanists can best contribute to civic life,’ he explains, ‘through our capacity for cultural co-creation’¦ In a diverse and fragmented democracy, the collective creation of meanings, memories, and identities is a crucial mode of civic action.’

One application of Dr. Scobey’s work in the public purposes of the humanities is the Arts in Citizenship project, which he founded on his campus and now directs. He has been instrumental in institutionalizing community-based education across the University of Michigan, with a focus on curriculum and faculty development that integrates civic learning into the undergraduate experience. He has also written extensively on public work in the arts and humanities. In addition to his other work, Dr. Scobey serves on the advisory board of the Center for Liberal Education and Civic Engagement, a collaboration between Campus Compact and the Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Dayle Smith
School of Business Administration and Management
University of San Francisco
San Francisco, CA

The focus of Dayle Smith’s teaching and scholarship is to help shape business students into ‘better managers who mold socially responsible business cultures…and better citizens of the world—socially aware and politically conscious.’ She has given extended consideration to curriculum development, both in her own courses and across the University of San Francisco. For example, she has refined her course on Management and Organizational Dynamics to include a civic element with the result that students, in their final presentations, discuss ‘how they have changed their own thinking about how to treat other human beings, what constitutes a ’˜just’ society, and what both managers and business entities can bring to the table.’

Dr. Smith’s efforts in assisting faculty in a range of disciplines integrate service-learning into their courses has led her to broaden her research into interdisciplinary scholarship. She helped lead the way for the University of San Francisco to adopt a service-learning requirement, arguing that it was critical to implementing the university’s mission. The president of the University of San Francisco specifically cites her role in this effort, noting that ‘through her leadership as faculty chair of the General Education Curriculum Committee, the University’s Board of Trustees approved a service-learning graduation requirement in 2002.’

Mark R. Warren
Graduate School of Education
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA

An organizing approach to community building is central to Mark Warren’s teaching and scholarship. ‘The challenges facing low income communities will never be addressed until the people who live in these communities become active participants in rebuilding their lives,’ he notes. An organizing approach ‘helps to replace a compliant acceptance of the status quo with a motivating belief in the possibility of change, tempered by realism about the hard work necessary to bring about justice and equality.’ He writes that ‘the social responsibility I hope to promote in service-learning can be taught only through action, and then with serious reflection upon that action.’

Dr. Warren is the author of Dry Bone Rattling: Community Building to Revitalize American Democracy, a study of the Texas Industrial Areas Foundation. Before going to Harvard, he was the founding director of the service-learning program at Fordham University. Currently he serves on the Board of Trustees of the Philips Brooks House Association, Harvard’s student-led community service and action umbrella organization. Dr. Warren’s nomination was unique in that it was submitted by two doctoral students who had taken his ‘Education Organizing’ course. They write that ‘amidst the wide array of course offerings on theory, research, methodology, policy and practice, this course stands out for its commitment to balancing theory with practice and for engaging graduate students with the work of communities.’

Being a part of Campus Compact has let us touch the heart and soul of building better communities while improving teaching and learning for faculty and students. James A. Drake, President, Brevard Community College