Marybeth Lima named winner of 2005 Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement

Marybeth Lima has been awarded the 2005 Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement. The award recognizes early-career faculty who practice exemplary engaged scholarship through teaching and research. Recipients are selected on the basis of their collaboration with communities, institutional impact, and high-quality academic work.

Marybeth Lima, Ph.D., an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at Louisiana State University, became an engineer because she wanted to make the world a better place. She found as a student and professional that engineering often boasts of serving society, but in reality, it serves entities such as private commercial interests that often overlook societal concerns. Since coming to LSU, Dr. Lima has employed service learning in her classes, a pedagogy through which she cultivates in engineering students an understanding of the social and historical aspects of people, culture, and society that are central to the design process and vital to success. Dr. Lima’s goal is to guarantee that every child in public elementary schools, beginning locally in Baton Rouge and aiming nationwide, has access to a playground. Just as she conceptualizes her teaching with an eye toward fostering democratic sensibilities, she frames her professional service in engineering problem solving from multiple perspectives with an emphasis on equality, dignity, and respect for all partners involved in the design process and works in close collaboration with undergraduate students, teachers and community partners in all aspects of the process including design, fundraising, and implementation. As LSU’s first Service-Learning Faculty Fellow, Dr. Lima is endeavoring to establish an infrastructure and policies to support service-learning campus-wide with particular attention to promotion and tenure issues. Through work that seamlessly combines the scholarship of teaching, research and professional service, Dr. Lima truly embodies the notion of the engaged scholar.

Honorable Mentions:

Phil Brownis, Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies at Brown University, has championed the causes of numerous community groups that have struggled against toxic waste contamination and breast cancer. Through his academic work and direct activism, he has advocated for, participated in and worked to create opportunities for community-based participatory research, merging his commitment to sociology with engaged research that seeks to catalyze social and environmental justice. Dr. Brown organized the NSF-funded Contested Illness Research Project at Brown, a multidisciplinary, inter-institutional team that includes faculty, graduate and undergraduate students from several Brown departments as well as faculty from other institutions. The team has produced a number of articles in peer-reviewed journals, many of which were co-authored by undergraduate and graduate students.

Greg Lindsey is Associate Dean of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Duey- Murphy Professor of Rural Land Policy at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). He is an environmental planner who explores ways for the university to harness its assets to assist local, regional and state leaders in solving problems and improving the life of Indiana residents. He works with agencies at the state and local levels to increase their understanding of complex problems and to create new state legislation and policy. Dr. Lindsey’s approach to service-learning provides students with opportunities to learn through practice and to enter into the world of professional service by working on problems ranging from financing municipal stormwater programs to abatement of lead poisoning in inner city youth to establishing an immigrant welcome center for new migrants to Indianapolis. He has also co-authored publications, many of them accepted in peer-reviewed journals, with students. Dr. Lindsey was the inaugural recipient of the Chancellor’s Faculty Award for Excellence in Civic Engagement at IUPUI.

Clement Alexander Price is the Board of Governors’ Distinguished Service Professor of History, Director and Founder of the Rutgers Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience at Rutgers University, Newark Campus. Dr. Price’s career is marked by a blend of traditional and public intellectual work that brings scholarship and scholars to a cross-section of citizens and communities in Greater Newark. He is among the first scholars in Newark to dramatize the role of the public intellectual in ameliorating racial discord, shedding light on historical memory, dignifying the bittersweet narratives of African Americans in modern history and leading public and private institutions toward a higher standard of public service. The work of the Rutgers Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and Modern Experience Rutgers-Newark brings faculty together with teachers in the K-12 system in the Teachers as Scholars initiative, brings community leaders into campus as part of the Newark Reads DuBois project and provides cultural awareness training for Newark State Police.