Unity College professor receives teaching award

Posted April 14, 2009, at 10 p.m.

UNITY, Maine — Unity College associate professor of environmental policy Nancy Ross has been chosen as one of three educators to receive the Maine Campus Compact’s Donald Harward Faculty Award for Service Learning Excellence.

Ross and Christina Bechstein, who teaches sculpture at Maine College of Art in Portland, and Alexandre Dauge-Roth, assistant professor of French at Bates College in Lewiston, will receive the award on Thursday, April 16, in the Atrium of the Maine State Museum.

“The Harward Award represents something really important to Unity College,” said John Zavodny, chair of the department of advising and instruction services at Unity College. “Our educational philosophy is really built around experiential learning and there is nothing more effective than students working with community members on meaningful projects.”

Ross was chosen for her role in helping undergraduate students develop high-level data analysis, interviewing and communication skills through service-learning courses. Her students have conducted research projects promoting policy change with local officials, raised money for community feeding programs and helped schools improve gardens as a source of food and education for the community.

In 2006, Ross chaired the college’s Strategic Plan development and helped create a community-based service learning coordinator position.

The Maine Campus Compact recognizes up to three faculty members who have made public service an integral part of their teaching. The award recognizes faculty who integrate community or public service into the curriculum and who work to institutionalize service learning.

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