FARMINGTON – The University of Maine at Farmington faculty, staff and students were recognized at the second annual Celebration of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement on March 29.

Robert Bringle and Julie Hatcher defined service-learning as “a credit-bearing, educational experience in which students participate in an organized activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader application of the discipline and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility.”

Business professor Frank Engert was recognized for offering a class, BUS 205, which includes a service-learning component.

Students were required to assist members of the Farmington community in preparing their tax forms and to reflect on how it embellished their understanding of course content.

Students Bronson Frizzell and Tali Gil-Austern were nominated for the Excellence in Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Award for their work on the project. National Campus Compact defines civic engagement as “the interaction of citizens with their society and their government.”

Social science professor Scott Erb was recognized for his leadership work in engaging students to develop programming around current affairs and issues in Africa. For her work as a student leader on this project, Casey Bracket received the Independent Initiative Award.

Opening remarks were made by Service-Learning Director Lucia Swallow and Provost Allen Berger. Special guests included Liz McCabe Park, director, and Maryli Tiemann, program director of Maine Campus Compact, a coalition of 19 college and university presidents committed to the civic purposes of higher education.

To support the civic mission, Campus Compact promotes community service that develops students’ citizenship skills and values, encourages partnerships between campuses and communities and assists faculty who seek to integrate public and community engagement into their teaching and research.

The ceremony was sponsored by the UMF Service-Learning Office and funded by Maine Campus Compact and the Corporation for National and Community Service, Learn and Serve America.

Students Amanda Coffin, Chelsea Goulart and Katie Swallow were recognized for their outstanding work in the service-learning office, including assisting the director in organizing the celebration.

The ceremony also marked the 10th anniversary of UMF’s formal commitment to service-learning through the creation and funding of the Service-Learning Office. Over the past 10 years, several faculty have demonstrated one or more of the following qualities: a continued commitment to offering service-learning and/or civic engagement opportunities to students over a number of years; participation in professional development workshops, institutes or conferences; the publishing of scholarly work; leadership; and stewardship.

Recipients of the Committed to the Concept of Service-Learning and/or Civic Engagement Award included Julianna Acheson, Susan Anzivino, Dolores Appl, Lea Bryant, Mellisa Clawson, Waleck Dalpour, Doug Dunlap, Paul Frederic, Jewel Jones, Theodora Kalikow, Dennis Kamholtz, Cathleen McAnneny, Matthew McCourt, Mary Schwanke and Katherine Yardley.

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