FARMINGTON — University of Maine at Farmington professor of psychology Joel King has been recognized by the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges with the Charles Dunn COPLAC Award for his “commitment to student success that goes above and beyond the classroom and office … and his extraordinary attention to students as individuals who sometimes face unique challenges.”

After 28 years of teaching at UMF, King still regards time spent with students as his top priority. Throughout his tenure, he has been selected nine times as UMF Faculty Member of the Year, a recognition given by students — one he cherishes.

King states some of the greatest contributions to his education came from his experience as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Maktab Rendah Sains School in Malaysia. He was a teacher in a program where Malaysian children from villages throughout the country were given the resources, education and opportunities to pursue their dreams and achieve their optimal development. This experience and his role as a father confirmed for him the tremendous potential that exists in every child, a belief he embraces with all of his students.

King’s areas of expertise include assessment of families in poverty and school programs, infant and child development and parenting. He also spearheads the annual Autism Summer Camp Program in Farmington. This partnership between UMF and the Autism Society of Maine began in 2002 and has served over 200 children ages 5 to 15 with autism.

COPLAC’s Charles Dunn Award was established in memory of Charles Dunn’s contributions to the advancement of the consortium and to student success in the public liberal arts sector. Dunn served as president of Henderson State University for 22 years, as COPLAC president from 2000-01, and as a board member for 10 years.

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