LEWISTON — Mara Tieken of Bates College and two others were honored for making public service an integral part of their teaching by receiving the Donald Harward Faculty Award for Service-Learning Excellence.

The presentation was made April 26 in the McKernan Hospitality Center at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland. 

The award recognizes Maine faculty who integrate community or public service into their curriculum and who work to institutionalize service-learning. The award is named for Donald W. Harward, a valued founder of Maine Campus Compact  and former board member of National and Maine Campus Compacts.

Award winners have shown clear evidence of reflection, community benefit, reciprocity with community partners and a commitment to advocating for service-learning and/or community action on campus and beyond.

Tieken is an assistant professor of education at Bates. Her research focuses on racial and educational equity in rural schools and communities. Her book “Why Rural Schools Matter” examines how rural schools define and sustain their surrounding communities.

She is working on a multiyear project, supported by a grant from the Spencer Foundation, that explores the college aspirations, transitions and persistence of rural, first-generation students.


She also studies community organizing for education reform and, working with the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, supports organizing efforts in rural New England.

The 2016 recipient of the Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement for Early Career Faculty, Tieken teaches classes on school reform and racial equity. Through fieldwork, her students partner with local teachers and after-school providers to help expand educational opportunity in Lewiston and beyond.

Before receiving her doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, she taught elementary school in rural Tennessee.

Mara Tieken

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