Professor Wins Midwest Award As Champion of Service-Learning

Feature photo above, from left to right: Tabitha Underwood, Executive Director of Missouri Campus Compact; Dr. Therese Miller, Professor of Health and Exercise Science and 2014 Community Engagement Professional of the Year; and Alicia Douglas from Rockhurst University, 2014 Outstanding Community/Campus Collaboration award winner.

Cited as a “champion of service-learning” and a “faculty member who sets the pace,” Professor Therese Miller was named 2014 Community Engagement Professional of the Year at the annual Heartland Conference of Campus Compact, which was held October 2-3 in Lincoln, NE.

“I feel fortunate to be able to teach Westminster College classes that involve service-learning,” says Dr. Miller, Professor of Health and Exercise Science. “They are a great way for students to derive more meaning from their learning and me from my teaching.”

This award is given to one outstanding professional from a member campus in each state who has worked toward the institutionalization of academic service learning and/or service, created and striven toward a vision of service of his or her campus, promoted higher education as a public good, provided exceptional support to faculty and students and has been instrumental in forming innovative campus-community partnerships.

Dr. Miller finds creative ways to weave service into almost every one of her courses. Her service projects range from raising awareness of global issues to having her students work one-on-one with disabled people in the community.

“Therese Miller embodies the concept of ‘service,’” says Dr. Bob Hansen, Westminster Associate Professor and Organizational Leadership Coordinator. “It is reflected in her service-learning courses, in her passionate encouragement of colleagues to incorporate community-based-learning into their courses and in the way she embodies a servant-leader lifestyle.”

The Heartland Conference citation for her award states: “Therese Miller is an influencer at Westminster, a faculty member who sets the pace, courageously taking pedagogical risks, and who inspires her colleagues.”

“I value each of the opportunities I have had over the 15 years I have been at Westminster to work with so many students, fellow staff/faculty and community partners,” says Dr. Miller. “I like to share my interest in service-learning with others and help them consider ways they move learning from the classroom and into the community.”

The Heartland Conference of Campus Compact is comprised of colleges and universities from Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska. Others from Westminster attending the conference were Kari Lenz, Westminster Fellow for Community Engagement & Service Learning; Sandra Nivyabandi, Newman Civic Fellow Award Winner for 2014; and Dr. Bob Hansen.

Founded in 1985, Campus Compact is a national coalition of more than 1,100 college and university presidents who are committed to fulfilling the public purpose of higher education and the only national higher education association dedicated solely to campus-based civic engagement.


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