Advocate, Collaborator, Champion, Scholarship, Outstanding Service and Outstanding Innovations Awards Presented at 2008 Learning Communities Institute

For the eighth consecutive year, the Learning Communities Awards Committee honored individuals for their extraordinary contributions to learning communities at Iowa State University. The Advocate, Collaborator, Champion, Scholarship, Outstanding Service and Outstanding Innovation honors were presented at the 10th Annual Learning Communities Institute on Monday, May 12, 2008.

Corly Brooke Learning Community Advocate Award
This new award was created to honor the 10 years of leadership and service provided by Learning 
Community Co-director Corly Brooke (1998-2008). The award recognizes members of the Iowa State 
community who make contributions to the success of learning communities and the success of our 
students.

The first recipient of the LC Advocate Award is David Acker, Associate Dean in the College of 
Agriculture and Life Sciences. Dr. Acker's colleagues stated: “Dr. Acker is passionate about 
learning communities. He continually advocates for learning communities and speaks about their 
benefits for our students and college. David is very engaged with the college's learning community 
programs. We know he values the programs by his actions - he provides administrative support, 
additional funding when needed, and challenges us in the development of learning communities as we move to the next levels of excellence. We are thrilled to have Dr. Acker as our colleague in Learning Communities and appreciate his leadership and support.”

Outstanding Innovations Award
This award honors members of the Iowa State community who have made new and creative contributions to learning communities.

This year’s first recipient of the Outstanding Innovations Award is the Cornerstone Learning Community for its Industry Mentors program. Industry Mentors were first introduced to the Cornerstone Learning Community two years ago and have played an instrumental role in the development of first-year and transfer students. Industry Mentors volunteer their personal time to meet with learning teams several times throughout the semester. Students are afforded the opportunity to learn more about the Industry Mentors’ day-to-day work, and what their companies look for when hiring. This personal interaction has proven to be a success for the program and the Industry Mentors enjoy returning to meet new students each semester.

The second recipient of the Outstanding Innovations Award is Darlene Fratzke. Darlene helped develop the Common Threads Learning Community in 2002. She has since implemented two learning communities for previously unrepresented student populations: TRANSPORT, designed to support the needs of transfer students and ANTS (Adult Non-Traditional Students Learning Community) with the goal of meeting the unique needs of adult students. Darlene has been on the forefront in recognizing the increasing number of students in the transfer and non-traditional student populations and seeks to ensure that these students have opportunities to connect with others. Darlene has a fantastic ability to recognize and serve the needs of students who could potentially “fall through the cracks”. Her development of these learning communities demonstrates an innovative spirit and forward thinking approach to service and learning.

Learning Community Scholarship Award
This award honors an individual or research team who has significantly contributed to the scholarship of learning communities.

The recipients of the Learning Community Scholarship Award are Kelly Strong, Kevin Saunders, Doug Beck, Kimberly Everett, Katherine Lyons, and Steve Mickelson. These individuals are members of the College of Engineering Learning Community Task Team and operate as a Learning Community Network as part of the Common Outcomes Committee. They authored a manuscript titled “Networking Learning Communities in Engineering: Development of Common Outcome Objectives for First-Year Students” which describes the process they use to successfully apply the Networked Learning Community model. It has been accepted for publication by the “Journal of Learning Community Research.”

Learning Community Champion Award
This award honors an individual who has significantly contributed to the advancement of learning communities at Iowa State University.

The first recipient of the Champion Award is Doug Kenealy. Doug has been organizing learning communities for 13 years and his efforts have resulted in almost 1,000 students being able to benefit from the learning community program. Doug has worked to incorporate learning communities into the freshman experience for students with majors in Animal Science, Dairy Science and General Pre-Vet. He has experimented with a variety of formats and has made significant changes in the structure of learning communities over the years while remaining a strong proponent of the program.

The second recipient of the Champion Award is Steve Freeman. In addition to serving as a learning community coordinator, Steve has served as a member of various subcommittees and a facilitator and presenter for multiple Institute sessions. Steve has recently contributed to the Institute Subcommittee and the Curriculum and Faculty Development Subcommittee. In addition, Steve has worked the past few years on increasing faculty-student interactions within learning communities by providing faculty/staff development activities and a luncheon. Through his actions and words, Steve continually “champions” the programs, benefits, scholarship, and changes that make Learning Communities a creative and beneficial program.

Learning Community Collaborator Award
Learning Community Collaborator Award honors an individual who has demonstrated the spirit of learning communities through collaboration.

This year’s recipient of the Collaborator Award is Carolyn Nading. Our ability to provide program level data on participation rates and retention of learning community students rests with Carolyn’s dedicated efforts to develop and maintain longitudinal information. This and other work of the Assessment Subcommittee is made possible due to Carolyn’s support, which is often behind the scenes. In addition, Carolyn has initiated and chaired a group to review learning outcomes from proposals, resulting in significant resources for coordinators and a session on “Developing Outstanding Outcomes” at last year’s Institute. She created a Student Demographic Profile that helps individual coordinators learn more about students in their communities. Carolyn also generously provides customized information to interested coordinators. These requests are always met with a “can do” and positive attitude.

Learning Community Outstanding Service Award
The Outstanding Service Award is given occasionally to someone who has greatly contributed to learning communities at Iowa State University. This year’s recipient is Julie Minkler-Tsivakou for her role coordinating English linkages with many learning community programs over the past 5 years. Julie is out of the country, so her award was presented to her at a Learning Community Advisory Committee meeting.

Contacts: 
Heather Phillips, Awards Committee Co-Chair, 294-7593 
Jen Leptien, LC Institute Subcommittee Chair, 294-1948