awards 2013

Awards Presented at 2013 Learning Communities Institute

For the 13th consecutive year, the Learning Communities Awards Committee honored individuals for their extraordinary contributions to learning communities at Iowa State University. The honors were presented at the 15th Annual Learning Communities Institute on Monday, May 13, 2013.
Corly Brooke Learning Community Advocate Award
This award recognizes an Iowa State faculty or staff member who has made significant contributions to the success of our students and learning communities. 
This year’s recipient of the Corly Brooke Advocate Award was Kurt Earnest, from the Department of Residence.
Kurt has worked at Iowa State University, and with Learning Communities, since 1997 as Coordinator of Residence Life. He has served on the Learning Community Advisory Committee for a number of years. He has also been an active member of the assessment committee, curriculum committee, and has provided leadership for all the residential LCs. He was a “founding father” of the peer mentor subcommittee which he co-chaired for many years. That committee developed the annual peer mentor award recognition ceremony and developed a mentor handbook. Kurt developed a peer mentor class and started the peer mentor fall training program-which he continues to be an annual contributor to. Dr Earnest also did his doctoral dissertation on “The impact of learning community enrollment on first-generation students’ first-year academic achievement and retention rates”. 

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 recipient of the Outstanding Innovations Award is Sheryl McGough, English link instructor for the Chemical Engineering Upper-Division learning community. For the past two years, Sherry has taught an English 314 for Chemical Engineering. The students enrolled in her course are required to enroll in a 300-level Chemical Engineering course in which the curricula are closely linked and the faculty work closely together. Sherry has redesigned the English 314 course completely to compliment the content within a discipline she originally knew little about and has done so quite successfully. Through her collaboration with the Chemical Engineering faculty, the English 314 course has developed into a well-integrated learning community and has enhanced the overall learning experiences of its students.  

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 of two recipients of this year’s Champion Award is Ginny Arthur, Associate Director of Residence Life. Ginny and her team were instrumental to the ISU learning community endeavor. After gathering information about the LC phenomena and consulting with faculty at the forefront of the conversation surrounding the creation of academic environments supporting student learning, Ginny assisted with the integration of learning communities through the Department of Residence. This endeavor within Residence Life led to the flourishing LC program we have today. Throughout her career, Ginny has fostered the development of communities where students, staff and faculty are supported in the pursuit of their academic, personal and professional goals.  She embodies the definition of champion and we are grateful for her grass-roots connection to the learning community program.

Our second recipient of the Champion Award is Sue Ziegenbusch, co-coordinator of the Agricultural Engineering learning communities. Sue has been a champion of the ABE learning communities through a variety of roles including the past five years in which she has served as the coordinator of the Ag Engineering LC and as an active member of the College of Engineering Learning Community Task Force. Sue’s biggest contribution has been through her leadership at ISU on how to recruit, mentor and guide peer mentors within LCs. She established one of the first peer mentor coordinator models by using an experienced peer mentor to guide new incoming mentors. Sue’s leadership in peer mentor development, her compassion for helping students, staff and faculty, and her contagious personality are just a few of the reasons why she is a learning community champion. 

Learning Community Collaborator Award
This award honors an individual in the Iowa State community who has demonstrated the spirit of learning communities through collaboration.
There are two recipients of the Collaborator Award this year.The first recipient is Stephanie Masta Zywicki, a recent graduate of the Curriculum and Instruction doctoral program. Over the past two years, Stephanie has worked tirelessly to engage, teach and mentor others by providing Gallup Strengths training for learning community coordinators within all colleges at Iowa State University. Though not part of her job description, she has put in hours of preparation and facilitation of numerous Strengths workshops and retreats.  Her input and guidance have inspired and motivated many innovations and collaborations within and between colleges interested in using Strengths as its focus. She has supported an exciting and positive movement amongst coordinators and set the stage for others to have the opportunity to have meaningful introspection through Strengths. 

Our second recipient of the Collaborator Award is Hina Patel, co-coordinator of the Preparing Tomorrow’s Teachers learning community. Hina has been an enthusiastic supporter of the learning communities program during her whole tenure at Iowa State University. As the Director of Teacher Education Services, Hina has the desire and saw the need to assist with the PT2 learning community in their second semester which included a strong service-learning component and worked to add this to the student experience. Additionally, when the need arose for someone to coordinate the Day of Caring College of Human Sciences service-learning project, Hina readily stepped in and brought the project to a new level for all of the first-year learning community participants. Hina truly believes in service-learning and the value it has for undergraduate students, as well as for the greater good. 

Learning Community Partner Award
This award honors a department or office that has partnered with and supported learning community initiatives at Iowa State University.  
Our first recipient of the Partner award is the Iowa State University Delta Upsilon Fraternity. Two years ago the Entrepreneurship and Innovation LC ventured into a partnership with ISU’s Delta Upsilon Fraternity. The EILC was looking for affordable, near-campus housing as well as group and community interaction space for its learning community. The DU was seeking to re-establish its chapter with an academic focus. Both groups have accomplished this synergistic mission by developing student leaders that are engaged, service-oriented, scholarly, and networked. Together, the two organizations have shared speakers, events, mentors, experiential learning programs and camaraderie. The partnership has enables a unique interdisciplinary learning community that is forging new ground on many levels. The DU Chapter Advisor, Jami Larson, and DU Chapter President, Sam Kammermeier, are here to accept this award.

The second recipients of the Partner award are Jeslyn Jackson and Deanna Stumbo of the English Department. Jeslyn andDeanna are an invaluable team who assist with many facets of scheduling of English-linked classes. The team reviews the grids of 400+ courses and ensures that all the intended English-linked LCs are correctly listed. As the English courses have weekly computer labs, the team works to make sure that instructors and students have reasonable time and distance between their classes and that the labs fall on the same day. They field calls regarding the English links and work as gatekeepers to ensure that the English links are populated by LC students.  And finally, they identify potential instructors, help set-up workshops, and find answers to the multiple questions that are connected to the English links. Jeslyn and Deanna are outstanding partners to the LC program.   

Jen Leptien, 294-1948