Awards Presented at 2014 Learning Communities Institute

For the 14th 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 16th Annual Learning Communities Institute on Monday, May 12, 2014.

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 Steve Mickelson, Department Chair of Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering. Steve started the Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering LC last century-1999. He has served on numerous LC committees and has done over two-dozen articles and national presentations regarding Learning Communities. Steve has mentored many learning community coordinators over the years and, as a department chair, continues to be a very strong supporter of our program.  Additionally, he served as the Co-director of Learning Communities for three years. For over 15 years he’s provided significant leadership and been one of ISU’s strongest advocates for learning communities. He also happens to be one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. 

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 recipients of the Outstanding Innovations Award are Linda Garbisch and Ben McCarty, of the Business Learning Teams learning community. Linda and Ben re-envisioned the BusAd 102 Learning Communities Orientation course in order to develop a clear and well-aligned course outline for five different 102 instructors to follow, along with the peer mentors. This course revamp included a common syllabus, Power Point slides for each weekly class topic/lesson, shared Blackboard elements, attendance sheet templates for each team within a section, and perhaps most helpful—outlines for each Peer Mentor per class session.  This last item was incredibly valuable for the Peer Mentors, so as to reinforce and supplement the class topics and foster additional discussion and action among the team members. The shared structure and course materials across the LC sections of the BusAd 102 class were an innovative and welcome addition to the organization and outcomes of the class.  

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 Dave Flory, Senior Lecturer of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences. In addition to co-coordinating the Earth, Wind and Fire Learning Community, Dave has served as a college-wide coordinator for the LAS learning communities, ready to encourage discussion and collecting information to help other coordinators or potential coordinators. He has been an active member of the Strengths committee, providing leadership and direction for the Strengths initiative within the learning community program. Dave’s combination of strong communication and analytical skills, coupled with a caring and approachable demeanor, make him a champion for the learning communities program.

The second recipient of the Champion Award is Amy Slagell, LAS Associate Dean for Academic Programs. Amy has provided outstanding leadership to LAS Learning Communities.  LAS represents a broad set of disciplines and therefore serves a diverse population of its own liberal arts and sciences students, the university’s large number of open option students, and the general ISU student population’s general education needs; all three of these groups benefit from Amy’s learning community leadership. She has given fresh energy to the entire learning community structure within the college. Specific contributions include the development of new LAS learning communities such as Physics and Journalism, and university-wide learning communities for special populations of students, like the LGBTQA and Veterans learning communities. Amy is a long-time champion of learning communities at Iowa State and deserving of the Learning Community Champion Award.

Learning Community Collaborator Award
This award honors an individual in the Iowa State community who has demonstrated the spirit of learning communities through collaboration.
The recipient of the Collaborator Award this year is Paul Castleberry, Student Services Specialist and administrative coordinator for the Learning Communities within the College of Engineering. Successful support of the colleges learning community efforts requires a high degree of collaboration.  Paul is an excellent collaborator, and has developed quality relationships with each department coordinator, staff in the University Registrar office, and central staff for the University Learning Community program.  He coordinates departmental course arrangements, registration of students in Orientation registration sessions, training for department coordinators, and ongoing learning community administrative support. He is a tireless advocate of the learning community program and its benefits for our students. Paul is also extremely committed to the hard working coordinators in the college of Engineering. Paul’s passion for the Learning Community program is greatly appreciated.

Learning Community Partner Award
This award honors a department or office that has partnered with and supported learning community initiatives at Iowa State University.  
The recipient of the Partner award is the Department of Chemistry Learning Community Collaborators. Three years ago the Department of Chemistry began to implement a plan involving logistics of how to accommodate record breaking growth at our University.  Part of their plan was to meet with partners from across the University to gather input; this input was used to creatively reconstruct the use of existing facility space to maximize existing resources.  This plan produced by the Chemistry department provided both the course availability and physical resources to meet the needs of our record breaking enrollment growth of the last three years. The learning communities program looks forward to our continued partnership with the Department of Chemistry in support of student success.

Jen Leptien, 294-1948