October 05, 2010
Professor of Philosophy Margaret A. McLaren recently won the Florida Campus Compact (FL|CC) Service-Learning Faculty Award representing Independent Colleges and Universities in Florida. These awards are given to individuals, projects and organizations in higher education that greatly enhance learning while working with the community to address societal issues. This is the fourth consecutive year Rollins has been bestowed such a distinguished honor.
Through a highly competitive application process, colleges, universities, faculty and staff throughout the state are recognized for innovative educational techniques, collaborative projects and outstanding campus-community partnerships. Besides McLaren, only three other faculty members from institutions across the state were recognized this year.
“In our field, this award is very important,” said Director Office of Community Engagement Micki Meyer. “This is the fourth year that Rollins has been recognized with this award. No other school in Florida has been recognized four consecutive times with this award. Margaret McLaren has transformed our campus with her approach to student and community-centered teaching."
McLaren's name is known across campus because of her innovative approach and focus on student success. Her teaching is grounded in many forms of leadership and learning—diversity, civic, democratic, ethical, and socially responsive. Her work with students on campus has been instrumental in the applied liberal arts—engaging students in the most challenging debates, discussions and questions of our time through the lens of Women’s Studies and Philosophy.
Through the curriculum, McLaren creates opportunities for progress and justice by challenging students to grapple with pressing global community issues and engage in thoughtful and critical action. McLaren has her students work closely with a number of Central Florida community partners that deal with gender and human rights. Some of these organizations include the BETA Center, Pace School for Girls, GLBT Center of Central Florida, and Saturday Sharing with the Homeless. Students work closely with clients of each of these organizations that provide development in life skills that tie directly back to the curriculum she is teaching.
Debra Wellman celebrates at the gala with Margaret McLaren
In addition, McLaren has worked for decades in service, research and scholarship in human rights advocacy and women’s cooperative development both domestically and internationally. Her work in collaboration with students spans the globe. From east to west, McLaren has promoted women’s health, traditional craft, and sustainable global practices. She has lived in multiple communities in both urban and rural India and Mexico.
Through her course “Women and Globalization” this past spring 2010, McLaren and her students examined the intersections of gender, race, ethnicity, class, nationality, religious identity and the ways that women are impacted by globalization. In March, students in the course traveled with McLaren to work in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, with the Global Justice Center, a research center engaged with finding solutions to local problems wrought by globalization. Similar to the other courses that she teaches, this course transformed the campus-community. After the community-based field study, students continued to raise money and awareness for the Global Justice Center.
FL|CC formally recognized McLaren's achievements at the 2010 Florida Campus Compact Awards Gala on September 30 at the King Center for the Performing Arts in Melbourne, Fla. The event's keynote speaker was Honorable Mike Haridopolis, President-Designate of the Florida Senate. The Gala is the premier recognition venue that formally acclaims exceptional service-learning and engaged scholarship currently underway all across Florida.
“I felt honored to receive the Florida Campus Compact Faculty Service-Learning Award,” said McLaren. “I believe that service-learning and community engagement are important aspects of transformative education. Connections with the community and experiential learning bring to life our mission of educating students for global citizenship and responsible leadership.”
The Rollins College Office of Community Engagement was established in 2001 and focuses on three strategic priorities at Rollins: engaged scholarship through the curriculum; campus-wide engagement through service, civic engagement, and activism, and community partnership and development through learning opportunities.
"With so much dedication to community engagement on Rollins' campus, it was heartwarming to see one of our very dedicated faculty members recognized for her great work in this area," said Associate Professor of Education Debra Wellman.
Rollins has garnered multiple national and statewide awards for its service learning programs, including being named to the Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction by the Corporation for National and Community Service. This is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for commitment to service learning and civic engagement. In October 2007, Florida Campus Compact recognized Rollins for its commitment to being an engaged campus. Rollins was honored with the engaged campus Best in Class award in the independent category, out of the organization’s 51 member colleges, as well as the organization’s first-ever Overall Statewide Award.
Florida Campus Compact is a membership organization of over 50 college and university presidents committed to helping students develop the values and skills of active citizenship through participation in public and community service. FL|CC works with these presidents and their campuses to integrate service with academic study and to provide a collegial experience for intercampus and community collaborations. FL|CC achieves its mission through site visits, conferences, workshops, technical assistance/resources, and awards. The ultimate goal of Florida Campus Compact is to develop educated and active citizens to sustain our participatory democracy.
Campus Compact is a national coalition of more than 1,100 college and university presidents who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education. As the only national higher education association dedicated solely to campus-based civic engagement, Campus Compact promotes public and community service that develops students’ citizenship skills, helps campuses forge effective community partnerships, and provides resources and training for faculty seeking to integrate civic and community-based learning into the curriculum. Campus Compact’s membership includes public, private, two- and four-year institutions across the spectrum of higher education.
To learn more, please visit www.awards.floridacompact.org.