Learning communities' instructors, resident assistants receive awards

May 8, 2014  

Instructors and resident assistants recently received awards from the Student Success at Purdue office in recognition of their outstanding service to and advocacy of the University's learning communities.

Each winner of the annual Learning Community Advocate Awards received a trophy and a letter of recognition from Tim Sands, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, during a luncheon on April 16. Frank Dooley, associate vice provost for undergraduate academic affairs, delivered the event's opening remarks.

The Exceptional Event Planner Award is presented to learning community instructors (LCIs) who plan numerous events that are engaging, exciting and integral to student learning and development during their first semester at Purdue. The recipients are:

* Discoveries in Chemistry Learning Community: Beatriz Cisneros, senior academic advisor in the Department of Chemistry, and Julie Mills (posthumous), academic advisor in the College of Science.

* Exploratory Scholars Learning Community: Mary Beth Lencke, senior academic advisor in Exploratory Studies, and Beth Jones, former graduate instructor and now advisor in the Honors College.

* ECET Connections and Network learning communities: Beth Wilson, continuing lecturer.

 The Momentum Keeper Award is presented to LCIs who achieve continuity in a learning community, creating amazing opportunities for student connection and involvement. The recipients are:

* Computer Graphics Technology Learning Community: Patrick Connolly, interim department head and professor of computer graphics technology, and Emily Legg, graduate instructor.

* Nursing Nexus Learning Community: Laura Curry, senior academic advisor in the School of Nursing; Sandy Kuebler, continuing lecturer in the School of Nursing; and Kim Hunter-Perkins, graduate instructor.

The Outstanding New Learning Community Award is presented to an LCI team that excelled in the design and execution of a first-time learning community and demonstrated a commitment to the vision and mission of the program. The recipients are: 

* Computer Science Learning Community: Tracy Harrington-Atkinson, career development and retention specialist in the College of Science; Vicki Gilbert, senior academic advisor in the College of Science; and Faith Giordano, academic advisor in the College of Science.

* The Nature of Wild Things Learning Community: Jeff Dukes, associate professor of forestry and natural resources and biological sciences; Julie Pluimer, academic advisor in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources; W.L. Mills, associate professor of forestry and natural resources; Linda Prokopy, associate professor of forestry and natural resources; and Robert Swihart, head and professor, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources.

The Academic Connection Award is presented to an LCI team that excelled at planning events and activities that directly connect classroom learning with hands-on experiences.  The recipients are:

* Engineering Honors Learning Community: Jennifer Alter, assistant director of the Engineering Honors Program.

* TEAM HTM (Hospitality and Tourism Management): Hal Kirkwood, associate professor of library science; Mick LaLopa, associate professor of hospitality and tourism management; and Richard Ghiselli, head and professor, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

 The Advocate Award is presented to resident assistants and LCIs who have been identified by their learning community participants as having gone above and beyond the expectations of serving in an LC role. The recipients are:

* Deanna Roehm, resident assistant in Shreve Hall, Pre-Pharmacy Learning Community.

* Ryan Pitzer, resident assistant in Harrison Hall, Engineering for the Planet Learning Community.

* Allison Layfield, graduate instructor, Environmental Sciences Learning Community.

* Amy Manning, continuing lecturer, Animalia Learning Community.

* Mark Russell, professor of animal sciences, Animalia Learning Community.

The Student Success at Purdue office gives the Learning Community Advocate Awards each spring for recognition of recipients' efforts during the previous fall. Students in Purdue's learning communities nominate resident assistants and instructors for the awards. Student Success at Purdue office staff members then determine the winners.

The awards luncheon is attended by learning community instructors, resident assistants and campus partners.

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