Honors Preceptor Melissa Ladenheim Receives Donald Harward Faculty Award

Honors College preceptor Melissa Ladenheim is one of three faculty members across Maine recently awarded the Donald Harward Faculty Award for Service-Learning Excellence. The Maine Campus Compact, a coalition of 18 member campuses in the state, annually selects recipients who use service-learning and/or community action as an innovative teaching tool to engage students in civic learning. Ladenheim is the third faculty member from the University of Maine to receive the award since its establishment in 2005.

Melissa is being recognized for her numerous initiatives that advocate service-learning and community action on campus and in the local community. Ladenheim developed and is currently teaching the honors tutorial HON 319 Justice or Charity: Community Service in Theory and Practice which examines the roots of community service in the 20th century and its continuing imperative in the 21st. Students not only study the subject through readings and discussion in class, but by direct experience working with the local Crossroads Resource Center which provides services such as a food pantry, thrift store, and support in the Old Town area (visit their website @ http://www.crossroadsministries-online.org/default.htm).

Melissa argues that the point of service learning, “…is to not only move learning beyond the conventional classroom and augment the resources and capacity of community partners, but also to inculcate in students the value and benefits of being an engaged citizen.” In doing so, she has worked with others to develop a Citizen Scholar Initiative within the Honors College, is part of CERTS (Community Engaged Research, Teaching and Service) here at the University of Maine, and has engaged in developing relations and partnerships with community organizations such as the Islamic Center of Maine. Melissa has spread the word of service learning through her actions as well as presenting on the topic of engagement at National Collegiate Honors Council conferences.

More information about Melissa’s recognition and award can be found at the Maine Campus Compact website at http://www.mainecompact.org/awardsfac.php.

Congratulations Melissa!