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Two saluted by higher education coalition

March 12, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Two Western Michigan University faculty members have been honored with awards by a coalition of college and university presidents for making community service an integral part of their teaching.

The Michigan Campus Compact has presented MCC Faculty/Staff Community Service-Learning Awards to Dr. Timothy Palmer, WMU professor of management, and the Rev. Colleen Smith-Slosberg, a part-time instructor in the Lee Honors College. They were formally honored last month during the 14th Annual Institute: Service-Learning and Community Service Awards Ceremony and Dinner at the Grand Traverse Resort in Acme, Mich. This prestigious annual award is the highest honor MCC bestows on faculty and staff in the state of Michigan.

Peers designated Slosberg and Palmer as the faculty/staff members on campus who have made the most outstanding contributions in service learning and community service. The award recognizes their influence on and the engagement of students to be involved in community service or service learning through modeling, influencing or instruction. Dr. Nicholas Andreadis, acting dean of Lee Honors College, and Dr. Ajay Samant, interim dean of the Haworth College of Business, nominated them.

Slosberg and Palmer joined together to create a service-learning course for business students. Slosberg has been engaged in service learning for more than 15 years, having developed leadership and service-learning courses at WMU and Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

Palmer teaches the Strategic Business Solutions class and was inspired by Slosberg to convert his class into a service-learning offering. His students choose from a variety of options, including Habitat for Humanity, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Kalamazoo or "urban plunge" trips to Chicago and Detroit working in shelters. While providing service, students are encouraged to reflect on the role of business in society as well as behavioral topics such as teamwork, leadership and communication. The partnership provides a diverse environment in which students and the community come together to learn from each other.

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Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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