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Welborn Recognized for Civic and Community Engagement

Welborn Recognized for Civic and Community Engagement

Posted: July 13, 2012

Gary Welborn, associate professor and chair of the Sociology Department, was selected as one of four finalists for the Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award sponsored by Campus Compact.

Boston, Massachusetts-based Campus Compact is a national coalition of almost 1,200 college and university presidents committed to fulfilling the civic purpose of higher education. Each year the group recognizes tenured faculty for exemplary leadership in engaged scholarship, advancing students’ civic learning, conducting community-based research, fostering reciprocal community partnerships, and other means of enhancing higher education’s contributions to the public good.  

Andrew Furco, associate vice president for public engagement and associate professor of organizational leadership, policy, and development at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, was the 2012 award recipient. Welborn and three other faculty members from universities spanning California to Rhode Island were named finalists.

The award, previously known as the Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award for Service-Learning, is named in honor of the former chair of the Campus Compact board of directors and president emeritus of Indiana University.

Buffalo State Provost Dennis Ponton nominated Welborn.  

"The committee was impressed with (Welborn’s) nomination packet and is delighted to honor him for his commitment to engaged teaching and research," said Amanda Wittman, director of academic and strategic initiatives at Campus Compact.

"This is a validation of the kind of work that I’ve been doing since I came to Buffalo State in 1993," Welborn said. "Community engagement is something that is meaningful to me, and I think the campus is moving toward enhancing engagement with the community."

Welborn, along with Furco and the other finalists, will serve on a panel during the January 2013 American Association of Colleges and Universities Annual Meeting.

Welborn said he plans to deliver a variation of a presentation he has given to other groups called, "Going Native for Engagement," in which he encourages anyone who wants to work more cooperatively with the community to first get involved in community organizations.

"Serve on an organization board or do other (volunteer) work," Welborn said. "It will give you a deeper understanding of what is going on in the community and will open doors for more reciprocal relationships."

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