FREDERICK, Md.—A longtime Hood College professor was recently recognized for excellence for incorporating civic engagement into the curriculum by a state higher education association.
Wanda Ruffin, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology, was selected as the winner of the 2012 Maryland-DC Campus Compact Service-Learning Award. MDCCC recognizes and honors one faculty member in each of the three higher education sectors—state universities, community colleges and independent colleges and universities—for contributing to the integration of experiential education into academic study, including innovative approaches to connecting community service with students' academic study.
Ruffin was acknowledged for her efforts to include service learning as an integral part of her classes; for her participation in Hood's Summer Research Institute, which gave students the opportunity to travel and conduct research on the New Orleans jazz funeral; and for providing service-learning opportunities for students in the community and the region through her own volunteer work at the Carver Community Project and Community Garden, UNESCO/NAACP Center for Peace, Frederick County Foster and Adoptive Care programs and Franklinton Center at Bricks in Whitakers, N.C.
Ruffin, who also serves as an academic adviser and an adviser to student organizations, encourages students to integrate service learning into their academic classes through independent study, volunteering and research activities. She believes that affording students the opportunity to participate in service learning is critical to generating a rigorous academic and learning environment and that learning through service helps students apply abstract classroom theory to real world situations.
Established in 2008 as the Maryland Campus Compact, the newly formed Maryland-DC Campus Compact is a regional higher education association. Thirty-one two- and four-year public and private colleges and universities comprise the association, which is committed to bringing the resources of the academy to bear on community issues, both locally and globally, through sustainable partnerships with their communities. MDCCC is a state office of the national Campus Compact, a coalition of nearly 1,100 college and university presidents, representing six million students.