MACON, Ga. - Dr. Mary Alice Morgan, Mercer University's senior vice provost for service learning and professor of English, has been named a finalist for the Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award by Campus Compact, a national coalition committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education. Dr. Morgan is one of only three finalists from a group of distinguished nominees for this national award.
The award recognizes senior faculty members who focus on civic and community engagement in their teaching and research, develop and sustain reciprocal community partnerships for positive change and demonstrate leadership in fostering institutional commitment to meaningful engagement. In 2009, Campus Compact recognized Dr. Peter Brown, professor of philosophy, as a finalist for the Ehrlich Award.
"Mary Alice Morgan embodies all the characteristics recognized by the Ehrlich Award – exemplary leadership in advancing the civic learning of students, public scholarship, building campus commitment to service-learning and civic engagement, and fostering community partnerships," said Mercer President William D. Underwood. "So it is entirely fitting that Campus Compact has named Dr. Morgan as a finalist for this national award. It brings honor not only to her, but to Mercer University and the entire Central Georgia community."
"Though this recognition may be coming to me, it is a reflection of Mercer students and faculty members taking an active role in serving and applying research in answering needs in our community," Dr. Morgan said.
"Having had two finalists is really proof of how energetic and deep the commitment to serving the community is at Mercer," she said. "For me personally, to bring the University community and the larger community to work together has been the most challenging and absolutely rewarding job I've ever had."
Dr. Morgan served as co-director, along with Dr. Andrew Silver, Page Morton Hunter Professor of English, of the Sex Trafficking Opposition Project (STOP), a multi-year activism and national conference held on Mercer's campus to raise awareness and prevent sex trafficking. Through their work and the work of the students spearheading the project, STOP was able to change local ordinances involving massage parlors and influence state laws. In addition, Dr. Morgan was heavily involved with the student-created Local Engagement Against Poverty (LEAP) project. LEAP mobilized 10,000 hours of poverty alleviation within the community working with organizations such as Rebuilding Macon and Loaves and Fishes.
An external panel of experts composed of campus and community representatives selected the finalists and the award winner, Dr. Rick Battistoni, professor of political science and public and community service studies and director of Feinstien Institute for Public Service at Providence College. In addition to Dr. Morgan, other finalists for the award were Dr. Robin Crabtree of Fairfield University and Dr. Brenda Marsteller Kowalewski of Weber State University.
Dr. Morgan was nominated by former Ehrlich Award recipient Marybeth Lima from Louisiana State University; Mercer's Dr. Silver; Dr. Bridget Trogden, associate professor of chemistry; Dr. Mary Ann Drake, professor of women's and gender studies; Dr. Chris Grant, associate professor of political science and director of the Mercer Service Scholars; and 2009 finalist Dr. Brown, professor of philosophy. Former students Chelsea Flieger, Hannah Vann and April Trussell-Smith also nominated Dr. Morgan.
Campus Compact will present the Ehrlich Award at the annual meeting of the Association of American Colleges and Universities in January in Washington, D.C. Dr. Morgan, Dr. Battistoni and the other finalists have been invited to appear on a panel to present and discuss their challenges and achievements and their institutions' commitment to service-learning and civic engagement.
About the Ehrlich Award
Campus Compact presents the Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award for Service-Learning to recognize exemplary leadership in advancing the civic learning of students, including public scholarship, building campus commitment to service-learning and civic engagement, and fostering community partnerships. Recipients are chosen by an external panel of experts comprising campus and community representatives. Winning faculty members receive a monetary award as well as national recognition and a forum for promoting their work as a model for others. More information on the Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award for Service-Learning can be found at http://www.compact.org/initiatives/awards-programs/the-thomas-ehrlich-civically-engaged-faculty-award/?zoom_highlight=Ehrlich+Award
About Campus Compact
Campus Compact is a nonprofit coalition of more than 1,100 college and university presidents — representing some 6 million students — who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education. As the only national association dedicated to this mission, Campus Compact is a leader in building civic engagement into campus and academic life. For more information, visit http://www.compact.org/.
About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,300 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah – and four regional academic centers across the state. The Mercer Health Sciences Center launched July 1, 2012, and includes the University's medical, nursing and pharmacy schools and will add a fourth college – the College of Health Professions – on July 1, 2013. Mercer is affiliated with four teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and The Medical Center and St. Francis Hospital in Columbus. The University also has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. It operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. www.mercer.edu