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Center for Engagement and Community Development

News Features

The Winning Partnerships Receive 2012 Engagement Awards

The Office of the Provost and the Center for Engagement and Community Development (CECD) at Kansas State University recently announced the winners of the 2012 Excellence in Engagement Awards. The winning partnerships include Earthworms Across Kansas (EAK) and K-State's Adult Education Program Engagement with the U.S. Army's Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth (CGSC). The two partnerships were chosen for their successful engagement endeavors in the community. Both collaborations will receive a plaque, $2500 for their partnership, and recognition at the 2012 Engagement Symposium on April 26. Additionally, the partnerships will have the opportunity to be entered into the Association of Public Land Grant Universities' C. Peter Magrath Engagement Award competition.

EAK is lead by Dr. Bruce Snyder, K-State Division of Biology. EAK is an initiative that involves students in grades K-12 in scientific research. The partnership has a dual function to increase enthusiasm for science and knowledge on species that are harmful to the ecosystem. In all, 292 individuals at an educational institution were engaged in this project and approximately 3,083 earthworms were received.

"The impact of EAK in my classrooms was immeasurable," said Brenda Bott, Shawnee Mission School District Biotechnology Signature Program. "Our involvement in the EAK project provided an opportunity for both students and teachers to conduct research first hand and to interact with scientists."

The initiative proved to be successful in creating awareness about earthworm diversity and how to conduct a citizen science project on a small scale.

K-State's Adult Education Program Engagement with the U.S. Army's CGSC is lead by Dr. Cheryl Polson, director of Ft. Leavenworth Graduate Programs and Outreach and Dr. Jeff Zacharakis of Educational Leadership. The partnership was started in 1987 as a cooperative education program. Today, it offers the unique opportunity for CGSC faculty and students to engage with leading scholars. This multi-faceted engagement partnership helps faculty create teaching strategies and methodologies that help invigorate students to learn. The partnership includes an on-post master and doctoral degree program, a Teaching Scholars program, a course for brigade command spouses, collaborative research efforts, and joint refereed publications.

The army is one of the leading learning organizations in the country and has a core belief that adult education and learning are important for personal and professional success. So far, 600 master's degrees and ten doctorate degrees have resulted from this successful engagement partnership.

"Our engagement is a key component of what we are able to do in educating future leaders of the army," said W. Chris King, Dean of Academics at CGSC.

The Office of the Provost and CECD would like to congratulate EAK and K-State's Adult Education Program Engagement with the U.S. Army's CGSC for winning the 2012 Excellence in Engagement Awards.

"This is the first year for Kansas State University engagement awards and I am very pleased to see the caliber of recipients," said April Mason, provost and senior vice president at Kansas State University, "Engagement is an essential part of the land grant mission and I am pleased to honor these worthy recognitions."