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Ferris Professor Receives Prestigious Campus Compact Award

Michigan Campus CompactFerris State University’s Sandra Burns, an associate professor of Dental Hygiene in the College of Allied Health Sciences, has been honored for her dedication to service learning by the Michigan Campus Compact.

Burns received the Faculty/Staff Community Service-Learning Award from MCC on Jan. 30 in East Lansing. The annual ceremony honors outstanding community service and service learning by faculty and staff at colleges and universities statewide.

Burns, a member of the Ferris Academic Service Learning Steering Committee, was recognized for her contributions to service learning at the university. Her students have worked with disadvantaged people in the Mecosta County area and learned about philanthropy and service as part of the Pay It Forward philanthropic grant received in 2010-11. Her students also have traveled on service-learning trips to South Africa and Guyana.

“Academic Service Learning is not new to Ferris,” Burns said. “Many of our faculty and staff have been incorporating service activities into their classes for years. In addition, we now have a support system in place for those who would like to engage their students in community service.

“I encourage all faculty members to explore how their course can get students involved in academic service learning.”

The Michigan Campus Compact is an outgrowth of a national coalition established in 1985 by some college and university presidents concerned about the “general decline in civic responsibility,” according to its website, The coalition was charged with creating public service opportunities for college students and “to develop an expectation of service as an essential part of student life and the college experience.”

About 48 percent of Michigan’s higher education institutions are MCC members, the website states.