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Ferris professor receives prestigious Campus Compact Award for contributions to service-learning

BIG RAPIDS - Dr. Wendy Samuels, associate professor of Social Work at Ferris State University, was honored this year by Michigan Campus Compact, receiving the organization's most prestigious award - the Campus Compact Award. This annual award is the highest MCC bestows on faculty and staff in the state of Michigan.

Samuels was designated by peers as the faculty/staff person on campus who has made the most outstanding contributions in service-learning and community service. This award recognizes her influence on and engagement of students to be involved in community service or service-learning through modeling, instructing and/or special projects. She was nominated by Dr. Michael Harris, vice president for Academic Affairs at Ferris State University.

"I love the learning that takes place when students are out working with real-life situations," Samuels said. "The students have been mentoring now in the public schools for five years, and it is certainly a win-win learning situation for both sets of students."

Samuels designed the course Theories/Methods of Practice 2, in which she utilized the notion of a social services agency as a metaphor to guide course structure, purpose and student activities. The students developed a mission statement, board of directors, strategic plan and mechanisms to measure outcomes. It is this course that successfully and significantly connects the development of course-related knowledge and skills with meaningful community service.

"It is wonderful to see how Dr. Samuels has integrated the concepts of service learning in her course. Through these innovative learning centered efforts, students gain hands-on, real-world experience." said Ferris President David L. Eisler. "Dr. Samuels has been able to engage Ferris students with the community in which they live and she is very deserving of this great honor."

Michigan Campus Compact promotes the education and commitment of Michigan college students to be civically-engaged citizens through creating and expanding academic, co-curricular and campus-wide opportunities for community service, service-learning and civic engagement