Campus Compact, a national coalition committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education, has selected Mercer Senior Vice Provost Dr. Peter C. Brown as a finalist for the Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award. Dr. Brown, who is also a professor of philosophy and interdisciplinary studies in the College of Liberal Arts, is one of only seven finalists from a group of 53 distinguished nominees for this national award.
“It is entirely fitting that Dr. Brown has received this national recognition, as he has devoted most of his long tenure at Mercer to civic engagement,” said Mercer President William D. Underwood. “He not only practices it personally, he effectively transmits his passion and energy for community enrichment to students, who multiply the impact here in Macon and, after they graduate, into the communities where they live and serve. Both Mercer and Macon have greatly benefitted from his contributions in this arena.”
The Ehrlich Award recognizes faculty members who integrate 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. Campus Compact recognized Dr. Brown for his “exceptional service-learning, engaged scholarship, and contributions to institutional and community change.”
For nearly 30 years, Dr. Brown has been an integral part of Mercer’s widely celebrated service-learning, community engagement and community partnerships. The impact of Mercer’s initiatives has been recognized by the Wingspread Conference for “Exemplary Campus-Community Partnerships” sponsored by Campus Compact in 2005, inclusion by the Princeton Review and Campus Compact in Colleges with a Conscience in 2005, and listing on the President’s Honor Roll for Community Service in 2006 and 2008.
“This recognition really honors the generations of students and many faculty and staff colleagues who have worked so hard with me to positively impact our community and serve our neighbors,” Dr. Brown said. “This work would not have been successful without the contributions of community partners like the City of Macon and the Macon Housing Authority and the generous support of organizations like the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.”
An external panel of experts comprising campus and community representatives selected the finalists and the award winner, Thomas Dutton, professor of architecture and interior design and director of the Center for Community Engagement in Over-the-Rhine at Miami University of Ohio. In addition to Dr. Brown, other finalists for the award are Buzz Alexander of the University of Michigan, Doug Brugge of Tufts University, Andrew Furco of the University of Minnesota, Joy Hammel of the University of Illinois Chicago and Carol Reese of Tulane University.
Campus Compact will present the Ehrlich Award at the annual meeting of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, Jan. 20-23, 2010, in Washington, D.C., where Dutton will also facilitate a featured session. Dr. Brown and the other finalists have been invited to present at the session and highlight their work and their institutions’ commitment to service-learning and civic engagement.
“Campus Compact is always amazed and delighted by the diverse and inspiring work we are introduced to through the nomination process. The external reviewers were also impressed with this year’s strong array of 53 candidates,” said Maureen F. Curley, president of Campus Compact, in a letter to Dr. Brown. “We appreciate the time and energy each application represented, and we thank you for the extraordinary efforts put forth in this process and in your ongoing contributions to the civic and intellectual development of your students, to efforts addressing important public issues, and to the national movement towards deeper civic engagement in higher education.”
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.