Wiese picked for Service-Learning Award

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A Grand Valley State University professor has been selected for a 2008 Michigan Campus Compact Faculty/Staff Community Service-Learning Award. Danielle R. Wiese, an assistant professor in the School of Communications, will receive the highest annual award that MCC bestows on faculty and staff in the state of Michigan.

Wiese was designated by her peers as the person on Grand Valley’s campus who made the most outstanding contributions in the area of community service-learning during the past year, and significantly enhanced students’ education. In this history-making presidential election year, Wiese created an innovative course, Presidential Campaign Communication. At the heart of the course objectives was the intent to teach students about civic participation during election time.

The in- and out-of-class activities of the course engaged the students with members of the West Michigan community and area media outlets. Student projects included creating and facilitating Debate Watch programs for the Grand Valley campus and for East Kentwood High School; designing a Voter Information Project with the Spring Lake Public Library; and working with the local ABC television affiliate to prepare a weekly news segment, two-hour Web chats, and daily Internet blogs on student perspectives about the campaign. On election day, students served as guest journalists throughout the community, producing election coverage that ran on the WZZM Web site.

“Professor Wiese is an advocate who challenges her students and her colleagues with the absolute importance of community service, service learning, and civic engagement,” said Grand Valley president Thomas J. Haas.

Michigan Campus Compact is a coalition of college and university presidents who are committed to the development of personal and social responsibility as integral to the educational mission of their campuses. The Faculty/Staff Community Service-Learning Award is given to one person from each campus who engages or influences students to be involved in community service or service-learning through modeling, influence, or instruction.

Wiese will be honored during an awards dinner ceremony on February 12 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, in conjunction with the MCC 13th Annual Institute:  Service-Learning and Civic Engagement conference.

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