Mason earns MCC award

Pictured are, from left, Jeff Mutch, Julia Mason, Valerie Jones and President Thomas J. Haas at the MCC Institute in East Lansing.
Pictured are, from left, Jeff Mutch, Julia Mason, Valerie Jones and President Thomas J. Haas at the MCC Institute in East Lansing.
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The Michigan Campus Compact named Julia Mason, assistant professor of women and gender studies, the Grand Valley recipient of its Community Service Learning Award.

Mason received the award at MCC’s 2012 Institute, held in late January in East Lansing. Presidents from each MCC member institution nominate a faculty member for the award that recognizes outstanding service learning and community engagement.

Mason has been instrumental in developing and helping lead the Women’s Community Collaborative, a unique course that combines classroom theory with service-learning opportunities for students. The course, sponsored by WGS and the Women’s Center, is offered each winter semester.

“Our WCC students have served more than 6,000 hours of service,” Mason said.

She is also a member of the Martin Luther King Jr. Executive Planning Committee and co-chaired the Day of Service; this year, participants volunteered in honor of King and civil rights leader Gloria Richardson.

Mason said she was exposed to service learning as an undergraduate student, when she spent a semester helping in a school for Lakota children. “I learned so much from that experience,” she said.
“As a faculty member, I’m always looking at course content and trying to offer opportunities for students to be engaged in their communities in new ways that are sustainable and mutually beneficial.”

Grand Valley’s Community Service Learning Center helped nominate Mason for the MCC award.