• The Barbara Burch Award for Faculty Leadership in Civic Engagement

    Given in recognition of exemplary faculty leadership in advancing the civic learning and engagement of undergraduate students and advancing the work of AASCU’s American Democracy Project on campus and/or nationally.

    Nominations for the 2017 Burch Award are due March 31, 2107.

    Awardee will be announced on June 8, 2017 at the ADP Organizing Meeting at the 2017 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting in Baltimore, Md.

    Burch Award & Nomination Information | 2017 Burch Award Nomination Cover Sheet

     About the Award

    Barbara BurchThe Barbara Burch Award for Faculty Leadership in Civic Engagement was established in 2014 by AASCU’s American Democracy Project in honor of Barbara Burch, Provost Emerita at Western Kentucky University, who provided extraordinary national leadership in the design, creation, and ongoing development of the American Democracy Project.   

    During her time as Provost, Barbara Burch strongly supported faculty in the development of civic programming at Western Kentucky University.  She actively sought out talented faculty members to offer positions of leadership and program development.  She provided substantial financial support for professional development.  She offered the prestige of her office and her own personal commitment to support faculty interested in civic work.  Her efforts resulted in the development of a strong cadre of faculty at Western deeply committed to civic engagement and civic outcomes.  As a result of her support for faculty, Western Kentucky University, during her time as provost, was seen as one of the leading universities in the country in civic engagement.          

    The Role of Faculty

    The Burch Award recognizes the critical role of faculty in advancing efforts in the classroom and beyond designed to ensure that AASCU graduates are prepared to be informed, engaged citizens.

    The award has been created to acknowledge the critical role that faculty play in connecting civic learning and engagement to students’ study of various academic disciplines and fields as well as to their knowledge, skills, experiences and sense of self in the world.  

    Through their leadership, faculty members teach students, advance community-based research and practice, and otherwise prepare undergraduates to act as informed, engaged citizens. Faculty make a critical difference in determining course content and requirements, advancing engaged pedagogies and working with students and others to advance the public purposes of learning and engagement. 

    The Award

    The Burch Award is presented annually to a tenured or contingent faculty member with more than five years of teaching experience on an AASCU campus who has demonstrated leadership in advancing the civic learning and engagement of undergraduates. The Award recipient will receive a commemorative to acknowledge the national recognition and a check for $500. The Award recipient will be announced each year at the American Democracy Project national meeting in June. 


    Nominees should meet the following eligibility criteria:

    • Be a contingent or tenured faculty member at an AASCU member institution.
    • Have taught at an AASCU member institution for a minimum of five years and be currently actively engaged in American Democracy Project activities on campus and/or nationally
    • Demonstrate sustained personal leadership in one or more of the following areas with evidence that the civic learning of undergraduates has been advanced in some direct way:
      • Public advocacy for civic learning and engagement on campus, in community or across higher education more broadly.
      • Curricular and/or co-curricular leadership and engagement, including examples such as course and program development and/or organization of activities and events.
      • Creation of or support for effective outreach and community partnerships.
      • Make an intellectual contribution to the development of the civic learning and democratic engagement field and the movement.

    Nomination and Selection Process 

    Faculty leaders may be nominated by anyone. The nomination consists of the following: a complete cover sheet, a vitae or resume no longer than five (5) pages; and no more than five (5) additional pages of documentation in the form of a description of the nominee’s achievements, supporting letters, etc. All nomination materials should be collected and emailed in a single .pdf file.

    Previous Recipients

    Elizabeth Bennion, professor of political science and ADP campus director, Indiana University South Bend and
    Molly Kerby, associate professor of diversity and community studies, Western Kentucky University

    Patrick Dolenc
    Professor of Economics, Keene State University (N.H.)

    Gregg Kaufman
    , Instructor and ADP Campus Coordinator, Georgia College

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