Webb-Curtis was one of three Tennessee Campus Compact Service-Learning Champions who received this award at the annual Tennessee Campus Compact (TNCC) Conference held at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center on the University of Tennessee campus in September.
The Tennessee Campus Compact is a presidential membership organization governed by a presidents’ council, an executive board, and an advisory committee to serve as a statewide coordinator, convener, and catalyst to advance civic engagement, service-learning, and community service in higher education.
TNCC’s founding executive director, Mani Hull, said, “I select a few outstanding service-learning champions each year on behalf of the TNCC. This is the third year of the award. I selected Susan Webb-Curtis for the 2010 TNCC Tennessee Treasure Award because of her passion and dedication to academic service-learning and her strong leadership at CSCC that brought about remarkable progress in campus-community partnerships to benefit student learning.”
“We are extremely fortunate at CSCC to have someone the caliber of Susan Webb-Curtis,” stated CSCC President Carl Hite. “She has done an outstanding job as the director of Cooperative Education and Service-Learning programs and should be very proud of this award.”
Since Webb-Curtis accepted responsibility for service-learning at the college, classes have been developed to provide students with the opportunity to connect what they are learning in the classroom with service in the community. These service-learning classes are a part of CSCC’s effort to stress civic responsibility to students.
Webb-Curtis has worked to build an infrastructure for service-learning at the college, including a service-learning website, brochure, newsletter, and video, and she continues to work to identify resources for faculty and develop community partnerships. She was instrumental in forming a Service-Learning Advisory Council to provide guidance for the new initiative. She wrote grants to receive the assistance of AmeriCorps VISTAs on the Cleveland State campus.
She has attended numerous professional conferences and brought in speakers she has met in the field to present workshops for CSCC faculty.
Currently, about 30 percent of CSCC full-time faculty has incorporated service-learning activities into their courses and Webb-Curtis continues to work to recruit and support other full-time and adjunct faculty members who are interested in learning how to join the service-learning initiative.
The program, under the direction of Webb-Curtis, partnered with TENNder Care to host the first Community, Health, and Safety Expo titled “Make a Difference Now” at CSCC this fall, in which students, faculty, staff, and community members were able to able to interact with over 60 community agencies.
“It was an extreme honor to be chosen,” stated Webb-Curtis. “There are many good people working so hard in the service-learning movement and it has been my pleasure to learn from wonderful colleagues at my own college, as well as other colleges in Tennessee and the Southeast. Mani Hull has done a wonderful job at TNCC to bring us all together to learn from one another.”
Dr. Jerry Faulkner, Vice president for Academic Affairs, said, “Susan Webb-Curtis is truly a treasure to the college and the community. Her leadership in starting our service-learning has been so valuable. She is definitely a champion. She is a person of extraordinary energy and effectiveness.”
The college is continually seeking new partnerships. Community agencies interested in providing service-learning opportunities for Cleveland State students are encouraged to contact Webb-Curtis at 423-614-8718 or e-mail email@example.com.
Webb-Curtis has been with Cleveland State for 22 years in the student services and academic affairs divisions. In addition to the main campus, she works at the CSCC Athens Campus and Madisonville Office.
She lives in Vonore with her husband, Mike, and two children, Brianna and Andrew.
On the Web: www.clevelandstatecc.edu/service_learning/