The League for Innovation in the Community College recently recognized Susan Webb-Curtis, Cleveland State’s director of Cooperative Education and Service Learning, with the 2013 John and Suanne Roueche Excellence Award for her outstanding contribution to teaching, leadership and learning.
The League for Innovation is a consortium of more than 750 community colleges and universities worldwide.
Webb-Curtis was nominated for this national award by Dr. Carl Hite, former Cleveland State President, before his retirement in December.
“Susan Webb-Curtis is one of a kind that every campus needs to have,” stated Hite. “She has grown CSCC's service-learning program to one of the best in the nation. More than half the faculty at CSCC have a service-learning component in their classes. The real beneficiaries are the students and those individuals impacted by the service provided by these students.”
Dr. Denise King, vice president for Academic Affairs, reiterated Hite’s words by saying, “Susan exudes energy in her pursuit of opportunities for students. She has been consistently creative over many years in finding new ways for more students to achieve their educational and career goals.
“Susan Webb-Curtis is among the finest instructors I had the pleasure of knowing. I couldn’t be more pleased to see her receive the honor of this award.”
Cleveland State’s Service-Learning program has experienced tremendous growth since its inception in 2008.
While Webb-Curtis was asked to establish the early infrastructure for the program, she credits innovative faculty pioneers, great community partners, and the addition of Sherry Holloway to the CSCC Service-Learning program in 2010 as being vital to the continued growth and firm establishment of the program.
In 2013, Cleveland State’s Department of Service-Learning was admitted to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for engaging its students, faculty and staff in meaningful service that achieves measurable results in the community. This is the second time CSCC has been named to the Honor Roll; the first time was in 2010.
Because of the tremendous success of CSCC’s service-learning program, the service-learning staff were invited to present at the Gulf South Summit for Service-Learning in Louisville in 2013 and at Auburn University in 2014.
The staff presented at the 2013 Points of Light National Conference for Volunteering and Service in Washington, D.C., and were invited to present again at the 2014 Points of Light Conference in Atlanta.
“I am very flattered to have been nominated for this award,” stated Webb-Curtis. “To have the privilege to be part of starting something that makes a positive difference for students, the college, and the community has been a great professional experience.
“This is such an exciting movement that would not have been possible without Dr. Hite’s vision and our outstanding faculty and staff embracing it—not to mention Sherry Holloway, who was critical in the success of the program. I could not ask for a better partner.”
John E. and Suanne D. Roueche are leaders in the community college field and early proponents of the idea that teachers have major responsibility for how well students perform in the classroom.
The Roueches have been partners and friends of the League for Innovation in the Community College for over 35 years. In recognition of the long tradition of excellence in community college teaching and leadership, the League established the John and Suanne Roueche Excellence Awards in 2012.
These awards are open to League Alliance member institutions to celebrate outstanding contributions and leadership by community college faculty and staff.