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McPherson College Professor Named for 'Engaged Faculty Fellow' Grant

posted Jul 06, 2012 in ACADEMICS

Kansas Campus Compact has again recognized McPherson College, naming Dr. Dustin Wilgers, assistant professor of biology, as one of four "Engaged Faculty Fellows" – giving him a $6,000 grant to integrate service learning and civic engagement in the classroom.

This is the second year Kansas Campus Compact has given the grants. In the inaugural year, two recipients were McPherson College faculty – Dr. Becki Bowman, assistant professor of communication, and Dr. Allan Ayella, assistant professor of biology.

Matthew Lindsey, executive director of Kansas Campus Compact, said Dr. Wilger's application revealed an impressive understanding of the importance of why service and civic engagement mattered in the classroom. This grant further places McPherson College in a leadership role for service learning, he said.

“With three fellows in two years, as well as a number of other accolades, McPherson College really is cementing its reputation as one of Kansas’ premier colleges when it comes to integrating service and community engagement into the entire college experience," Lindsey said.

Dr. Wilgers plans to integrate service learning project into all three of the environmental courses he teaches at McPherson College – Environmental Science, Environmental Biology and Environmental Chemistry. Among the projects will be water quality testing for McPherson, Kan., and surrounding communities. Students will have the opportunity to learn both the chemistry and the social factors behind clean water and water contamination, while at the same time helping the community to have better water supplies.

Dr. Wilgers said his reaction to receiving the grant was one of surprise and excitement.

"I know how many schools are in the Kansas Campus Compact and how many great faculty there are out there, so to get it my first time applying was a shock," he said. "My surprise quickly turned to excitement as I realized I now had funding to do an amazing service project for the McPherson community and at the same time provide my students with a unique educational experience."

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