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Partnerships and Dedication Earn Faculty Member an ‘Engaged Scholar’ Award

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Jennifer Yee, associate professor of Asian American studies, was selected as the 2017 Community Engaged Scholar award recipient for the Western Region of Campus Compact.

“Dr. Yee’s knowledge, skills and achievements in the area of civic engagement, service learning and higher education pedagogy, combined with her dedication to authentic community partnerships and high-quality student learning are what make her so deserving of this award,” said Elaine K. Ikeda, executive director of California Campus Compact.  

The national coalition of nearly 1,100 institutions, annually chooses one faculty member to recognize in the Western region for demonstrated deeply engaged, high-quality academic work and collaboration for change.

Sheryl Fontaine, dean for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, wrote in her nomination: “Both on and off campus, Dr. Yee aims to engage meaningfully with students, colleagues and community partners through outstanding teaching and scholarship.”

Yee, who is on sabbatical, was humbled by the award and quick to praise her colleagues.

“What a joy to be recognized for doing what I love: being a change agent and serving diverse communities through teaching and scholarship,” Yee said. “This award is an incredible validation of our faculty’s efforts in Asian American studies to build bridges both on and off campus and to prepare our students to serve diverse communities in socially just ways,” she said.

Yee’s work with the Orange County Asian & Pacific Islander Community Alliance helped create the Asian American studies course ASAM 230: Civic Engagement Through Asian American Pacific Islander Studies, in fall 2016. It was the first dedicated service-learning course to be approved for general education status.

The Center for Internships and Community Engagement is a valuable partner in understanding the critical role of meaningful service in the curriculum to stimulate students’ development of civic engagement values also, she said.

The award will be presented April 7 at the Western Regional Campus Compact Continuums of Service Conference in Denver.