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ASU Announces QEP Faculty Fellows Program

February 22, 2012

Angelo State University has selected five faculty members as its first group of Community-Engaged Faculty Fellows, who will be developing courses to begin this fall semester that enhance student involvement in the local community as part of ASU’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).

The Community-Engaged Faculty Fellows for the 2012-13 academic year are Kevin Garrison, assistant professor of English; Christine Purkiss, assistant professor of teacher education; P. Janine Ray, assistant clinical professor of nursing; June Smith, professor of communication; and Sharynn Tomlin, professor of management. 

Tomlin plans to target local non-profit organizations through her internship program. 

“This project will forge a stronger relationship with non-profit community entities, which often are in need of additional human capital, but not financially able to fill that need,” Tomlin said.  “Our students will gain real-world knowledge of the importance of service to their careers, and will serve as an example to other students who often struggle with how to become involved and productive citizens, both locally and globally.” 

Purkiss is modifying her science instructional strategies course for prospective elementary and middle school teachers. 

“This is a great opportunity for my students to be involved in the community in which many of them will eventually work as teachers,” Purkiss said. 

Ray is developing a new course that will be titled Population Health Nursing.  It will focus on nursing for diverse populations, disaster services planning and intervention, family reproductive health, population-based disease spread, community assessment and work with local healthcare providers on services for underserved populations. 

“Such nursing education is needed,” Ray said, “to make an impact on minority health disparities, prevent adverse health outcomes in hospitals and prevent high attrition rates of practicing nurses.  This course is envisioned to demonstrate the greater scope of service open to registered nurses and show them ways to be more involved in with communities of need, with the hope that they will stay more engaged with their chosen profession.” 

The courses developed by all the Faculty Fellows will serve as a pilot project for the QEP, which will be fully implemented the following year.  The QEP is a central requirement of Angelo State’s regional accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.  ASU’s QEP emphasizes community engagement as a teaching and learning method. 

“Community engagement is not new to ASU,” said Dr. Doyle Carter, QEP director, “but through this fellowship program and other aspects of the QEP, we hope to make these kinds of learning opportunities available to more students and partner with more agencies than we have in the past.  Our vision is to expand our capacity to reach out to and engage with our community in ways that benefit everyone involved.  These experiences have a huge impact on our students, our campus and our community.  As we’ve said from the beginning, our goal is for ASU and the people we serve to become more of a learning community.”         

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