JMU professors receive national honor for community engagement work
Laura Hunt Trull, a professor of social work, and Joshua Rashon Streeter, a professor of theatre, were honored as finalists for the Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement for Early Career Faculty.
The national award from Campus Compact recognizes faculty members who exemplify excellence in connecting teaching, research and service to community engagement.
Trull, with help from her students, was instrumental in working with area community partners to bring the first Remote Area Medical Clinic to the Harrisonburg/Rockingham County area in 2019 and she is continuing the effort to bring the clinic back once the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
In 2018, she won the Research and Scholarship Outstanding Faculty Award at JMU for a course where she teaches grant writing for agencies. Trull said the course allows grant-writing students to put money back into the hands of the community and make a lasting impact. In the first two years of the course, students netted $26,000 for community agencies.
“I am so grateful to be a finalist for this award because it recognizes the energy it takes to create a learning environment where students and the community both benefit in ethical and responsible ways,” Trull said. “I’m thrilled that these efforts were recognized and I think it strongly reflects on our institution’s commitment to being the engaged university.”
Streeter is a drama/theatre educator and director. As a practice-based researcher, Streeter analyzes the pedagogies used in rehearsals and classrooms and explores the relationship between process and product in a creative learning experience. He was named the 2015 Winifred Ward Scholar from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, and he was one of the twelve writers for the 2014 National Theatre Standards.
“Considering my unique blend of artistry, scholarship, and practice, it is an honor to be nominated for this national award by JMU,” Streeter said. “This recognizes my work, both past and present, and my contributions to the field of community engagement at large.”
Streeter runs the Arts Integration Summer Institute, Secondary Theatre Summer Institute and Theatre in Our Schools High School Conference. He also heads the Theatre Education Licensure Pre-Professional Program and the Teaching Artist Concentration.
The Ernest A. Lynton Award was started in 1996 to recognize faculty members who connect their expertise and scholarship to community outreach. Award recipients demonstrated excellence in each of the four criteria for the award:
- Sustained effort in community outreach and professional service;
- Use of innovative and imaginative approaches;
- Institutional impact through teaching, program development and student/faculty participation; and
- External success through scholarly output, community impact and student learning.