Professor Awarded for Excellence in Experiential Education

Thursday, September 14, 2017

by Jeffrey Martin '04, '05 (M.A.)

Ann Green, Ph.D., professor of English, has been named the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Leader in Experiential Education in Higher Education award by the National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE). Green will accept the award at the organization’s annual conference on Tuesday, Sept. 26.

“To receive the NSEE award is a huge honor,” Green says. “Experiential learning not only deepens students' understanding of course material, but inspires them to engage with the world on a broader level.”

Shaily Menon, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, emphasizes the importance of hands-on learning.

"Experiential learning allows learners to engage with their communities and to synthesize new knowledge with existing constructs,” she says. “The NSEE award for excellence honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of experiential education, and is a recognition of Ann's outstanding leadership in this area."

Green has long been a leader in experiential education on campus, teaching at least one service learning course each semester since 1999. She taught the first year long freshmen service courses in the English department and has led service-learning courses in Ireland and China. Green has also taught in SJU’s Inside/Out prison exchange program, in which students learn side by side with inmates at one of Philadelphia’s detention centers.

“Saint Joseph's long history of community engagement and the Jesuit commitment to social justice have given me the opportunity to stretch myself as a teacher and to think about how we can address systemic inequalities through teaching, service and writing about service,” Green says.

This semester, Green is teaching two service-learning courses: a first-year section of Craft of Language where students are performing service related to writing, literacy and education at five different sites in the Philadelphia area, and an upper-level course, Hospital Stories, where students read about health care and medicine from health care professionals, caregivers and patients' points of view and engage in relationship-based service with medically fragile clients at local care facilities and hospices.

Ann Marie Jursca Keffer, director of the Faith-Justice Institute, has worked with Green to develop several service-learning courses and nominated her for the award.

“Ann is a dedicated scholar in the field of experiential education,” Keffer said. “Her leadership, commitment and promotion of service-learning pedagogy are invaluable resources to SJU.”

Peter Norberg, Ph.D., professor and chair of English, praises Green’s engagement with Saint Joseph’s Jesuit mission.

“Ann challenges each of her students to grapple with what it means to be women and men with and for others in their daily lives,” he says. “Her influence as a teacher extends well beyond the English department, and her courses draw students from all majors, because they address pressing issues our students will face in the future.”

“Teaching through experiential learning is my passion,” Green says. “Each semester, I know I will be inspired by the clients at our community partner organizations, the social service agencies we work with, the staff in the Faith-Justice Institute who make service-learning possible, and our students, who are my hope for making the world a better place.”

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