Steven Stofferahn receives Community-Based Learning Award

By: ISU Communications and Marketing Staff, ISU Communications and Marketing Staff
April 17, 2012

Steven Stofferahn, assistant professor of history at Indiana State University, received the Community-Based Learning and Scholarship Award during the university's annual Faculty Recognition Banquet Tuesday (April 17).

The award was established in 2007 to recognize outstanding faculty who have made serving the community an integral part of their academic goals and activities through community-based learning activities and scholarship focused on community issues.

"To receive such an award is a real honor. More than anything, it fills you with deep appreciation for those who have made it possible. My wife and three kids, that goes without saying. But I also get to work with some great people," Stofferahn said.

"When taught well, as it is by so many of my colleagues in the department, history is about helping students dig deeper roots," he said. "Whether it's through field trips, research papers, or service-learning projects, I always teach with the aim of drawing connections between the past and the world around us, with the understanding that although our lives could always be a lot harder, they can get a lot better, too."

Stofferahn joined the ISU faculty in 2004 after finishing his doctorate at Purdue University. Although his research focuses on early medieval history, he teaches a range of classes from the ancient world to the Renaissance, as well as topical courses on women in modern Europe and poverty in history. He also serves as a Faculty Fellow at ISU's Center for Community Engagement, where he coordinates the Service-Learning Scholars initiative.

The program builds upon the center's longstanding efforts to strengthen the university's commitment to Terre Haute, the Wabash Valley, and Indiana as a whole by helping students apply their academic skills to persistent community needs. Over the course of two years, the participant gains a deeper understanding of the partner agency by volunteering on a regular basis, attending board meetings, and consulting with staff members. The student then draws from that experience in developing a sustainable service project with long-term benefits to the community partner.

"Whenever we can forge meaningful ties between the university and the community, we all come out the better for it," Stofferahn said. "The Center for Community Engagement does a wonderful job of building up those relationships of respect, so it's very exciting to be a part of that. Best of all, though, I get to work with some terrific students as they discover ways to apply what they're learning in the classroom to real needs in the world. That's the real honor."

Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/Other/Headshot-Proofs/Faculty-Awards-2012/i-BmpBGfx/0/L/Stofferahn-faculty-portrait-1-L.jpg

Media contact: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or dave.taylor@indstate.edu