Bill Oakes Honored for Linking Community Work with Classroom Studies

Bill Oakes
Campus Compact has selected Professor William Oakes, associate professor of engineering education and co-director of Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) at Purdue, as the recipient of the 2006 Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award for Service-Learning.

Oakes was chosen for his effective use of service-learning, which integrates community service with classroom work, as well as for expanding the use of service-learning domestically and internationally by pioneering model programs and publishing guiding literature.

Oakes describes service-learning as his "passion." He co-founded the national EPICS program, which offers a sustainable and adaptable teaching model that has been adopted by 17 universities across the United States and abroad. At Purdue, the EPICS program consists of 80 different projects running concurrently that may last as long as ten years. Projects may be aimed at improving water purity, technology education, playground safety, or myriad other community uses of engineering and technology. Oakes is co-author of a recent textbook titled Service-Learning: Engineering in Your Community (Great Lakes Press, 2006), as well as author of an online resource, Service-Learning in Engineering: A Resource Guidebook (Campus Compact, 2004).

"Since its founding in 1985, Campus Compact has done an extraordinary job making student service an integral part of campus life. Our challenge now is to build on that success, and to extend the role of Campus Compact in ways that rebuild public trust by educating a generation of students with civic consciousness and positive energy to address immediate and long-term public needs," notes Thomas Ehrlich, for whom the award is named. Ehrlich, president emeritus of Indiana University, is a senior scholar the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Campus Compact will present the Ehrlich Award at the Educators for Community Engagement Conference, held June 14-17, 2006, in Wisconsin. Oakes will also be recognized at Campus Compact's 20th anniversary gala in Chicago, IL, October 16-17, 2006. This is the 12th year that Campus Compact has honored outstanding faculty through this national award. The Ehrlich award recognizes exemplary leadership in advancing the civic learning of students, including public scholarship, building campus commitment to service-learning and civic engagement, and fostering genuine, democratic community partnerships.

This year's award drew a distinguished group of nominations from campuses across the United States, representing a broad range of institutional types, including public and private universities, liberal arts colleges, community colleges, faith-based institutions, and land grant universities. In addition to Oakes, Campus Compact honors 11 award finalists: Marina Baratian, Brevard Community College (FL), Melody Bowdon, University of Central Florida (FL), Cheryl Doble, SUNY (NY), Andrew Furco, University of California Berkeley (CA), Gary Harper, DePaul University (IL), Neal Long and Ranjini Thaver, Stetson University (FL), Michael Morris, University of New Mexico (NM), Kathleen Staudt, University of Texas El Paso (TX), Rahima Wade, University of Iowa (IA), and Lori Weintrob, Wagner College (NY).

This award is made possible by support from TIAA-CREF. More information on the Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award can be found at the Ehrlich Awards web page -