Prof Gagne wins VT Campus Compact Community-Based Teaching Award
SMC Professor Laurie Gagne of Winooski, director of the SMC Edmndite Center for Peace & Justice, won the top teaching award, Excellence in Community-Based Teaching, from Vermont Campus Compact at their annual statewide awards event held April 12 at the Capitol Conference Center in Montpelier.
"Laurie Gagne is notable for many reasons, primary among them, she changes people’s lives," said Saint Michael’s President, Dr. John Neuhauser (shown above), who presented the award to Professor Gagne. She is also remarkable in her enthusiasm for bringing events and speakers to campus and promoting them to the college community, Dr. Neuhauser said.
Professor Gagne was cited for her tireless commitment to educating students about social justice issues in and out of the classroom, and for her central role in redesigning the SMC Peace and Justice minor to incorporate service learning.
"What stands out for me," stated Joan Wagner, SMC Director of Community-engaged Learning, is Laurie’s enthusiasm for new projects, her deft handling of running a project smoothly, and her unflappable spirit facing unpredictable service-learning programs.
Professor Gagne was praised for incorporating service-learning into most every course she teaches in the Peace & Justice program, partnering with CIVIC, the Essex Community Justice Center, Winooski schools, and the Burundian community of Burlington. She was also cited for bringing powerful, renowned speakers to campus for the benefit of the entire community.
One of her students, Leah Zeigler, a 2011 graduate of Saint Michael’s, said, "Professor Gagne’s innovative service-learning courses have the ability to pull you in, hook you, and spit you out as a graduate, prepared with theoretical knowledge as well as real life experience in fundraising, advocacy and service."
Professor Gagne teaches Peace and Justice First Year Seminar, Approaches to Peace; Religion and War and Peace. She earned a BA from Pomona College, and an MA and PhD from the University of Notre Dame.
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