DUBUQUE, Iowa – Erin VanLaningham, Ph.D., associate professor of English and director of the Honors Program at Loras College, and Dr. Adib Kassas, a Loras College Community Partner, are winners of Iowa Campus Compact’s 2016 Engaged Campus awards for Emerging Innovation and Community Partnership respectively.
“Erin has fostered a culture of innovation and energy associated with the Loras College Honors program which has attracted participation from both new students and faculty,” said Maggie Baker, coordinator of service learning at Loras College.
Within the last three years, VanLaningham has transformed the Honors program into a “citizen-scholar” model, focused on community impact and student learning. The program now directly links academic research with community-based learning. Currently, 15 faculty members mentor Loras College honors students.
Baker nominated VanLaningham and Kassas for their respective awards.
Kassas, is a psychologist in Dubuque. In 2010, he helped form Dubuque’s Children of Abraham interfaith peace-building movement, a highly regarded community partnership that has received recognition for its impact on local, regional and national levels.
“Adib has been astonishingly generous with his time, a font of wisdom that has had a transformative effect on many, and has remained sympathetic to the challenges and excitement that interfaith engagement brings to young people in particular,” said John C. Eby, Ph.D., chair of the Faculty Senate at Loras College and associate professor of history. “He has had a deep and meaningful impact on the Loras College campus that extends well beyond his specific activities, because the exposure to Islam and Middle Eastern perspective that he shares with some is magnified by their changed perspectives and the awareness of the college community of such interfaith opportunities and especially by awareness of his outstanding personal character.”
This year, Iowa Campus Compact received a record number of nominations with 39 from 14 colleges and universities across the state.
About Loras College
Loras College leverages its historic roots as Iowa’s first college, the second oldest Catholic college west of the Mississippi River and one of the nation’s 10 diocesan colleges to deliver challenging, life-changing experiences as part of its residential, Catholic setting. According to the 2016 U.S. News Best Colleges rankings, Loras College was named the 13th Best Regional College: Midwest. Visit www.loras.edu.
About Iowa Campus Compact (IACC)
Iowa Campus Compact (IACC) is a statewide association of college and university presidents providing leadership for the civic mission of higher education. It strengthens the capacity of member colleges and universities to prepare all students to become engaged citizens. Visit www.iacampuscompact.org.
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