Category: News

Call for Editor: International Journal of Research on Community Engagement

For the past decade, the Advances in Service-Learning Research volume series has served the service- learning/community engagement community as a primary publishing venue and a major source of current information on theory, issues, and findings in this rapidly-expanding research field.

The International Association for Research on Service-learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE) is pleased to announce that as of 2012, the Advances in Service-Learning series, sponsored by the IARSLCE, will become a journal, published by Information Age Publishing, Inc. The new International Journal of Research on Community Engagement will be edited by an active member of the IARSLCE. In the first three years of its publication, the journal will be published once a year. The Journal Editor will solicit manuscripts at large annually in January and will send them out for peer review, with the aim of making final decisions by April of each year.

The IARSLCE Publications Committee is seeking applications for the position of Editor of this new IARSLCE journal.  This position is an exciting opportunity to shape and contribute to emerging scholarship in the field of service-learning and community engagement. The Editor will be involved with appointment of the editorial review board (see below), supervise the review and publication process, and supervise all marketing for the journal.

Please see the attached document for full instructions, or click here to view on our website.

2011 IARSLCE Conference Awards and Graduate Student Scholarships

The Distinguished Research Award recognizes any researcher who has a distinguished record of research and scholarly contributions on service-learning and community engagement.

The Early Career Research Award recognizes outstanding early career contributions to scholarship on service-learning and community engagement.

The Dissertation Award recognizes a dissertation that advances research on service-learning and/or community engagement through rigorous and innovative inquiry.

Ten $500 Graduate Student Scholarships are provided by the Association on a competitive basis for support to attend the conference.


Distinguished Research and Early Career Research Awards nominations must be received by May 2, 2011. Recipients will be notified in early June.

Dissertation Award nominations are due by June 30, 2010. Recipients will be notified in early August.

The award recipients receive an invitation to make a presentation at the annual IARSLCE conference, a plaque (to be presented at the conference), and a monetary award in the form of complimentary IARSLCE conference registration and one-night hotel accommodations.

Graduate Student Scholarships are due July 30, 2011. Please indicate if you have had a paper or poster presentation accepted for the conference. Scholarship recipients will be notified by mid-August.

For nomination/application instructions for each of the categories above, please visit the Awards Page on our website.

For questions regarding nomination/application submissions, please email Stephanie O’Brien at

Call for Applications: Editor Advances in Service-learning and Community Engagement Journal

For the past decade, the Advances in Service-Learning volume series has served the service learning/community engagement community as a primary publishing venue and a major source of current information on theory, issues, and findings in this rapidly-expanding research field.

The International Association for Research on Service-learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE) is pleased to announce that as of 2012, the Advances in Service-learning series, sponsored by the IARSLCE, will become a journal, published by Information Age Publishing, Inc. The new Advances in Service-Learning and Community Engagement Journal will be edited by an active member of the IARSLCE. In the first three years of its publication, the journal will be published once a year. The Journal Editor will solicit manuscripts at large annually in January and will send them out for peer review, with the aim of making final decisions by April of each year.

The IARSLCE Publications Committee is seeking applications for the position of Editor of this new IARSLCE journal.  This position is an exciting opportunity to shape and contribute to emerging scholarship in the field of service-learning and community engagement. The Editor will be involved with appointment of the editorial review board (see below), supervise the review and publication process, and supervise all marketing for the journal.

To Apply:

Each applicant should submit a CV and a letter of interest that details areas of expertise, scholarship, and previous editorial experience.  Given that serving as Editor of the journal will require significant professional, unpaid service, it will be also important to indicate the kinds of support that will be provided by the applicant's institution.  Such support might include a course release, graduate student or administrative support, office space, etc. (though this is not required to apply).

Applications are due to Stephanie O'Brien at by May 2, 2011. Questions about this opportunity may be directed to KerryAnn O'Meara or Barbara Moely, IARSLCE Publications Committee Co-Chairs.

The IARSLCE Board will review applications and appoint an Editor by May 30. The Editor will work with the IARSLCE's Publications Committee Co-Chairs to appoint an editorial review board that represents the diversity of areas of research on service-learning and community engagement, research designs, forms of scholarship and range of educational settings representative of our membership and conference scholarship.  The initial Call for Submissions will be issued in the fall of 2011.

Call for Applications: IARSLCE Conference Proceedings Editor and Editorial Fellows

The IARSLCE is soliciting applications for the positions of Conference Proceedings Editor and Editorial Fellows.  The Conference Proceedings Editor and Editorial Fellows will oversee the publication of a new online IARSLCE Annual Conference Proceedings. The published Proceedings will include accepted paper abstracts from each year's conference and serve as an added resource, especially for international audiences. The new Proceedings will increase the public visibility of the conference scholarship and the potential of communication with other researchers.

Proceedings Timeframe and Editorial Work:

Editorial work will occur over the summer prior to the Fall IARSLCE conference.

The Editor and Editorial Fellows will be appointed by June 15, 2011 and begin their work in July, 2011.

Proceedings will be published on line prior to the annual conference, no later than October 1, 2011.

Qualifications for and Responsibilities of the Conference Proceedings Editor:

  • The Editor must be a member of the IARSLCE.
  • Both Conference Proceedings Editor & Editorial Fellows will have 2-year appointments.
  • The IARSLCE Board will work with the Graduate Student Network to review applications and appoint a scholar as Conference Proceedings Editor.
  • The Editor will supervise the work of the Editorial Fellows and work closely with an Associate Editor, appointed from the Graduate Student Network Steering Committee.
  • While it is not required that the Proceedings editor have institutional in-kind support for these efforts, if this is possible, applicants should mention this in their application.

Qualifications for and Responsibilities of the Editorial Fellows:

  • The IARSLCE Board will appoint approximately ten Editorial Fellows from within the Graduate Student Network.
  • Work will primarily entail selecting and editing the abstracts and 1000-word summaries of accepted papers submitted for the annual conference into a common form suitable for the Proceedings.  Recent conferences have had 120 papers selected for the conference.
  • Editorial Fellows must be members of the IARSLCE Graduate Student Network.
  • Previous editing experience is desirable but not required.
  • These positions will create an opportunity for graduate students to learn more about the process of editing and publishing, as well as working collaboratively with and learning from a more senior scholar.

To apply to be the Editor of the Proceedings or to be an Editorial Fellow: Please submit, by May 2, 2011,a letter of interest highlighting research background and interests, editorial review experience, and CV, to the Publications Committee Co-Chairs, KerryAnn O'Meara and Barbara Moely, at the IARSLCE Office:







Dr. David Wilson to Speak at CCBP Awards

Dr. David Wilson is the twelfth president and the tenth full-term president of Morgan State University. Appointed to the presidency on July 1, 2010, he brings to the University a background of extensive experience, a wealth of skills, a long trail of accomplishments as educational leader and an exceptional appreciation for, and strong devotion to, Morgan’s educational tradition.

President Wilson holds the bachelor’s degree in political science and the master’s degree in student personnel administration from Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) and both the master’s degree in educational planning and administration and the doctorate in administration, planning and social policy from Harvard University.

He joins the Morgan community after more than thirty years of experience in higher education at Tuskegee Institute, Radcliff College, Kentucky State University, Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey, Auburn University and the University of Wisconsin, as well as at the Research and Development Institute of Philadelphia, Massachusetts General Hospital and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

In addition to teaching for a number of years at Rutgers, Dr. Wilson has gained administrative experience and established a record of effective administration in a variety of positions: Assistant to the Associate Dean of Students, Project Director, Research Associate, Director of Minority Programs, Assistant and Associate Provost and Vice President for University Outreach. Most recently, Dr. Wilson served as Chancellor for the University of Wisconsin Colleges and the University of Wisconsin- Extension.

In addition to establishing a record as an educational leader, Dr. Wilson has also accumulated a significant profile as scholar and authority on issues in higher education. He has authored more than twenty scholarly articles on successful university-community partnerships, the challenges facing African-Americans in the 21″ century, social and economic inequality, diversity and tolerance in higher education, federal aid to local education systems, athletes as role models, the effects of racial stereotypes on African-American men, and desegregation in higher education; and he has coauthored two books on higher education: Opening the American Mind: Race, Ethnicity and Gender in Higher Education (with G. Sill and M. Chaplin 1993) and University Outreach: University Connections to Society (with R. Foster 2000).

A world traveler who has visited or served as educational consultant in Europe and over twenty countries around the world-including China, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Egypt, Namibia, Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan-as well as the Caribbean, David Wilson has also served on accreditation review boards for many American and international universities and as consultant to the United Negro College Fund, Ayers & Associates and Lucent Technologies. He has also served on the boards of civic, cultural, community and philanthropic organizations across the nation. The winner of numerous awards-including the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Administrative Fellowship, the Salzburg Seminar Fellowship, the Kellogg Foundation National Fellowship, and the “America’s Best and Brightest Young Business and Professional Men” Award of Dollars and Sense magazine-David Wilson was recognized in 1998 as one of the nation’s top 100 leaders in higher education.

In February 2010, President Barack Obama appointed him to his l l-member Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Dr. Wilson’s qualifications to lead Maryland’s Public Urban University are clearly outstanding, but it is the special character that he brings to higher education in Maryland, a character shaped by the intangibles of his background, that is perhaps most impressive and makes him suitable for this new role. Dr. Wilson grew up with nine siblings on a sharecropper farm outside the small town of McKinley, Alabama. Through hard work, tenacity and the encouragement of his father and his teachers, he became the first person in his family to attend college.

Therefore, he comes to Morgan with a special sensitivity for students from similar backgrounds and an appreciation of the challenges that many urban and minority students face as they pursue a college degree. He brings to Morgan the strong educational philosophy always to put the students’ experience first and an equally strong commitment, as a leader, to be a consensus builder and a strong advocate of administrative transparency.

His goal is to make Morgan a leader in producing the next wave of innovators in the U.S. and to create at Morgan an atmosphere where “people don’t see what they do as a job” but rather as “a calling.” The theme of his leadership of Morgan is “Growing the Future, Leading the World.”

CCBP Marks Fifth Anniversary of Awards Program, April 22

Click here to download nomination forms.

TUSCALOOSA "” The Center for Community-Based Partnerships (CCBP) will present awards for the best faculty-, student- and community-initiated projects during ceremonies Friday, April 22, at the Hotel Capstone on the campus of The University of Alabama.

The keynote speaker for the event will be the president of Morgan State University, Dr. David Wilson, a native of Marengo County and former vice president for University Outreach at Auburn University.

The program begins at 10 a.m. with poster presentations showing the variety and effectiveness of community-partnered projects during previous years as well as some that will be up for awards this year. The luncheon and awards presentation will follow.

"This will be our fifth annual awards program," said Dr. Samory T. Pruitt, vice president for Community Affairs, who oversees outreach work at CCBP, which includes the areas of educational development, community development, and community research and communication.

"We are pleased to welcome Dr. Wilson back to Alabama. He was a leader in community engagement at Auburn University and at the University of Wisconsin-Extension before becoming the 10th full-term president at Morgan State," Pruitt said.

A widely published scholar, Dr. Wilson holds the doctorate in administration, planning and social policy from Harvard University. One of 10 siblings living on a sharecropper farm outside the small town of McKinley in Marengo County, Wilson became the first person in his family to attend college.

Janet Griffith, assistant provost for communications, chairs the awards committee and program. "Nomination forms are available at or by visiting the CCBP or Community Affairs offices on campus," she said.

Nominations should be delivered to Griffith's office, 254 Rose Administration, by 5 p.m., Wednesday, April 6.

To propose a poster, e-mail Tommy Syx, a member of the awards committee, at describing your poster. Posters may be original or presented earlier at completive events. The deadline for proposing a poster is Friday, April 1, with notification by Wednesday, April 6.

There is no charge for the program or luncheon, but registration is required. To register, send an e-mail to, indicating your desire to attend. As attendance is limited to 200, early registration is recommended. If space is available, your registration will be confirmed by return e-mail.

The Center for Community-Based Partnerships is an initiative of the Office of Community Affairs. Its purpose is to provide leadership for campus and community projects that bring lasting benefits to both. Among the examples are the Parent Leadership Academy, a partnership between city and county schools and three divisions of the University; Black Belt 100 Lenses, a community identity, development and leadership partnership between CCBP and the Black Belt Community Foundation; and the Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship, a scholarly journal that publishes leading community engagement research. For more information, see

Center for Community-Based Partnerships Honors Engagement Scholars

CONTACT: Ed Mullins, 205-246-3334    

In a playful comment that drew enthusiastic applause and could signal future directions in academic research, a leading scholar told community partners and University of Alabama faculty, staff and students here Friday, May 1, 2009, that "publish or perish" may one day give way to "partner or perish."     

Speaking to a crowd of about 200 at the Center for Community-Based Partnerships' third annual engagement scholarship awards luncheon, Dr. Hiram E. Fitzgerald of Michigan State University outlined forces pushing universities toward more active engagement with society.     

This more active relationship, Fitzgerald said, "has generated a fresh vision about the democratic purposes of higher education and how universities contribute to the public good."     

Quoting Alfred North Whitehead that " "¦ shielding a university from "¦ the world "¦ is the best way to chill interest and defeat progress" and that "unapplied knowledge is shorn of its meaning," Fitzgerald said the time has come for higher education to form partnerships that directly address society's most critical problems.     

Although it could be said that the associate provost for University Outreach and Engagement at Michigan State University was preaching to the choir, the Hotel Capstone crowd gave him sustained applause when he concluded with the "partner or perish" observation, which he attributed to Dr. Barbara A. Holland, director of the National Service Learning Clearinghouse.      

Following Fitzgerald's speech, Vice President of Community Affairs Samory T. Pruitt, who is also executive director of CCBP, began the awards ceremony by calling Fitzgerald back to the podium to honor him with the "Distinguished Special Achievement in Engagement" award. In doing so he recognized Fitzgerald's leadership as president of the National Outreach Scholarship Conference and leadership in a dozen other groups as well as for his hundreds of research papers, articles and books, and millions of dollars in research projects, much of it on behalf of infants and children.     

 Assistant Provost Janet Griffith presided over the awards ceremony, which recognized the best from campus and community for 2009. She was assisted in distributing the awards by Dr. Judy Bonner, executive vice president and provost, and Dr. Joe Benson, vice president for research.     

Here are the winners:     

CATEORY: Outstanding Faculty/Staff-Initiated Engagement Effort   

The Creative Writing Club (CWC) was formed in 2004 by Prof. Behn as an outreach project of the M.F.A. in the Creative Writing Program. MFA students serve as mentors to Tuscaloosa area high school students and celebrate their creative writing achievements via public readings and publications. CWC demonstrates to the community the riches that result when top-notch graduate student writers interact with motivated young writers. Thanks to external grant funding, the program has grown to include 15 high schools, a summer Creative Writing Camp and a new course to train Alabama high school teachers in teaching creative writing. A high school textbook is being developed to capture the original creative writing lessons of Prof. Behn and her students.      

This partnership between the School of Library and Information Studies and the Tuscaloosa Public Library provides 21st century information technology literacy training to senior citizens. Funded by a seed grant from the CCBP, the project allowed students to deliver information literacy skills to a population outside the library in partnership with community agencies. The program was evaluated at two levels: goals-based evaluation and instructional-based evaluation and is summarized in the paper, "Deconstructing Walls: Educating Students for Civic Librarianship."      

A team-based wellness program emphasizing five health challenges:
            "¢Eat five fruits and vegetables
            "¢Drink five glasses of water
            "¢Think five positive thoughts
            "¢Move for 30 minutes five days a week.
            "¢Lose five pounds per person
Launched by UA's Office of Health Promotion and Wellness in 2007 and repeated annually, the program originated as a campus-wide effort for the University community but expanded in 2007 to include community partners DCH Regional Medical Center, the City of Tuscaloosa, Nucor Steel Tuscaloosa Inc., and the American Heart Association. The program is being adapted for use at M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston, Texas. The partnership brought together more than 850 UA employees and some 1,000 Tuscaloosa community participants and continues to be shared with potential community partners via presentations at national conferences.     

Dr. Parker led a UA interdisciplinary team in partnership with the Tuscaloosa Senior Ministry Association to foster collaboration among 10 community faith-based organizations to address gaps in services to senior adults and to promote greater use of existing local, state and national resources. Students worked with the group in interviewing local service agencies and local pastors/lay leaders and developed directories of resources related to aging. They completed a phone survey of 400 local church members regarding the services. Several presentations and publications have resulted from the work. Future plans include more interdisciplinary work with similar groups to develop caregiver support programs, life review programs and home visitation/transportation programs. 

CATEGORY: Outstanding Student-Initiated Engagement Effort  

Faculty leaders: Drs. Pauline Johnson and Philip Johnson
Students: Phillip Moncayo, Malcolm Abrams, David Bearden. Joseph Blackwell, Keith Blackwood, Lauren Blue, Conor Brown, David Dozier, James Elder, Bryan Fair, Robyn Gilstrap, Joseph Godwin, Josh Hamilton, Brian Hannan, Kristopher Harbin, Jennifer Hetherington, Jake Hinson, Gurunath Kampli, Agata Kargol, Ryan Maley, Nick McEwen, James McGee, Jason McGee, Rebecca Midkiff, Caleb Miles, Jameson Prater, Rakesh Salunke, Hunter Spurgeon, Andrew Steinmetz, Leslie Threlkeld,  and Ben Welch    

In collaboration with Kinterbish Middle School and residents of Cuba, Alabama, Engineers Without Borders (EWB) students and their partners planned, procured materials, designed and constructed a community baseball field. The partners assessed need, developed a plan taking into account health, safety and liability, documented their work, and implemented the plan. As with all EWB projects, the project effectiveness will be assessed and its application to other communities evaluated.   

Faculty leader: Dr. Bruce Berger
Students: Mary Katherine Alsip, Mellie Bassett, Allison Bridges, Alex Cole, Sarah Beth Combs, Natalie Crawford, Laura Doty, Emily Eddleman, Ali Frederick, Jami Gates, Elizabeth Hard, Nathan Horne, Kara Beth Lawrence, Maeci Martin, Allison Milwood, Tyler Nance, Partick O'Rourke, Carla Pennington, Shanshan Qian, Sara Beth Ritchey, Adam Rogers, Meghan Stringer.     

Responding to the needs presented by community partners including the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce, the Literacy Council of West Alabama and Tuscaloosa Rotary Club, a 22-person student team developed a campaign to increase awareness of the literacy problems in the area and to motivate students to take action to solve the problems. They conducted research on the issue and began to shape messages and define tactics that would be used. The result was the Literacy Is The Edge campaign that employed communication channels ranging from TV public service announcements by UA football players to Facebook groups in support of the effort. The work saw the immediate creation of a new student group, LITE, and the training of 77 student volunteers as active reading tutors in the community. The LITE student group is charged with sustaining and growing these efforts working with community partners now and in the future. 

Ms. Peterson led the agricultural medicine research project into a collaboration involving both white and African American farmers to address mutual health issues. She coordinated information gathering from multiple focus groups around the state endorsed by the larger African American farm community. The Agromedicine Program is an integral component of the UA Rural Health Leaders Pipeline to help "grow our own" rural Alabama doctors. This work continues and has been greatly enhanced by this project that resulted in a multi-county, diverse policy committee of farmers that guides the efforts to address agricultural health issues in Alabama, including the Black Belt.  

Under the leadership of UA sophomore and Creative Campus Intern Michael Wynn, the Creative Campus Assembly addressed the need within the Tuscaloosa and University communities to recognize the abilities of artists affected by chronic illness or disabilities and to contribute to social services and support for persons with disabilities. Through a partnership with the Office of Disability Services and Very Special Artists (VSA) Arts of Alabama, the group produced its first signature event of a planned series, The Unbound Art Show. This first event is a launching point for a sustained, developing relationship with VSA Arts of Alabama for the future. The March exhibit opening event hosted about 100 students and community members statewide. Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith founded VSA Arts in 1974 as an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. 

CATEGORY: Outstanding Community Partner-Initiated Engagement Effort   

AERN is a community-UA partnership that provides the resources and impetus for residents in rural counties to increase homegrown prosperity through entrepreneurship. The people of Marion in Perry County treasure their lifestyle and heritage and want to see it preserved and enhanced. The Perry County Chamber of Commerce, under the direction of John Martin, revitalized its partnership with the University focusing on two main projects: Attracting arts and business to downtown through a revitalization effort that has seen five new businesses in Marion occupying renovated space downtown. Mr. Martin and the University are also cooperating on a second project to restore the Perry County airstrip. UA supplies computers, software, Internet access and research assistance for Perry County entrepreneurs who make the improvements happen.   

The Tuscaloosa Housing Authority provided leadership in staging Culture Fest 2008, one of the most successful and best attended multicultural events in Tuscaloosa history. McKenzie Court, which had been rebuilt and landscaped with public housing funds, was the host for the event that featured music and festival foods from many cultures. Other partners included UA's Crossroads Community Center, the Tuscaloosa Police, Fire and Transportation departments, and Shelton State Community College.     

Distinguished Achievement Award "” Campus    

A renowned national leader in engagement scholarship, Dean Dahl has certainly gone "above and beyond" in her efforts to enhance The University of Alabama's role in the critical area of engagement scholarship and outreach that is truly making a measurable, sustainable difference in the communities with whom we collaborate. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching awarded The University of Alabama its Community Engagement Classification in January 2009. Dean Dahl was co-chair of the team that spent months preparing UA's application.     

Distinguished Achievement Award "” Community   

The "spiritual leader" and chief advocate for the movement to improve literacy in our community through creation of the Literacy Council of West Alabama whose mission is to champion the power of literacy to improve the lives of children, adults, families and communities in West Alabama, Mr. Aycock has engaged the business, education and government communities in the literacy challenge and energized our leaders to embrace a shared vision of a functionally literate citizenship. 

 A community-based partnership pioneer, Ms. Loftin provided the energy and ingenuity to develop partnerships with her hometown of Dothan and The University of Alabama establishing a model that would be duplicated in many communities throughout the state. She partnered with her alma mater to advocate for children and families through such statewide programs as BabyTalk and PAL, serving parents and children throughout the state. She is a founder of the grassroots movement to develop Family Resource Centers throughout Alabama and statewide programs in support of healthy marriages in partnership with Auburn University. An advocate for prevention of child abuse and neglect, Ms. Loftin has led the formation of many community partnerships, some of them decades ago, that continue to flourish today.   

Distinguished Special Achievement In Engagement   

To thousands of engagement scholars, "Hi" Fitzgerald is "Mr. Engagement Scholarship" in the United States. His tireless leadership of the National Outreach Scholarship Conference, his efforts to improve the mental health of families and children, and his hundreds of other professional, personal and volunteer achievements put him in the company of engagement leaders you can count on one hand. Fitzgerald is the author or co-author of more than 50 books, more than 500 peer-reviewed research articles, papers and abstracts, and the recipient of research grants totaling more than $10 million. There are few more versatile or productive academic leaders than this year's recipient of the Distinguished Special Achievement in Engagement than Dr. Hiram E. Fitzgerald of Michigan State University.  


PLA to Graduate Second Class on May 5, 2009

By Sydney Holtzclaw, Student Intern, CCBP

The Tuscaloosa Parent Leadership Academy (PLA), a partnership between the University of Alabama and city and county schools, will graduate its second class at a ceremony and dinner beginning at 5:30 p.m., May 5, 2009, in the Bryant Conference Center's Rast Room.

Featured speaker will be Dr. Tommy Bice, deputy state superintendent of education for instructional services. He is responsible for curriculum and instruction, assessment and accountability, federal programs, the Alabama Reading Initiative, the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative, and several other areas.

PLA is a two-semester program that strengthens relationships among family, schools and community. Participants meet monthly. Led by University of Alabama faculty and other educators, they develop leadership skills, improve their ability to support their child at home and at school, and establish better relations among family, school and board of education.

"Parents who graduate from PLA increase their knowledge of the entire education process, from classroom instruction and discipline to outside learning. They become contributing partners with local schools and school boards in their children's learning," said Christopher H. Spencer, associate director of the Center for Community-Based Partnerships, who was chief organizer for this year's PLA.
"Many of the graduates are already active in their schools and we expect others to join them because of their new experience," said Dr. Samory T. Pruitt, vice president for Community Affairs. "Through this academy, which approximates graduate-level instruction for lay persons, they are acquiring competencies and learning strategies that will make them better parents and a valued resource in helping their children and the schools they attend meet today's challenges."

This year's class was drawn from 10 elementary schools in the city system and 10 in the county system.

The graduation ceremony is the culmination of the 2008-09 academic year's program. Special speaker Bice, who joined the Alabama Department of Education in June 2008, is expected to stress the need for progress in math and science, as well as other school reforms.

Faculty in UA's Colleges of Education and Human Environmental Sciences, and various community organizations play key roles in the PLA. Dr. Joyce Levey is superintendent of city schools, and Dr. Frank Costanza is superintendent of county schools.

For more information contact Christopher H. Spencer at 205-348-7374 or

PLA 2008-2009 Graduates and Their Schools

Rajuan Sherman, Alberta Elementary
Marilou Baker and Aaron Kuntz, Arcadia Elementary
Audrey Wilson Cottrell and Jackie Lanier, Central Primary
Sharon Long, Martin Luther King, Jr., Elementary
Sharon Archibald and Emma Williams, Northington Elementary
Camille Page and Monique Petty, Oakdale Primary
Cindy Bramble and Jackie Kuehn, Rock Quarry Elementary
Tanika Bizzell and Tiffany Jenkins-Green, Skyland Elementary
Brenda Lewis and Sharon Smothers, University Place Elementary
Mary Hanks and Sabrina Sentell, Woodland Forrest Elementary

Rhonda Goins and Tanya Stark, Buhl Elementary
Allison Duncan and LaDonna Youngblood, Cottondale Elementary
Maribelle Magana, Crestmont Elementary
Phillip Booth and Errica Walker, Faucett-Vestavia Elementary
Betsy Williamson and Brandi Wolfe, Flatwoods Elementary
Nikki Anthony and Jamie Wright, Holt Elementary
Kelly Hayes, Lake View Elementary
Georgette Miniard and Tracie Thomas, Matthews Elementary
Shannon James and Paula Sisk, Maxwell Elementary
Angela Ashcraft and Angela Campo, Taylorville Elementary