Professor Receives Presidential Award for Outstanding Community Engagement

jacqueline fewkes

Wednesday, Apr 15, 2020

Jacqueline Fewkes, Ph.D., is the recipient of a Florida Atlantic University Presidential Award for Outstanding Faculty-Led Community Engagement for Engaged Teaching. Dr. Fewkes is one of the three faculty members awarded during FAU's 51st Annual Honors Convocation Awards.

The Presidential Award for Engaged Faculty is awarded to a faculty member who demonstrates exemplary engagement with communities in her/his discipline through a pedagogical approach that connects students and fellow faculty with activities that address community-identified needs through mutually beneficial partnerships that deepen students' academic and civic learning. 

"I design the academic service-learning requirements in my courses to encourage students to contribute to the local community, foster purposeful civic engagement, complement/extend learning objectives for the course, and provide an opportunity for reflection on first-hand experience with the academic work that we create in the classroom," explained Dr. Fewkes. 

For example, in her Applied Anthropology and Introduction to Anthropology classes, her students have worked on projects such as partnering with the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum to create an archaeology program for children, working at the local MyClinic medical assistance center to understand public health challenges, and collaborating with local LGBTQ organizations to explore social justice issues. 

Dr. Fewkes also makes her work available to the public in a through lectures at the FAU Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, via her American Mosques Research Project Blog , and talks with local community organizations. 

The words of one her former students capture Dr. Fewkes' commitment to community engagement, "She continually encouraged me to be a part of the community through coursework and service. She leads by example and her emphasis on working within the community is a main focus in her teaching. As a student in her courses I performed fieldwork in a local retirement community and in my own church choir. She challenged me to play an active role in the community as a whole and to learn from it with an open mind and with respect. She also encouraged me to help her in her own fieldwork with American Mosques in the South, introducing me to a community I had yet to encounter. I carry everything Dr. Fewkes has taught me about learning from all different communities and playing an active role in them in my professional and personal life," said Evan Jackson, Class of 2015.