Diane Munroe has won the 2016 Engaged Educator Award from Vermont Campus Compact.

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Vermont Campus Compact (VCC) has recognized the work of Diane Munroe, community-based learning coordinator for Environmental Studies, with its 2016 Engaged Educator Award. VCC, a consortium of Vermont colleges focused on civic engagement, presented the award in a ceremony at Vermont Technical College on April 19.

The Engaged Educator Award is given to a faculty, staff, or other campus leader who is committed to advancing the engagement agenda on their campus. The recipient is recognized for making public service an integral part of their teaching and research to the benefit of both students and the community.

“Diane has proven a master at identifying and building relationships with community partners and helping faculty to develop projects that achieve a magical balance between providing students with sufficient structure and direction and allowing the necessary freedom and open-endedness that challenges students’ creativity and problem-solving skills,” said Molly Costanza-Robinson, associate professor of environmental chemistry and director of the program in environmental studies. ”The Environmental Studies Senior Seminar would not be nearly as successful without Diane’s expertise, experience, and efforts.”

Munroe, who has worked at Middlebury since 2001, also serves as the teaching associate for the Environmental Studies Senior Seminar, coordinating logistics for the capstone projects, facilitating student and community partner interactions, teaching skill set modules, and providing follow-up with community partners after each semester.

In the past few years, Munroe has been instrumental in coordinating senior seminars on high-visibility public issues, including a class that researched and made recommendations to Vermont lawmakers about arsenic testing and remediation in the state’s private wells. That class testified before the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee in Montpelier in 2011. She helped guide a senior seminar through innovation projects with the community of Rutland, Vermont and, in 2015, she connected a senior seminar with the Vermont Department of Health, American Lung Association, and Vermont Geological Survey for research on the public health risks of radon in Vermont.

“Diane is most worthy of this recognition for her pivotal role in creating opportunities for environmental studies students to take their learning beyond the classroom,” said Tiffany Nourse Sargent, Middlebury’s director of community engagement.

Two Middlebury student groups also received recognition at the VCC awards event: JusTalks, a student group that organizes conversations around identity and power structures, won the Engaged Student Award for its organizers Anna Chamby, Chi Chi Chang, Sarah Karerat, Molly McShane, Klaudia Wojciechowska, and Jesusdaniel Barba. Language in Motion, an educational collaboration that connects Middlebury’s international, study abroad, and upper level language students with local high school and middle school teachers, students, and classrooms was a finalist for the Engaged Partnership Award.