The William E. Bennett Award for Extraordinary Contributions to Citizen Science was established by NCSCE in 2009 to recognize and celebrate champions who advance civically engaged science. The first William E. Bennett award was presented to its namesake at a ceremony on Capitol Hill and is given annually to an individual and/or institutional team who have made exemplary and extraordinary contributions to our collective work. This year’s individual awardee was Matthew Fisher of Saint Vincent College, and this year’s team awardee was Texas Woman’s University.
Matthew Fisher, a professor of chemistry at Saint Vincent College has been a long-standing SENCER collaborator and contributor, generously sharing his knowledge of great teaching, assessment and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning with participants at SENCER Summer Institutes since the beginning of the project. Matt also serves as co-editor of NCSCE’s journal, Science Education and Civic Engagement: an International Journal. Among his many publications, Matt recently co-authored a book on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning with Jacqueline Dewar and Curtis Bennett.
SENCER activity at Texas Woman’s University (TWU) in Denton Texas has been led by their department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Since 2007 the department has been incorporating SENCER strategies in the department’s courses for majors and non-majors. Last year, they were recognized by AAC&U for their work in designing majors designed to advance civic engagement through science. TWU is also the site of the Southwest SENCER Center for Innovation, which hosts a very successful annual regional institute. The NCSCE offers its thanks and congratulations to Matt and TWU for their outstanding contributions to science education and civic engagement.