Assistant geography professor Julie Rich was presented with the Lindquist Award on Thursday at Weber State University.
Rich received the award for giving her students an opportunity to become more involved through volunteering in community engagements. The Lindquist award was created to recognize a faculty member who involves students in their community and in non-profit organizations.
“I try to involve my students in projects that they’re working with other organizations,” Rich said.
One of the organizations they worked with was Friends of the Great Salt Lake. They took on a project to create a seventh grade curriculum about how the Great Salt Lake works.
Rich has been incorporating service learning for about 10 years. She helps direct the Global Education Opportunity, where students travel to Geneva, Switzerland, to learn about the United Nations and how policy is drafted with the ultimate goal to have them go on to work at a grassroots organization. Students also attend the Human Rights Commission to discuss issues about health, clean water and hygiene that is needed in poor countries.
“It’s a good way for our students to learn about how the U.N. works, how a non-governmental or non-profit organization works, and you learn about the world in which you live,” Rich said.
WSU’s geography department teamed up with the dance department to do the Green Map project, a web-based mapping system where international icons can be used to show where certain activities take place in a specific location. The dance students interpreted the icons into choreography and brought the learning and dancing presentation into public schools.
“It was a way to help them learn some of their core subjects that they need to know and understand,” Rich said.
Joanne Lawrence, a professor of dance, helped with the Green Map project by coordinating the dancers and creating three pieces for “water.”
“This year, most of what we’ve been doing is following up on some of the mapping and plotting resources in the city, and again that’s been a lot of dance students and geography students involved,” Lawrence said.
Lawrence said anything can be expressed or studied through dance. She cited that Rich said that geography and dance were so different, yet they were both about space, energy and time.
WSU student Andrea Rounkles volunteered with the project and said she was happy for Rich for receiving the Lindquist award.
“She’s one of the best professors I’ve ever had, and she deserves it,” Rounkles said.
Rounkles was nominated for the Civically Engaged Student award.