Limburg, Ricks and Williams receive CPPS Faculty Fellowships

Studying abroad in Munich. Discussing Internet ethics. Helping homeless animals.

These are some of the exciting opportunities students can participate in now that the 2014-15 Center for Principled Problem Solving Faculty Fellowships have officially been granted. The faculty awarded were: Dave Limburg, professor of foreign languages; Vance Ricks, associate professor of philosophy; and Lavon Williams, professor of sport studies.

According to Mark Justad, director for the CPPS, this is the most people that have ever been granted full faculty fellowships during one academic year.

CPPS faculty fellowships help professors engage students in experiential learning. Limburg, Ricks and Williams received their fellowships due to their desires to expose students to a problem solving environment.

“Each applicant submitted a proposal for a fellowship project,” said Justad. “The proposals selected were chosen for a number of reasons, but primarily for their quality and ability to undertake an effective PPS project.”

Limburg, who has taught German at Guilford College for 20 years, hopes to get students to study abroad in Munich and connect with Turkish-German immigrant families and young people from Germany.

“Most study abroad groups have the desire and the problem of trying to get their students together with young people in that country,” said Limburg. “It’s always a desire; the leader wants the group to do it, and students want to do it, but it’s always hard to facilitate.”

Limburg plans to get his students to help German high school students learn English in Munich’s local high schools.

“I’m going to get students into some schools over there and have them help speak English in an English class to get to know some students that way,” Limburg said. “Also, we have our classes in something called a Foreigner’s Parents Club; it’s a place for Turkish-German immigrant families to meet.”

Ricks, a Guilford graduate himself, is currently in his 15th year of teaching at the College. He hopes to get students to share what they learned in his “Ethics in a Digital World” course beyond the campus and classroom to audiences outside of the Guilford bubble through the Internet.

“The problem for me, was that for most of the courses I teach, I’m the only one that sees the end product of what the students write or produce,” said Ricks. “Digital Ethics … encourages and requires students to take some of what they’re doing in the class and engage with other audiences. I’m sending them to specific online communities where they can … bring what they’re doing in the class to those communities.”

Williams developed a project that will focus on animal welfare.

“Receiving this fellowship gives me the opportunity to incorporate into the Guilford College curriculum in a way that involves students in issues of animal welfare, and providing them with the opportunity to develop working solutions for animal/pet homelessness,” Williams said. “My motivation behind my proposal is my desire to enhance the lives of homeless animals/pets and increase adoption rates in Guilford County.”

Ricks hopes that there will be a lot of collaboration and support between the three fellows.

“I’m excited that I’m not the only fellow, Dave’s not the only fellow, Levon is not the only fellow,” said Ricks. “The three of us come from really different departments and backgrounds and our projects are different. But it’s exciting to have the two of them to talk with during all of next year, to help each other formulate our projects and think about some common challenges that we face.”

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