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Carol Jenkins Award Statement

Carol Jenkins, Professor of Sociology at Glendale Community College in Arizona, is the 2007 co-recipient of the American Sociological Association’s Distinguished Contributions to Teaching award.Carol earned her Bachelors degree in Sociology from Malone College (Ohio), Masters in Religious Education (Chicago Graduate School of Theology), Masters in Teaching in the Community College - Sociology (Western Michigan University), and the PhD in Sociology from Kansas State University.

Carol Jenkins chose to work in undergraduate education when other options were available, built scholarship on improving the undergraduate experience,and has given over 45 workshops and presentations on scholarly teaching and SoTL to local, regional, national and international audiences.

Professor Jenkins has worked in almost every kind of institution of higher learning and multiple applied settings.According to ASA Executive Officer Carla Howery, Carol Jenkins “understands different institutional missions very well and works to help us learn from one another.”She has worked extensively to cross the boundaries of “articulation” between high schools and community colleges and between two and four year schools. Jenkins provides a model for this important work.

Carol Jenkins has an extensive record of service to the American Sociological Association in various elected and appointed positions, the Departmental Resources Group, Teaching Sociology editorial board and the Section on Teaching and Learning, including chairperson. A leader in identifying learning outcomes and measuring their achievement,she has been especially helpful with the ASA’s work on assessment.In the Maricopa Community Colleges network,she has helped many colleagues understand the importance of assessment and how to do it.The Maricopa Institute for Learning, modeled after the Pew National Fellowship Program for Carnegie Scholars, invites Fellows to participate in interdisciplinary discussions and projects related to increasing effective teaching and learning.According to the Director, because of her extensive experience in the scholarship of teaching and learning, when Carol Jenkins became a Fellow at the Institute she exercised a leadership role and helped to mentor other faculty fellows.

Carol Jenkins is an inspiring teacher. She brings excitement to her classroom, inspires her students to learn and apply sociological concepts, and shares her experiences with others in the discipline so that all sociologists might improve their teaching skills.Peers speak to her ability to challenge and motivate students.One colleague noted, “She excelled among the university’s faculty in pushing students to think deeply and to learn to ask and explore appropriate questions.”Other comments described Jenkins as “tough but fair” and described her significant contributions as a valuable mentor to undergraduates, graduate students, and junior faculty.Another colleague pointed out that she was most effective with nontraditional and minority students. “She was aware of and sensitive to their special learning needs before it was ‘trendy’ to do so in higher education.”Her current department chair reported that “there is no other senior faculty member who chooses to teach ten sections of Introduction to Sociology every year.Classes are full, have high retention rates, and students tend to continue with additional Sociology coursework”.

Dr. Jenkins contributions to teaching about rural communities have been profound. She has worked to cross the boundary between rural sociology and mainstream sociology.Through “cooperative initiatives” on teaching,learning,research and curriculum transformation activitiesCarol has successfully linked ASA Section expertise and the curriculum/ pedagogicalneeds of the Rural Sociological Society.

In the Rural Sociological Society Jenkins served as Chair of the Instruction and Curriculum Interest Group and Co-Chair of the Subcommittee on Curriculum Transformation. One of her recommenders describes Dr. Jenkins contributions as “a series of remarkable achievements that has transformed the teaching of rural diversities in U.S. sociology.”She co-authored the first ASA TeachingResource Center manual related to rural diversities, Teaching About the Complexities and Diversities of American Rural Life, published in 2000.This resource continues to serve as the most widely used guide to the topic.In addition, Jenkins facilitated the first ASA and RSS annual meeting activities,paper sessions and workshops centered on teaching about rural diversities.Further, she has been a champion in the infusion of rural diversities into specific sections of introductory textbooks.

Throughout her career Carol Jenkins has made contributions to scholarly teaching and the scholarship of teaching. She has produced eleven publications, including books and articles. Her syllabi and course materials continue to be placed in major ASA teaching resource manuals. In addition, Dr. Jenkins has received numerous grants and other awards related to curriculum transformation and student learning.Faculty at two-year colleges face different pressures than those at four-year institutions, and Carol Jenkins provides a model for how faculty can integrate a focus on instruction with a focus on scholarship. Her record reflects distinguished contributions to the teaching and learning of sociology.