Professor named finalist for a national community-engaged scholarship award

Tracey Gendron, Ph.D.
Tracey Gendron, Ph.D.

Tracey Gendron, Ph.D., an assistant professor of gerontology in the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Allied Health Professions, is one of 10 finalists for the 2014 Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement for Early Career Faculty. 

The award, announced by the New England Resource Center for Higher Education and the Center for Engaged Democracy at Merrimack College, recognizes a faculty member who connects his or her teaching, research and service to community engagement. 

The Lynton Award recognizes early career faculty who are pre-tenure at tenure-granting campuses or early career — within the first six years — at campuses with long-term contracts. 

Gendron teaches several graduate and undergraduate service-based courses including grant writing, research methods and “Old is the New Young.” She is also a service-learning faculty fellow. 

Gendron said community engagement represents the core of her personal mission as a faculty member in the Department of Gerontology and that she works to promote best practices in community-engaged scholarship by taking an all-inclusive approach to community engagement, focusing on methods of combining teaching, research and service projects. 

“By integrating my thinking about how I teach, conduct research and choose service activities I maximize my ability to contribute intellectually to the field, while simultaneously supporting VCU, the Division of Community Engagement, the School of Allied Health Professions, the Department of Gerontology and the aging community,” Gendron said. 

Lynn Pelco, Ph.D., vice provost of community engagement, who assisted with Gendron’s nomination, cited Gendron’s involvement with VCU’s ASPiRE program, her work with family caregivers at a local day care center and her commitment to guiding grant writing students to develop grant-funded community engagement projects.   

“Year after year, Dr. Gendron’s students express the positive impact their service-learning projects have had not only on their professional identity development, but in their approach to elder care and how all older adults deserve equal access to economic, political and social opportunities,” wrote Pelco. “While many members of society believe that our elders have ‘served their purpose,’ Tracey’s students understand, due in large part to their participation in her service-learning projects, that elders are assets and should remain engaged throughout the lifespan.” 

The recipient of the award will be announced in August and the award will be presented during the third Annual Lynton Colloquium on the Scholarship of Engagement on Sept. 15 at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The recipient will also be recognized at the 20th Annual Conference of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities in October at Syracuse University.