Gardner-Webb Alumna Receives Prestigious National Award

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Laurie Pinkert (’04) Honored with K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – A 2004 graduate of Gardner-Webb University who is working on her doctorate at Purdue University is one of seven graduate students named 2013 recipients of the annual K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award, given by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U).

Laurie Pinkert, who earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from Gardner-Webb University in May of 2004 and is currently enrolled as a doctoral student in rhetoric and composition at Purdue University, was among seven award recipients selected out of over 260 nominations from 135 institutions across the country.   The honorees were recognized for showing exemplary promise as future leaders of higher education; for demonstrating a commitment to development academic and civic responsibility in themselves and in others; and for reflecting a strong emphasis on teaching and learning in their work.

“In my accelerated composition course, for example, I assign community-based projects,” she shared.  “By engaging students in writing outside the classroom, I prompt them to see how they, too, are responsible for community leadership, and I foster critical thinking about their roles as citizens and scholars.”

The award is named in honor of K. Patricia Cross, professor of higher education, emerita, at the University of California-Berkeley.  Other recipients of the 2013 distinction were Atnreakn Alleyne (University of Delaware), Fiona Barnett (Duke University), Milagros Castillo-Montoya (Columbia University), Sarah Lang (Ohio State University), Justin Lomont (University of California-Berkeley), and Gina Spitz (University of Wisconsin-Madison).

“It is heartwarming to see these impressive and dedicated teachers join the faculties of our colleges and universities,” said K. Patricia Cross.  “It is especially appropriate that AAC&U should take the lead in recognizing future faculty leaders.”

The 2013 Cross Scholars will be introduced to the AAC&U community at its 2013 Annual Meeting, to be held January 23-26 in Atlanta, Ga.  They will serve as presenters in the session “Faculty of the Future:  Voices from the Next Generation.”  The Cross awardees will also participate in other sessions and meetings throughout the conference.

AAC&U is the leading national organization concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education.  Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises nearly 1,300 member institutions, included accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University offers a comprehensive academic experience that introduces students to the diverse world of ideas and to the people who think them, preparing them for career success and for engaged, responsible citizenship in their professional, civic, and spiritual communities.