Remarks by Elizabeth Kemmerer
Former student of Laurie Grobman
2014 Outstanding Baccalaureate College Professor of the Year
Before I begin, I would like to take a moment to preface my introduction with a little background information about myself to illustrate the connection and inspiration I have gained from my current professor, Dr. Grobman.
I have worked for the Olivet Boys and Girls Club, a non-profit organization in Reading, Pennsylvania, on and off for the past four years. I am extremely passionate about the work I do in helping inner-city children with their homework and encouraging them to succeed in all that they can. It was this passion that first led me to Dr. Grobman. In my first semester, my other professors noticed how connected I was with the organization and encouraged me to take a 200-level course the following semester, which involved a community-based research project on the Olivet Boys and Girls Clubs.
And so began my enriching collegiate experience with Dr. Grobman, who, dare I say, may be more passionate about this organization than I am.
I believe that one of the most unique aspects of Dr. Grobman's teaching is her consistent focus on these community-based research projects. She connects the tremendous—and sometimes frustrating—aspects of researching and writing with organizations within our community, developing a richer and more in-depth style of learning. Busy-work is not an option in her class, ladies and gentlemen. There was a reason for every single paper, reading assignment and second spent researching—to delve into the history of the Olivet organization in a way no one else had. My fellow students and I combined our efforts and did just that-in the form of a book.
Unlike other educators I'm sure many of us have had prior experience with, Dr. Grobman doesn't simply stand in front of the class, lecture, and collect grades. The separation between those professors and Dr. Grobman—and undoubtedly what led to her receiving this prestigious award today—is the very simple, and yet so important, fact that she cares—about the vital experiences of community-based research projects, about the importance of the written word as well as the spoken one and about equality for all. Most importantly, in the eyes of a current and future student, she cares deeply for the students she teaches. Her steady belief in the greatness of her students inspires confidence and evokes the excellence we all desire. I am extremely honored to stand up here today and introduce one of the most insightful and caring professors I know. Without further ado, please join me in welcoming Dr. Laurie Grobman.
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