January 29, 2016

Affirming Value

Dr. Mary Katherine Waibel Duncan

Professor of Psychology
Joan and Fred Miller Distinguished Professor of Good Work
Founder and Director of the BU Toy Library: Language and Literacy Resource Center; Project Leader for the BU Good Work Initiative

To me, the endowed professorship is about supporting faculty’s commitment to students by reinvesting donor generosity in the creation of pivotal learning experiences. Bloomsburg faculty believe that students are our priority because this is, first and foremost, a teaching university.

With the Joan and Fred Miller Distinguished Professorship of Good Work, I have the opportunity to create faculty student endeavors that exemplify excellence, ethics and engagement in a broad range of professional domains. We intend to take students to Good Work-themed professional conferences and host on-campus learning experiences. We also would like to fund projects based on students’ descriptions of what good work looks like in their discipline so that they may design, implement, assess, and showcase their own Good Work initiatives.

What’s brilliant about this campaign is that donors are able to say, “here are the funds, now do for others what you have done for me.” Receiving this endowed professorship was a career-defining, inspiring, and humbling moment for me— and it was a quick reminder to get back to work. It provided a tangible validation that I am doing high-quality and socially responsible work. It also offered welcomed reassurance that I am of value, not only for what I do for others, but also for who I am.
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