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Kerr Fund Issues Challenge Grant

Monday, August 11, 2008

WYE MILLS - The Board of Directors of the Chesapeake College Foundation, Inc., recently announced a new effort to increase the asset base of the Stuart M. Bounds Endowment for Teaching Innovation.

The Foundation named the endowment for Dr. Bounds, who retired as Chesapeake College president in June. The endowment was named to honor and thank Dr. Bounds for his visionary leadership and for the significant contributions he has made to the growth of the college and its excellence as a learning institution. The earnings from the Bounds Endowment will be used to fund special programs to reward teaching innovation by the college faculty.

Lauren Halterman, executive director of the Chesapeake College Foundation, said the Foundation has almost met the original fundraising mark of $100,000, but recently raised the goal when the Grayce B. Kerr Fund, Inc. of Easton issued a challenge grant for $50,000. Once the Foundation raises an additional $50,000, the Kerr Fund will fulfill this grant.

"Stuart Bounds with his 24 years in higher education, made great contributions to our community. We wanted to honor both Dr. Bounds’ contributions and the key role Chesapeake College plays in the community," said John Valliant, president of the Kerr Fund.

The first endowment recipient is Linda Earls, associate professor of English, who was named during the 2008 Commencement ceremony in May. She will receive a $10,000 stipend over two years to research and test new educational techniques for her classes. She will share her findings with the Chesapeake College faculty through professional development seminars. Earls will begin her project this fall in her English 101 classes. Her project is designed to lead students on a journey of self-discovery.

"I’m asking my students to look into their own family and cultural histories this year. They’ll each choose a family member to research using primary documents and personal interviews. I hope they’ll gain an appreciation of the challenges of a particular time period, family cultural traditions and their own histories," Earls said. "They will still do the writing exercises required in English 101, but I hope this personal connection will make the assignments more meaningful for them. Each student will be required to complete a capstone PowerPoint project with narrative, images and music."

Earls said she was prompted to explore her own roots when she found love letters written by her late grandparents as a young couple in Staten Island, N.Y. during the 1920s. The instructor said she will share her own family history research with her students.

For more information about the Stuart M. Bounds Endowment for Teaching Innovation, please contact Lauren Halterman at 410-827-5818 or lhalterman@chesapeake.edu.

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