Center for Academic Service-Learning

History of the Center

The Beginnings

Academic Service-learning was first introduced through its Founding Director in the School of Education in 1996, with the vision, encouragement, and support of Dean Carol Bartell. Today, the one-class, one-professor, and one-partner school district initiative is now on its way to becoming a campus-wide initiative, thanks to the enthusiastic participation of faculty from different disciplines and thanks to the approval and strong endorsement of President Chris Kimball and Provost Leanne Neilson.

Founding Director


r. Silva Karayan

Dr. Silva Karayan

Professor Emerita, Graduate School of Education, and Founding Director, Center for Academic Service-Learning

Dr. Karayan earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at the University of California Santa Barbara, UCSB. Prior to her position at CLU, Dr. Karayan was on the faculty of the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. She started her teaching career in the United States, in 1979, at the University of Massachusetts, in Amherst. While at CLU, Dr. Silva Karayan also served as Chair of the Special Education Department.

Dr. Karayan is the recipient of national and regional teaching and leadership awards, and competitive research grants. In 1996, in recognition of her 'innovative ideas and passionate teaching' she was unanimously nominated by the university faculty for the President's Award for Teaching Excellence and consequently was appointed as the first chair of CLU's Center for Teaching and Learning for Faculty Development.

In 1997, she received CCET's "Quality of Education Award for Distinguished Service to Children and Preparation of Teachers" as exemplifying school-university collaboration in teacher education, on behalf of CLU's School of Education. In 2002, again, on behalf of CLU, Dr. Karayan and her colleagues, received the AACTE National Award for "Best Practice in Service-Learning Pedagogy" in recognition of CLU's "significant contributions in the field of teacher education, through innovation, high standards and leadership."

Since Dr. Karayan’s early efforts and vision to infuse service-learning, the number of professors adopting service-learning continues to grow at CLU. Dr. Silva Karayan retired from teaching at CLU in 2011.

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