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The Daily Wildcat


2 UA faculty get nod for outreach contributions

Tim W. Glass
Tim W. Glass / Arizona Daily Wildcat Sally Stevens recently won the University Distinguished Outreach Faculty Award. Stevens, the executiv director of the Southwest Institute for Research on Women, was quick to recognise the work of research assistants who helped her win th award.

Two UA professors have received awards for their outstanding contributions to outreach both in the state and in the nation.

Todd Fletcher, associate professor of disability and psychoeducational studies, and Sally Stevens, executive director of the Southwest Institute for Research on Women, received 2012 University Distinguished Outreach Faculty awards.

Todd Fletcher

For Fletcher, commitment to his work comes from his connection with the Baha’i faith. His beliefs make him want to serve others, he said, as well as work toward improving society and the human condition.

Fletcher provides research and training to teachers in order to help them improve their teaching practices and strategies. He does this through the educational community center he created in Central Mexico, Resplandor International, which aims to engage the community and improve the school experience for students through various programs including journalism, science and dance, among others.

“I pride myself in doing a lot of activities that are aimed at outreach, and to get that recognition from my colleague and peers is humbling and a sense of overwhelming,” Fletcher said.

In addition to this, Fletcher coordinates the UA’s specialty program in bilingual multicultural special education. The program prepares teachers to work with children who have diverse backgrounds and to appropriately assist the needs of students in bilingual schools.

Fletcher also participates in conferences in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Peru, Costa Rica, Chile and Ecuador. He is also working on creating a new educational concept, “inclusive education,” which focuses on educating all children regardless of their cultural differences.

“As a professor, you don’t know what your impacts are going to be,” he said. “But it’s important to see a concrete in the center that provides opportunity for families and children to improve their lives.”

His personality and willingness to collaborate allow him to successfully work with others, Fletcher said. He worked with Kelly Metz, a third-year graduate student, to get her an internship in Mexico.

“He is easygoing, flexible and positive,” Metz said. “Professor Fletcher provides students with good learning opportunities where you have the chance to apply skills you’ve learned in the community.”

Sally Stevens

“Shocked,” “delighted” and “surprised” were the words Stevens used to describe how she felt upon receiving the award. As the executive director of the Southwest Institute for Research on Women, Stevens has collaborated with different schools, organizations and government agencies on research to offer lifelong services to both men and women.

“The recognition for me was fantastic on a personal level, but it was also fantastic because I think it represents the work that SIROW has collectively done over the year,” Stevens said, noting the work the institute has done within the community and across the nation.

Stevens said that, because of its location, the institute has been able to conduct outreach education and research in Arizona as well as New Mexico, Wyoming, Texas, Colorado, Utah and Nevada.
The institute informs organizations on local and national policy issues and deals with issues like immigration, criminal justice, substance abuse and sexual health. Its programs aim to help women receive aid and access within their communities.

The institute is now working on 30 projects across the nation.

“It’s nice to be recognized for both myself and SIROW, who does so much for the community,” she said. “And it (the award) does push the envelope a little further in terms to continue our work with the community.”

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