A Widener alumna and faculty member has won the 2013 Alexander Charters Outstanding Continuing Educator Award from the University Professional and Continuing Education Association Mid-Atlantic Region. Dr. Cathy M. Littlefield of West Chester, Pa., holds both a bachelor’s degree and a doctorate from Widener, as well as an MBA from West Chester University. She won the award that recognizes scholarship, leadership, and contributions to the continuing education profession by an individual who entered the profession less than 10 years ago.
Littlefield was profiled in the November 2012 issue of GroW, the newsletter for the Continuing Studies Division. Here is the text of that story by Sam Starnes:
When Hurricane Andrew decimated the small town of Homestead, Florida, twenty years ago, Cathy Littlefield was working as a housekeeping training manager for a beachfront resort hotel 77 miles to the north in luxurious Boca Raton.
Instead of staying put at the comfy resort unhit by the storm, she organized a contingent of hotel employees to travel down to the damaged neighborhoods and help victims of the hurricane. “The people were so grateful just to have a plate of rice and beans,” said Littlefield, now an adjunct faculty member in Widener’s School of Education, Innovation, and Continuing Studies.
The act of helping those in need—one form of civic engagement—made an impact that has stuck with her for two decades now. “It changed me forever,” she said.
Today, Littlefield teaches the benefits and importance of civic engagement to Continuing Studies students in her course Becoming a Civically Engaged Professional. The course, which she taught for the first time in spring 2012, focuses on promoting learning through active participation in service experiences. (The class will be offered again in spring 2014.)
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