Kevin Brooks, professor of English, has been selected to receive the prestigious NDSU Chamber of Commerce Faculty Service Award. He will be recognized during the annual Celebration of Faculty Excellence scheduled for Wednesday, May 6, at the NDSU Harry D. McGovern Alumni Center.
"Dr. Brooks exemplifies the spirit of this award by helping the world to be a better place," said Charlene Wolf-Hall, vice provost for academic affairs. "The nominators did an excellent job of highlighting the phenomenal success of his academic work and inspirational community service to the Fargo area and internationally."
The honor recognizes NDSU faculty members with the rank of professor who have attained distinction in their profession. The selection committee focuses on the nominees' service activities, in addition to their achievements as scholars, teachers or artists.
Nominators credited Brooks with numerous contributions to the Fargo-Moorhead community. For example, he created the Sugar Labs @ NDSU after-school initiative to introduce Madison and Jefferson Elementary School students to computational and problem-solving activities.
He has worked with Lutheran Social Services to assist refugees as they move to the F-M area, and he sponsored a family from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He also tutors Somali community members in the English language and with civics information for their citizenship tests.
Brooks also received a Bush Foundation Grant to begin the English Language Learning Project for New Americans in Fargo. In addition, he is a board member for the Fargo Theatre and African Soul American Heart, a non-profit organization that maintains a school for orphan girls in South Sudan.
"He does the work he does because it needs doing," wrote Deb Dawson, president of African Soul American Heart, in a letter of support. "He is an extraordinary man who has stepped up to meet challenges in an area where there are few champions."
Miriam Mara, associate professor of English, nominated Brooks for the award. She praised both his community service and academic accomplishments. "Dr. Brooks has a distinguished record of publication and scholarly contributions, and many of those publications connect to his service in the area. He has published over 20 peer-reviewed journal articles and written and produced creative work, including an award-winning documentary film," she wrote.
Brooks joined the NDSU faculty in 1997. He earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Winnipeg, Canada; a master's degree in English literature at the University of Calgary, Canada; and a doctorate in rhetoric and professional communication at Iowa State University, Ames.
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