Arete contribution by Whitney Allen
Dr. Paul Markham, an Honors Faculty member and assistant professor of Honors Interdisciplinary Study, and Co-Director of the Institute for Citizenship and Social Responsibility received the President’s Award for Service on August 24, 2012. This award is the highest recognition for service at WKU.
Numerous positions and achievements contributed to Dr. Markham receiving this award. This past June, Dr. Markham received the John Saltmarsh Award for Emerging Leaders in Civic Engagement as well as the White House about civic engagement issues through the Democratic Engagement and Civic Learning organization, also known as, “For Democracy’s Future”.
“I want to help students feel empowered, make a difference in the world, and figure out how to do it,” said Markham in regards to his work. This past January as part of the “For Democracy’s Future” program, the White House, Department of Education, and several universities teamed up for a year long effort to increase civic engagement nationwide.
Markham expressed the need for an increase in civic engagement and for our society to refocus on the human aspect of how we work together to solve big problems. He discussed the lack of civic engagement and civility compared to the past and how “For Democracy’s Future,” is working to address this gap and solve problems. Students attend college with aspirations to learn new skills and ways to be successful in the future. Hopefully within those four years, they can find something they are passionate about. No matter what your passion or major may be service can somehow be incorporated, if you choose to do so.
If you want to get involved with the Institute for Citizenship and Social Responsibility or if you have an idea for a service project, Dr. Markham encourages anyone to come and talk to him, a graduate student, or student worker in the ICSR. Students can also create their own course, ICSR301, so they can work with issues that interest them.