University of Vermont

Tinkler Named National Finalist for Service-Learning Award

Assistant professor in education cited for connecting scholarship with community service

Alan Tinkler photo
Professor Alan Tinkler's commitment to service-learning has earned recognition by the New England Resource Center for Higher Education and the Center for Engaged Democracy. (Photo: Ken Reissig)

Alan Tinkler, assistant professor of education, has been named a finalist for the Ernest A. Lynton Award for Scholarship of Engagement for Early Career Faculty by the New England Resource Center for Higher Education and the Center for Engaged Democracy. The award is presented annually to pre-tenure faculty members from across the disciplines who connect their teaching, research and service to community engagement.

Tinkler, who arrived at UVM in 2010, made an immediate impact by landing a Learn and Serve America grant to integrate service-learning into the teacher education curriculum in the College of Education and Social Services. The grant also led to ongoing relationships with the King Street Center, Burlington and Winooski Schools Systems, and the United Way of Chittenden County that have proven beneficial for local youth and students in his service-learning based education courses, "Reading in Secondary Schools" and "Student Leadership for Change."

“While I am thrilled to be a finalist for the Lynton Award because it affirms UVM’s strong commitment to the community, I am most grateful to have the opportunity to work collaboratively with such exceptional community partners and such talented UVM students," said Tinkler.

Tinkler won the Engaged Partnership award at the Vermont Campus Compact in 2013 for his work with the King Street Center. The award, which recognizes meaningful collaborations between campus and community entities (nonprofits, educational institutions, businesses, etc.) that serve as a model for potential campus-community engagement, was shared with Gabe Stouse, volunteer coordinator, King Street Center.

“The success of this unique service-learning partnership hinges on Alan’s inclusiveness and thoughtful disposition,” wrote Vicky Smith, executive director of King Street Center, in her letter of support. “It is intentional and acts as a framework for future relationships with the university. Alan’s design and implementation of the service-learning model works to advance King Street’s mission and fosters rich experiences and shared activities for both King Street and university students.”

Tinkler, who served as interim co-director of Partnership for Change, a grant-funded innovative collaboration between the Burlington and Winooski school districts, has also worked in various capacities with UVM’s Community-University Partnerships & Service-Learning (CUPS) Office. “Alan is the kind of faculty member anyone in my position would long for: engaged, committed, responsive, thoughtful, and deeply engaged in the community in his integrated research, teaching and scholarship,” wrote Susan Munkres, director of CUPS.

Tinkler has also been recognized for his support of the O’Brien Community Center and Winooski Youth Programs, including the Homework Help program, which has seen an increase in demand among English language learner students. “The story of the program speaks to the way in which Alan recognizes a community need, swiftly takes initiative to respond to that need, and then effectively brings other resources to bear in support of his efforts,” wrote Ethan Hausman, youth program manager for the City of Winooski.

Tinkler’s scholarship has also been substantial and includes two edited books, multiple journal articles, peer reviewed articles, book chapters, essay and works of fiction. He has published a number of articles with Barri Tinkler, including their most recent forthcoming publication, "Conversations that Matter: Community-Based Practice in Support of the Public Good."

The winner of the Ernest A. Lynton Award will be honored at the 3rd Annual Lynton Colloquium on the Scholarship of Engagement on Sept. 15 at Umass-Boston and later at the 20th Annual Conference of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities on Oct. 5-7 at Syracuse University.