Baylor University has announced its newest living-learning center (LLC) will be the Education Living-Learning Center, opening fall 2015 in the newly remodeled South Russell Residence Hall. The Education LLC will house not only teacher education majors, but any Baylor students with an interest in becoming educators in any capacity.
“I hope we attract a diverse group of students with a commitment to change the world through education,” said Dr. Brooke Blevins, assistant professor in the School of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction.
Blevins, along with clinical assistant professor Dr. Leanne Howell, developed the proposal for the Education LLC. “I want students to see the value in community, and the importance of working, living and growing together.”
SOE faculty member Dr. Mona Choucair will live full-time in the Education LLC to encourage education-based service projects, advance the university’s academic initiatives and host student-faculty dinners.
“My position as the Education LLC faculty-in-residence is a natural extension of what I love to do already—better understand my students and help them decide what they want to do for the rest of their lives,” Choucair said. “I want young men and women interested in any form of teaching to know the profession is a beautiful one and that they can do it.”
For the last 16 years, Choucair has taught in both the School of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences’ English Department. In 2008, she received the Collins Outstanding Professor of the Year Award, an honor chosen by a vote of the Baylor senior class each year.
“Mona has been an inspirational teacher to me since my first class with her in TED 1312,” said current Baylor SOE graduate student Katherine Crouch, BSEd ‘14. “She continues to encourage me as a future educator, and I am forever grateful for her wisdom as a teacher and kindness as a friend.”
As a teacher and friend, Choucair is known for taking students outside of the classroom to areas like Common Grounds, the Armstrong Browning Library or even to lunch.
“When we move the classroom into the living room or an unexpected venue, discussions open up,” Choucair said. “It’s a chance to see a different side of each other.”
From 2009 to 2013, the SOE’s Dr. Douglas Rogers served as a faculty-in-residence at Baylor’s Leadership LLC in Allen Hall. Rogers, associate dean and associate professor for Curriculum and Instruction, said a faculty-in-residence can help expand the impact and opportunities the LLC has on its students.
“Students will see that academics and the notion of learning any time, any place, anywhere is a reality,” Rogers said. “By having a faculty member in the residence at all times, it sort of keeps that focus in front of students.”
South Russell will be open during the 2014-15 academic year, housing freshman women while North Russell is being renovated. Choucair will live in South Russell during this year, and several students interested in planning for the Education LLC will also live there in 2014-15 and then continue when the LLC opens.
By Briana Rojas
For more information about the Education LLC or Dr. Mona Choucair, click here.