Eastern professor receives award from National Collegiate Honors Council


Eastern professor Ruth Askew Brelsford recently received the Excellence in Experiential Learning award from Jim Ruebel (Left) and Gene Alpert with the National Collegiate Honors Council.
WILBURTON (Jan. 9, 2015) – Eastern Oklahoma State College’s professor Ruth Askew Brelsford recently received the Washington Center Award for Excellence in Experiential Learning at a Two Year Institution. The award was presented on behalf of the National Collegiate Honors Council in Denver, Colorado.

The award was presented in recognition of Brelsford’s dedication to her students through experiential Honors learning. Brelsford is a speech professor and Honors Program coordinator. She received a $2,000 cash award to help fund more experiential learning opportunities at Eastern.

The award’s criteria requires an Honors curriculum which allows the students to become involved in enhanced civic engagements. Through Brelsford’s Honors program at Eastern students created a mentoring program at Panola Schools, initiated a campus wide recycling program on the Wilburton campus, and allowed students to develop the itinerary for visiting students from Denmark.

“The Honors seminars required cultural field trips and enhanced research skills,” said Brelsford. “They involved ‘boots-on-the-ground’ activities such as developing surveys, setting up field studies, and interviews which are also part of the experiential learning philosophy that we expect.”

Brelsford said her favorite experience from the Honors seminar was the writing of policy proposals to improve the immigration laws in Oklahoma. This was done students read the novel “Kind of Kin,” by Rilla Askew. They later interviewed people who were directly affected by the current policy at the time.

Brelsford was nominated by former Honors students Dalton Fazekas, now at the University of Oklahoma, and Chelsea Hofegartner, now finishing a degree at Oklahoma State University.

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