Service learning director wins NSEE Dissertation of the Year

headshot of Michael J. Sharp

Michael Sharp

Michael Sharp, director of service learning in the Division of Experience-Based Learning and Career Education at the University of Cincinnati, has been recognized for writing a "Dissertation of the Year" by the National Society for Experiential Education. The award recognizes an individual who has completed a doctoral dissertation that makes important contributions to our understanding of experiential education.

Sharp's dissertation, entitled “Critical Curriculum and Just Community: Making Sense of Service Learning in Cincinnati” highlights the complex evolution of the University of Cincinnati's service learning program, particularly as the program is connected to the historic cooperative education movement in Cincinnati.

Sharp's research illuminates the history and complexity of service learning at the University of Cincinnati. His study reveals that significant shifts - what he calls "fresh acts" - combined with a consistent focus on collective impact have made UC's service learning program one of the largest experiential learning programs at the university and one of the largest Service Learning programs in the world.

Sharp is working with UC Press to turn the dissertation into a book.

Sharp completed his Ed.D. in Urban Educational Leadership at the University of Cincinnati's College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services in 2017.

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