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Last modified: Friday, March 20, 2009

Linda Young

Part-Time Teaching Award

Associate Faculty with Merit Status
Indiana University South Bend
Part-Time Teaching Award
Linda Young, Associate Faculty with Merit Status
School of Education
Indiana University South Bend
A.A., Ancilla College, 1977
B.S., Indiana University, 1987
M.S., Indiana University, 1997
M.S., Indiana University 2007

Linda Young is the definition of a lifelong learner and educator -- every 10 years she has earned a new degree. "I am an educator; it is not just what I do, it is who I am," she said.

Young taught at the elementary level for seven years before moving to higher education.

In addition to teaching at Indiana University South Bend for nine years, she's attended and presented at several conferences on technology, teaching and diversity and participated in service projects on AIDS and Native American culture.

"It is rare to find one who has knowledge of leading edge technology with the pedagogical skills to teach in ways that boost confidence, lessen anxiety and encourage technophobes to incorporate new technology into their personal and professional lives," said Michael Horvath, professor and dean of the School of Education.

Young knows that in the world of technology, if you're not advancing, then you're falling behind, and today's teachers can't afford to fall behind with classes full of tech-savvy third graders. That's why she is committed to bringing them up to speed.

Young has taught four different courses over the years aimed at encouraging technology in the classroom, and she also designed her own course, Digital Photography in the Classroom. One of her students who had returned to higher education after many years wrote: "I really enjoyed this class. I am working on classes to renew my license. This course is the kind I need; technology is not what it was 33 years ago."

Young also developed the Student Teaching Enhancement Series while serving as the director of student technology and field experience. This workshop was designed to give students an overview of student teaching before they began their actual practice.

"A variety of speakers and workshop presenters give students insights into new curricular ideas, best practices and support structures to help them have a successful and memorable clinical practice experience," said Bruce Alan Spitzer, department head of secondary education and foundations of education.

Young also is dedicated to promoting diversity on the South Bend campus and in the community. She and Sara Sage, associate professor of secondary education, created the IU South Bend Campus Ally Network to encourage community support of GLBT students, faculty and staff. Young believes people of different backgrounds are important for creating vibrant communities and dynamic learning environments.

"Linda models a great respect for and incorporation of diversity in her teaching, emphasizing a number of different cultural and ethnic traditions, and information on sexual orientation and gender identity," said Sage.

And Christine Behrend, academic advisor in the School of Education, wrote: "Her students describe her as someone who cares about and is committed to their success; someone who is appreciative of diversity in the classroom."

Young's passion for education and learning is obvious to her colleagues, and she has been recognized for her outstanding contributions several times. In 1999, she was awarded IU South Bend's Unsung Hero Award, given to a local employee who excels at her job and gives the campus and community character, and in 2004 she received the IU South Bend School of Education's Distinguished Alumna Award. In 2005, she earned Associate Faculty Merit Status.

Young has defined what it means to be a good educator. She has given many students a role model for making education part of who they are, not just what they do.

James Smith, former dean of IU South Bend School of Education and current vice president for economic development and regional growth at Bowling Green State University, describes her best as "a total package."

"Student clichés and popular culture are certainly not my area of expertise," he said, "but, in this example, I believe the moniker is both accurate and telling."