Spallinger recognized for community involvement


BOWLING GREEN, O. – Kimberly Spallinger, an instructor in the Department of English at Bowling Green State University, received the Community Involvement Award and was recognized the Faculty Recognition Awards ceremony April 10.

The award is presented annually by Faculty Senate to recognize a faculty member for outstanding contributions to the community or to other local, state, national or international communities, and includes $1,000.

Teaching the English language is Spallinger’s profession; taking that knowledge and using it to build bridges between local and international communities is her passion.

Spallinger is the director of the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Program at BGSU. In her classes, she asks students to reflect on their experiences at BGSU, as well as analyze the needs of future students. The students then create videos that are shown to new international students at the International Student Services orientation as a way to ease the transition to northwest Ohio.  

Spallinger also supervises the Cross Cultural Communication Connection (CCCC), which pairs native English speakers with international students. Started in 1995, the CCCC Program was created to develop cultural understanding in today's global community by connecting people from different cultures through conversation. Dayna Herrington, an assistant director and lecturer in the ESOL program, noted that students often continue meeting after the semester is over, allowing international students to continue practicing language skills, and enabling an exchange of “cultural understanding.”

Samuel Herrington, an instructor in the ESOL program at BGSU, admires Spallinger’s dedication. “She is the kind of active, caring, forward-thinking example that makes our campus a human place to live and work.”

Spallinger is also active in the Iraqi Student Project, a grass-roots effort to help young people who have studied in Iraq acquire the education they need to participate in rebuilding their country. She began working with the project in 2009 as a support group coordinator for two students studying at Bluffton University and now serves as president of the board of directors.

“She is clearly a champion of justice and peace through building connections between U.S. families and Iraqi ones,” wrote fellow ESOL instructor Lucinda Hunter. “In both her personal and professional life, Kimberly has put her values of peace and justice into action through building relationships in community.”

Spallinger also supervises the Family English Program, which consists of free English classes offered two hours a week to members of the community.  Participants are often husbands, wives or family members of students studying at BGSU.

(Posted April 11, 2013 )