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Academic Affairs

East Tennessee State University

Service Award

Dr. Cynthia Chambers

The recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Award for Service was presented to Dr. Cynthia Chambers 2018Cynthia Chambers, associate dean for the Clemmer College and professor in the Department of Educational Foundations and Special Education.

“Dr. Chambers connects research to practice by involving her students in the development, implementation, and evaluation of inclusive community service programs that have a strong research-based foundation,” a fellow faculty member wrote. “Her students are actively engaged and enthusiastic, and many continue to volunteer in the community-based service activities long after the semester has ended.”

Since joining the ETSU faculty in 2007, Chambers has gained regional and national attention for initiatives she has launched, including “Turning Pages Together,” a series of book clubs for people of all abilities; the “Friends of Lazarus Reading Program,” which provides reading opportunities for homeschool children in partnership with a local animal shelter; the “Friends of Lazarus Job Internship Program” which offers job internships at the animal shelter for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities; and “Learning With Laz,” through which Chambers and her cat, Lazarus, present to groups of young children about ways to identify their own unique qualities and discover how they can contribute. The Lazarus programs were named in honor of Chambers’ cat who was born with cleft palate.  Earlier this year, Chambers and Lazarus were featured on the Animal Planet network.

Another program she helped implement with a former graduate student was Power of Performing (POP) Arts, a performing arts program for children and adults with and without exceptionalities.

“POP Arts was the turning point of my college career,” a recent graduate wrote. “This program allowed me to apply what I was learning during my lectures into real-life experiences.”

In describing Chambers’ work with the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program, a nominator commended Chambers for “providing quality feedback to the interprofessional graduate, medical, and doctoral-level students” and added that she uses her time, resources, and knowledge to “build connections between our program, the Vanderbilt faculty, and our community members to provide prominent interprofessional interactions and learning experiences. She has also provided many resources and time to connect community experiences for our trainees and for the annual conference for professional and community members.”

Chambers holds a B.S. degree in special education from Georgia College and State University; an M.Ed. degree from Vanderbilt University; and a Ph.D. in special education from the University of Kansas.

[From ETSU News Release, 24 August 2018]

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