From the series Faculty Awards for Excellence 2018

Presidential Award for Faculty Excellence: Community Engagement

Thomas Fenton

Thomas Fenton

Thomas Fenton, assistant director of the Learning English for Academic and Professional Purposes (LEAP) Program, received the 2018 Presidential Award for Faculty Excellence: Community Engagement for his instrumental contribution to Wright State’s mission to transform the communities it serves.

On Fenton’s initiative, LEAP added an academic advisor to the services the program offers its students. He has since served as LEAP’s student probation and academic advisor, providing support and intervention to all students who repeat a LEAP level or need academic assistance.

Fenton, who is also a lecturer in the Department of English Language and Literatures, has served on numerous department and university-level committees. He has served the Faculty Senate as chair of the Undergraduate Student Success Committee, as co-chair of the University Appeals Panel, was a member of the Textbook Affordability Working Group and currently chairs the International Education Oversight Committee. He has also worked extensively with the University Center for International Education, serving on its Global Citizen Award and International Student Advocate Award Committee and UCIE Advisory Panels.

In the fall of 2016, Fenton became the assistant director of LEAP. He engages in administrative work for the program, including LEAP admissions, registration and orientation procedures; reviews undergraduate and graduate applications to assist students with their paths after LEAP; compiles grade and retention data; and creates LEAP Pass Reports that are used both internally and externally.

Fenton assists LEAP with program outreach, including marketing and recruitment efforts and creating auxiliary programming. He recently received a seed grant from the International Research and Exchanges Board and support from the U.S. Higher Education and Partnership Program and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, to work with the University of Babylon to create a program similar to LEAP, as well as create a sustainable partnership between Wright State and the University of Babylon.

Jeanette Horwitz, director of the LEAP Program, enjoys working with Fenton and commends his invaluable contribution to the program.

“Fenton is a valuable member of the LEAP Intensive English Program and an important asset to Wright State University,” she said.

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