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Caplinger wins national FYE award


Chris Caplinger (L) accepts the 2016 Outstanding First-Year Advocate Award from Jennifer Keup (R), director of the National Research Center for First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, at the awards presentation in Orlando.

History_IconChris Caplinger, Ph.D., director of First-Year Experience (FYE) and assistant professor of history at Georgia Southern, was one of ten educators in the nation selected for the 2016 Outstanding First-Year Advocate Award.

The National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina and Cengage Learning present the award each year to honor college faculty, administrators, staff, and students for their outstanding work on behalf of first-year students, and for the impact their efforts have on the students and culture of their institutions.

“I value my involvement with the national FYE community, which is a very collegial group of faculty and academic and student affairs administrators,” said Caplinger. “To be recognized by this group is humbling. But this really is a recognition for Georgia Southern more broadly.”

Caplinger says the recognition is a reflection of the 230-plus individual faculty members involved in leading one or more of the program’s three primary initiatives: First-Year Seminar, Global Citizens, and Conversations with Professors.

“All of our major initiatives are the product of a faculty task force, which not only proposed the programs but then helped to sell the programs to their colleagues,” he said. “The team also includes academic advisors across campus, more than 200 student peer educators and a small but hard-working full-time FYE staff.

“I really see my role as facilitating the good work of others.”

Caplinger says he truly enjoys the work he does in FYE, not just because of the great team he works with, but also because of the impact they have on students’ lives, no matter their needs when they arrive on campus.

“When I can help a student who might have been at risk for dropping out of college, I get a lot of satisfaction from that,” he said. “I also really value challenging strong students to push themselves, to squeeze as much meaning out of their college experience that they can.”

Caplinger is the second Georgia Southern faculty member to receive the award. Michael Moore, Ph.D., professor of curriculum, foundations and reading, received the award in 1997, and still teaches FYE courses almost every semester.


Posted in Awards, Faculty, Faculty Highlights, History