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Dr. Louise Kaplan Receives Prestigious Lindback Award

June 20, 2005

Dr. Louise Kaplan, professor of anthropology and bioethics at Atlantic Cape Community College, was awarded the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award during the college’s 38th annual commencement ceremony in May.

The Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation of Philadelphia endows the award, which recognizes outstanding teachers at certain colleges and universities in southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. ACCC was added to the list of institutions for the first time in 2001. The award, in existence 40 years, comes with a stipend of $4,000.

The Mays Landing resident earned her Ed.D. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, graduating with a 4.0 GPA and was inducted into the prestigious Phi Kappa Phi honor society. She was the first ACCC faculty member to receive a mid-career fellowship to Princeton University. She earned her M.P.A. in public administration on a Carnegie Endowment Fellowship from New York University, where she received the alumnae award. Kaplan earned an M.A. in anthropology from New York University, and a B.A. in political science from Hunter College in New York.

She joined Atlantic Community College in 1968 as a part-time instructor of anthropology. One year later she secured a full-time assistant professor position and was promoted to associate professor in 1977. She was named professor in 1988.

In nominating her for the award, one student wrote, “Her love for learning is quite evident once you step into her (class)room and lab.” Gina Skinner, assistant dean, enrollment services wrote, “Louise Kaplan is an amazing instructor who brings the science of anthropology to life for her students.”

ACCC President John T. May, in presenting the award at the May 26 commencement, called the Lindback honoree, “A person we can hold up as a role model, a person who stands out, whose accessibility to students, high standards, and openness to new ideas and new ways of teaching stand as a shining example for others in our community of scholars.”

Kaplan has served ACCC in many endeavors including committees for presidential search, faculty assembly, cultural affairs, sabbatical leave, planning, basic skills, curriculum and international education.

A Margate resident for more than 20 years, she has been nominated several times to the prestigious Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. Her memberships have also included the American Anthropology and Community College Anthropology associations and Phi Delta Kappa honor society.

On receiving the prestigious Lindback Award, Kaplan said she was “very honored to be chosen by colleagues and students. What could be a higher honor than that?”

Her advice to new teachers is direct. “Challenge your students, challenge yourself and be challenged,” said Kaplan. “That is the role of a faculty member. It’s about the exchange of ideas in a collegial environment where passionate debate, conducted respectfully, is encouraged.”

Kaplan was one of nine nominees and three finalists for the Lindback honor, all of whom May described as “strong teachers who have contributed significantly to the education of our students.”