Reva A. Savkar, Annandale associate professor of chemistry and winner of the 2013 Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence, and her husband, Bob Loser, retired Extended Learning Institute (ELI) instructional designer, have announced the creation of the “Democracy Builders Essay Contest” for NOVA students.
They invite NOVA students to write 600-to-800-word essays on the topic of “Promoting Informed Civil Discourse in a Democratic Society.” Up to five essays will be selected by a NOVA faculty panel for prizes of $100 each. The submissions deadline is Friday, March 17, 2017. Information about the contest can be found at https://blogs.nvcc.edu/democracybuilders/.
“We believe that informed civil discourse has an essential and relevant role in a democratic society,” said Savkar. “We would like NOVA students to present in a cogent and persuasive manner how they would increase informed civil discourse in our society.”
“Be creative and dream big,” she added, “and tell us how you would re-invent our social structures and processes to promote thoughtful, informed and respectful discussion of issues.”
This is the fifth time that Savkar and Loser have offered grant programs for NOVA faculty or students. It started with the Reva A. Savkar Excellence in Learning Scholarship that provides $500 awards to two students each year in a science-related curriculum who have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.75.
In 2016, the couple established the Loser-Savkar Faculty Professional Development Fellowship to provide $1,000 grants to full-time 9-month teaching faculty in support of their professional development activities. Four fellows have been named for 2017.
They next created the PaTHS Scholarship to provide $500 awards to be used for tuition and course materials for science courses at NOVA to two students who participated in the NCSI Forensic Summer 2016 Academy as a way to encourage exploration of lab sciences and science-related career paths. The name of the scholarship is an acronym created to honor the commitment to education of their parents, Prabha, Theodore, Hazel and Shrikrishna.
Then, to help ensure that an emergency financial need does not prevent a promising and dedicated student from successfully completing their course of study, they established the ASHA Emergency Fund that provides one-time grants of up to $300 to NOVA students in need. The word “asha” means “hope” in Sanskrit and they created the acronym to stand for “Anchor of Security, Hope and Acceptance.”
Information about all five of these programs can be found at https://blogs.nvcc.edu/lscircle/.