Dr. Timothy Shea, a professor of Management Information Systems (MIS) in the Charlton College of Business, was recently awarded the Faculty Civic Leadership Award by UMass Dartmouth’s Leduc Center for Civic engagement. The award recognizes faculty members for their dedication to creating a bridge between learning and community. Nominees were judged on their work in creating active learning opportunities that benefit both the university and surrounding communities.
Shea uses a service-learning approach to his lessons, where his students work with Southcoast clients to design and develop databases, websites, ecommerce sites, select and implement software, or design local area networks in order to provide his students with a pragmatic, progressive learning experience, while meeting the needs of the community.
"As retirement is beginning to nip at my heels, I'm thinking more about what I have done in my 20 plus years at UMass Dartmouth,” said Shea. “One thing I am very clear about, and I am most grateful for, is the many opportunities to work with students on projects -- especially projects in the community.”
Shea, who was one of the very first service-learning faculty fellows when the program began 12 years ago, actively engages in activities to promote, support, and develop the regional economy in ways both large and small. Among the many ways he’s done so are over 100 community projects done through his MIS Capstone class.
A few recent projects include website development for a mini library initiative in New Bedford, a local family owned construction company, a music store, and a catering company – along with an inventory system for the on-campus juice bar. Most recently, he and his students worked with Diedre Healy of the Leduc Center and community partners to address food insecurity problems on the Southcoast by developing a "Food Finder" application that connects people in need with local resources to assist them. The application now has a permanent home at the Marion Institute in Marion, MA, who oversaw its use during the pandemic.
“UMass Dartmouth is a public university, and I came here wanting to make service to the community a significant part of my work. With a lot of help along the way, especially through the Leduc Center, I have done that,” said Shea. “This award is one of the best things I could receive to represent my time here."