Professor Carol Booth Olson is the recipient of UCI's Inaugural UCI Engage Outstanding Community Engaged Research Award. At a ceremony on May 9th, Professor Olson was recognized for her excellence, innovation, and effectiveness in research that demonstrates community collaboration, institutional impact, and deeply engaged, high-quality learning and research.
At the awards, Professor Olson was praised for the extensive impact her community-engaged research has had across many Orange County school districts. "Through professional development program for teachers, accompanying resources, and personal support, Professor Olson has not only trained and supported thousands of teachers but also had a lasting impact on the many students fortunate enough to be in these classrooms."
Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District, one of many she is serving, contributed this tribute: “Professor Olson has involved our teachers in deep and meaningful professional development programs, enriching conferences, and educational workshops. She has provided teachers with resources to build classroom libraries, change the discourse communities they have developed, and engender writing habits and skills that are dynamic and motivating. She encourages our teachers to put students first. The gifts she is providing for our teachers and students continue to grow. We are so encouraged by her and her work.”
As Director of the UCI Writing Project (UCIWP), Professor Olson has led the training of over 800 teacher/consultants from 85 local school districts and twelve colleges and universities. Additionally, the project has trained 675 teachers in its open program on Reading, Writing, and Critical Thinking, and 600 teachers in the Governor's Professional Development Institutes. UCIWP has reached over 20,000 teachers via conferences and inservice programs. Irvine was the first California Writing Project site to create a summer youth program, which has offered classes in writing, math, science, the arts, and sports and fitness to over 35,000 youth since the program's inception in 1983.
UCI Engage helps connect UCI and the community through strategic programing. By facilitating connections between UCI programs, faculty, and students and the Orange County community, UCI Engage is dedicated to a transformational undertaking on how teaching, research, and service are relevant and useful to the citizens of California, the nation, and the world in the context of partnerships and reciprocity. Professor Gilberto Q. Conchas is serving as faculty director.