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Loyola School of Education faculty member awarded Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic’s Early Career Engaged Scholarship Award

| By Rita Buettner
Leah Katherine Saal, Ph.D., assistant professor of literacy education

Leah Katherine Saal, Ph.D., assistant professor of literacy education at Loyola University Maryland’s School of Education, has been awarded the Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic’s Early Career Engaged Scholarship Award for her outstanding research in curricular service-learning and research in service of community members and organizations. 

Saal was selected based on her research, which focuses on the intersectionality of literacy and social justice. This includes her studies on the literacies of adults and older students in and out of educational programs and the preparation and support of literacy leaders to work for social justice.

“Dr. Saal is devoted to high-impact, community partner-driven research, and she is well deserving of this award,” said Amanda M. Thomas, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs. “At Loyola University Maryland, we strive to inspire students to learn, lead, and serve in a diverse and changing world. Her dedication to engaged scholarship makes a difference not only for her students, but also in our surrounding community.”

An example of the impact of Saal’s research is her work with Lisa Schoenbrodt, Ed.D., to develop Learning to LEAD: Training Self-Advocate Educators for First Responders. The program is a collaboration between Loyola University Maryland, Best Buddies of Maryland, and local first responders—including the Prince George’s County and Baltimore City Police Academies and Montgomery County Fire/EMS Services. 

Funded by a grant from the Ethan Saylor Alliance, Maryland Department of Disabilities, the LEAD Program trains self-advocate educators (people with disabilities) to train first responders on using safe and effective interactions techniques and skills when working with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. LEAD has received praise for its positive impact on facilitating interactions where both first responders and people with disabilities are safe, understood, and included.

The Early Career Engaged Scholarship is awarded by the Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic (CCMA), a nonprofit association of public, private, two- and four-year colleges and universities. CCMA provides leadership to colleges and universities by advocating, supporting, and encouraging institutional participation in academic and co-curricular based public service and civic engagement programs.

Saal will receive the award at the Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic ceremony on Nov. 16.

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