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ACCC’s Ethel Russell Receives Prestigious Lindback Award

June 8, 2006

Ethel “Effie” Russell of Ocean City, professor of English at Atlantic Cape Community College and last year’s student body choice for Faculty Member of the Year, added a Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award to her laurels at the college’s recent commencement.

The Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation of Philadelphia has endowed the award for 41 years. It acknowledges the dedication and classroom skills of outstanding teachers at selected colleges and universities in southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey with an honorarium of $4,000. ACCC was added to the list of institutions in 2001.

“The Lindback award recognizes an esteemed member of our faculty who has significantly enhanced the process of student learning, affected the motivation to learn, inspired a greater interest in academic pursuit, and touched the lives of students in a meaningful way,” ACCC President Dr. Peter Mora said in presenting the award at the 39th annual commencement ceremony in May.

Endorsing the nomination, one student in Russell’s American literature class wrote: “She has an honest love for what she does and it shows. She encourages meaningful discussions on the books we are reading every time we meet, no matter how much class time it takes. I plan on becoming a teacher, and I just hope I can be half as good at my job as she is at hers.”

A colleague wrote that Russell “delivers her instruction with drama and passion and clearly, by the nodding of heads and free exchange of dialogue, the students appreciate her intensity.”

Russell joined the college in 1983 as an adjunct instructor. Four years later she accepted a half-time position as assistant professor and went full time the following year. In 1995, Russell was promoted to associate professor and in 2003 to full professor.

She chaired both the English department and the educational achievement committee at ACCC, served on the Middle States steering committee, and participated in New Student Day, a peer mentor program, and open house events, and made presentations at adjunct faculty development events.
She has also been included in “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers” in recognition of her contribution to educational excellence several times.

Russell earned her bachelor’s degree in English as a cum laude graduate of Pennsylvania’s Grove City College. Her master’s degree in English is from the University of Pittsburgh. She also attended Bard College’s Institute for Writing and Thinking. In 2001-02, she attended classes at Princeton University as a fellow.

She was an editorial assistant for New York’s Reuben Donnelley Co. before teaching English at Northern Highlands High School in Upper Saddle River and Middle Township High School.

She is also actively engaged in community and professional organizations having served as president of the Corbin City Board of Education and as a member of the Cape May County chapter of the American Association of University Women and on the board of the Helmbold Education Center Foundation. She is also a member of national and state chapters the Council of English Teachers.