Eakin to direct Ingram Scholars
Marshall Eakin, a history professor noted for excellence in teaching and strong commitment to Vanderbilt’s service learning initiatives, has been named director of the Ingram Scholars Program.
The Ingram Scholars Program provides scholarships to Vanderbilt students who have demonstrated a commitment to combine a career in business or a business-related field with community service. The program, created and endowed by the late Vanderbilt Board of Trust Chairman E. Bronson Ingram, has assisted more than 200 Vanderbilt students since its founding in 1993.
“Marshall’s passion for teaching and his long-term commitment to service learning make him an ideal choice to lead our Ingram Scholars Program,” Richard McCarty, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, said. “I know that our students will benefit greatly from his wealth of experiences in Central and South America, his care and concern for people in need, and his stature as a scholar.”
A native Texan, Eakin received his B.A. in history and anthropology and M.A. in Latin American history from the University of Kansas. He then went to UCLA where he earned his doctorate in 1981.
Eakin taught at Loyola Marymount University before joining the Vanderbilt faculty in 1983. Eakin began serving as faculty adviser for Alternative Spring Break, a student-run community service program, in 1989 and led groups of students to places that included Monterrey, Mexico, and Union, W. Va. He and other faculty organized an ad hoc task force on service learning that brought together members of the Vanderbilt community who were interested in service learning to hear speakers on related topics.
For the past two years Eakin has been the faculty director for Family, Community and Social Justice in Nicaragua, a summer course offered through the Vanderbilt Initiative for Scholarship & Global Engagement (VISAGE). Students work with the MANNA Project in Managua, Nicaragua, as they examine the role of family and community in the struggle to achieve a better life in one of the poorest countries of the Americas.
Eakin said that it was an honor and privilege to serve as director of the Ingram Scholars Program. “I have worked with Ingram Scholars on an individual basis since the inception of the program, and they have been some of the most memorable and accomplished students I have known in my 26 years at Vanderbilt,” he said.
Eakin teaches and writes about the history of Latin America, especially Brazil. His books include Brazil: The Once and Future Country (St. Martin’s, 1997) and The History of Latin America: Collision of Cultures (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). He is currently researching another book, Becoming Brazilians: Making a Nation and a People, 1930-1992.
Since 2004 he has been executive director of the Brazilian Studies Association, an interdisciplinary international organization that promotes the study of Brazil. Eakin is a former chair of the Vanderbilt Department of History and former acting director of Vanderbilt’s Center for Latin American and Iberian Studies. He’s also a past president of the Friends of the Library.
In 1999 the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education named Eakin the Tennessee Professor of the Year in recognition of his “extraordinary dedication to teaching, commitment to students and innovative teaching methods.”
Eakin’s other awards include the Chancellor’s Cup (for the greatest contribution to student-faculty relationships), the Madison Sarratt Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, the Jeffrey W. Nordhaus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the Ernest A. Jones Faculty Adviser Award in the College of Arts and Science. He held a Chair of Teaching Excellence from 1998 through 2001 and was the Joe B. Wyatt Distinguished Professor from 2004 to 2005.
“My most important contribution as an undergraduate teacher has two intertwined components: the development of service learning on campus and the fostering of a conversation among faculty about the culture of teaching at Vanderbilt,” Eakin said.
He succeeds Ann Neely, associate professor of the practice of education, as director of the Ingram Scholars Program. She is stepping down from the position to focus on her teaching and research. “I look forward to carrying on the outstanding work of Ann Neely,” Eakin said. “She deserves our thanks for 16 years dedicated to working with these students and building an exceptional program.”
Contact: Ann Marie Deer Owens, (615) 322-NEWS