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WKU’s Terry Wilson among first recipients of GREEN Educator Award

Dr. Terry Wilson, director of WKU’s Center for Environmental Education and Sustainability, was recognized Tuesday as one of the first five recipients of the Chevrolet GREEN Educator Award.

Dave Tatman (right), manager of General Motors Corvette plant, presents WKU's Terry Wilson with the Chevrolet GREEN Educator Award on Sept. 27. (WKU photo by Clinton Lewis)

“I am incredibly honored to receive this award,” Dr. Wilson said. “When one looks back on the things done in an effort to educate people, and especially young people, about the amazing planet we all share, at least two things come to mind. First, these accomplishments could not have been done alone, but only through the many partnerships of people and organizations who are striving to reach the same goals.  Secondly, it’s always a labor of love.”

The Chevrolet GREEN (Global Rivers Environmental Education Network) Educator Award, presented by Earth Force and the General Motors Foundation, recognizes teachers, college professors and volunteers who have taken an initiative to integrate environmental education into their schools and community programs.

WKU President Gary Ransdell called the award “a great distinction for WKU.”

“This is a wonderful moment in the life of our university and we are very proud of Terry Wilson,” Dr. Ransdell said.

Dave Tatman, manager of the General Motors Corvette plant and representing the GM Foundation, presented the award. “Thank you for all you do for advancing the cause of the environment and sustainability,” he said.

Dr. Terry Wilson has partnered with the GM GREEN program since 2004 and has provided hands-on environmental education lessons for local students. A group of students from Potter Gray Elementary School participated in water monitoring Sept. 22 on Trammel Creek. (WKU photo by Bryan Lemon)

Dr. Wilson, who has been at WKU for 22 years, has devoted the majority of his career to teacher and leadership training in environmental education.

As a partner with the GM GREEN program since 2004, Dr. Wilson has worked with local schools to conduct water quality investigations with the aid of GM employees and integrates service-learning and the Earth Force process into his pre-service and graduate teacher education courses.

Jan Sneddon, director of Community Partnerships for Earth Force, said Dr. Wilson has had a distinguished career in science and environmental education and teacher training. Dr. Wilson’s teaching tools and tips for getting students involved are featured on the Earth Force website at www.greeneducator.org.

Dr. Terry Wilson said his career in environmental education has been a labor of love. (WKU photo by Clinton Lewis)

The GM Foundation and Earth Force are honoring five educators each month in the search to find the 20 best “GREEN” educators nationwide. Educators of all kinds, including K-12 classroom teachers, higher education faculty and informal community-based instructors who have made a substantial effort to promote environmental engagement among youth are eligible for the award.

About GM GREEN: GM GREEN is a partnership between General Motors, community-based organizations in GM communities and the nonprofit organization Earth Force. Through the program, young people are challenged to be active community citizens, tackling water quality issues with hands-on science. More than 8,500 students participate every year, and this number will continue to grow as schools see the benefits of watershed-based education and problem solving.

About the GM Foundation: Since its inception in 1976, the GM Foundation had donated hundreds of millions of dollars to deserving American charities, educational organizations and to disaster relief efforts worldwide. The GM Foundation focuses on supporting Education, Health and Human Services, Environment and Energy and Community Development initiatives, mainly in the communities where GM operates. Funding of the GM Foundation comes solely from GM. The last contribution to the GM Foundation was made in 2001. For information, visit www.gm.com/corporate/responsibility/community.

About Earth Force: Earth Force is passionate about young people finding their voice while assuming leadership roles in solving local environmental problems. Earth Force envisions a nation where young people from all walks of life are actively making positive change to the environment at their schools, in their neighborhoods, and in partnership with their communities. Earth Force works to build partnerships across the country, including GM communities. For information about Earth Force, visit www.earthforce.org.

Contact: Terry Wilson, (270) 745-4671.

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