After nearly a dozen years teaching at WPI, Scott Jiusto, associate professor of geography, was recently named CASE Professor of the Year for Massachusetts, the fifth WPI faculty member to receive the award since 2002.
Jiusto’s work with WPI’s award-winning Cape Town Project Centre, for which he served as director since 2007, was especially influential. But his work to advance the Global Projects Program since he joined WPI in 2004 in general was noted as well. Jiusto’s contributions to dozens of WPI’s international project centers has established solid community relationships and local partnerships that have helped the centers thrive.
Modest about the CASE award, Jiusto deflects some of the praise. “It’s very nice and reflects on our program,” he says. “The nomination is about the program.”
The CASE award is sponsored by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. According to the website, honored undergraduate instructors nationwide are “those who excel in teaching and positively influence the lives and careers of students.” The CASE award is “the only national program to recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentoring” and was awarded to four national and 35 state winners this year.
Jiusto’s work in Cape Town has fine-tuned what he refers to as Shared Action Learning, and the approach has formed the cornerstone of how the Cape Town Project Centre, in particular, operates. Shared Action Learning is an intricate development of relationships with and within the local and national community and related organizations to determine the best approach to implementing any new changes. Effective results come when all parties connect with each other and with the community so the work will be both meaningful and also most useful, he says.