Bridgewater College has selected two new faculty directors within the College’s Center for Engaged Learning (CEL).
Benjamin Erickson, senior instructor in the Department of Communication Studies, has been selected as the inaugural Director of Community Engagement. Erickson’s service began on May 1. In his role, Erickson will promote community engagement among BC students through curricular and co-curricular initiatives.
In addition to teaching at BC for the last 16 years, Erickson also serves as the program coordinator for the Master of Arts in Digital Media Strategy for which he oversees creating opportunities for graduate students to work with nonprofits and start-up businesses throughout the community. Erickson is passionate about helping students gain practical experience that they can bring to the workforce, as well as helping organizations and companies share their stories. Erickson received an M.A. in communication from the University of Maine. In addition to teaching, he has served with a variety of nonprofit organizations including the United Way and Skyline Literacy, both in Harrisonburg, Va.
Dr. Elizabeth MacDougall, associate professor of psychology, has been selected as the Director of Student Research. MacDougall’s service begins July 1. In her role, MacDougall will explore ways that Bridgewater encourages, facilitates and celebrates student research to create synergies that will benefit students.
MacDougall received a B.S. in psychology from Geneva College, an M.A. in clinical psychology from Loyola University Maryland and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Before joining the BC faculty in August 2020, she served in faculty positions at Loyola University Maryland and at Hood College. Her scholarship interests and publications span the neurocognitive assessment of older adults, the assessment of death anxiety and the relationship between religion/spirituality and mental health. Her most recent article, published in the journal Aging & Mental Health in 2021, is entitled, “Predicting depression in dementia caregivers: Do religious/spiritual struggles play a role?” As a licensed clinical psychologist, MacDougall also worked for many years as a consultant specializing in the assessment of cognitive impairment in older adults and in the differential diagnosis of dementia syndromes.
“We are very pleased that Ben and Elizabeth are joining the Center for Engaged Learning, expanding and deepening the opportunities for BC students to find the engagement that is the hallmark of BC’s distinctive connected-learning approach to undergraduate education,” said Dr. Jamie Frueh, Associate Provost and Director of the CEL.
BC’s CEL combines academics with extracurricular programming to enhance students’ college experiences while helping them become responsible to and active in communities. The CEL houses the College’s Flory Honors Program, the Showker Leadership Grant and the Showker Prize, the Wade Institute for Teaching and Learning, Margaret Grattan Weaver Institute for Regional Culture, the Kline-Bowman Institute for Creative Peacebuilding, the Zane D. Showker Institute for Responsible Leadership, and the Endowed Lectures and Study Abroad programs.