This award honors a college or university president who champions the life-altering impact experiential education has on college students as they explore their professional futures.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars (TWC), along with its award partner, The National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE), is pleased to recognize Wheaton College president, Dennis M. Hanno, with this year’s William M. Burke Award for Excellence in Experiential Education. During his tenure, he has led a transformation of the undergraduate experience at Wheaton College in Massachusetts by focusing on experiential education and guaranteeing every student has access to internship funding.
Career exploration through experiential education is now part of the experience of every student at Wheaton College. President Hanno introduced the Wheaton Edge, which guarantees that every student will have access to funding to participate in a professional or research-based internship before senior year.
Experiential learning was further integrated into the Wheaton experience with the fall 2020 launch of the Compass Curriculum. Developed by the faculty in a true community-wide effort undertaken during President Hanno’s tenure, the curriculum helps students prepare for their post-academic futures by giving them the freedom and flexibility to create their own path to success through personalized advising and professional mentorship.
President Hanno also led the introduction of social innovation and social entrepreneurship programs into the college’s curriculum and co-curricular offerings, empowering students to put their ideas into action and learn from the experience. These programs are complemented by a network of interdisciplinary makerspace labs that have been expanded during his tenure.
“We are thrilled to award Dennis Hanno for his vision and leadership, which have proven critical in Wheaton College’s transformation to an experiential learning powerhouse,” said Chris Norton, president, The Washington Center. “President Hanno is an exemplary campus leader who is unwilling to accept limitations, who seeks innovative ways to better serve students as they begin examining career paths. Congratulations to President Hanno, the college’s dedicated faculty and staff, and all of Wheaton College’s student body and alumni.”
“It is an honor to be named the 2021 recipient of the William M. Burke Award for Excellence in Experiential Education,” said Dennis Hanno, president, Wheaton College. “Such recognition from The Washington Center and The National Society for Experiential Education reflects the progress that the Wheaton community has realized through our efforts to become the leading liberal arts institution empowering students to be innovative problem solvers, leaders and changemakers.”
The William M. Burke Award for Excellence in Experiential Education has been awarded annually since 2009. Honorees are selected for their commitment to the vital role experiential learning plays in assisting students in the discovery of their career paths, which was the driving force of Bill Burke’s career and led to the founding of TWC. President Hanno was selected from a competitive crowd of nominees.
Such recognition from The Washington Center and The National Society for Experiential Education reflects the progress that the Wheaton community has realized through our efforts to become the leading liberal arts institution empowering students to be innovative problem solvers, leaders and changemakers.Dr. Dennis M. Hanno, president, Wheaton College
Nominees for the William M. Burke Award for Excellence in Experiential Education must have met the following criteria:
- Be a college or university president from an accredited institution of higher education and in office during the 2020-2021 academic year;
- Champion experiential education as essential to the undergraduate experience;
- Demonstrate impact on student achievement through the following:
- Support for the establishment or expansion of a program to embrace or advance experiential education as an essential mode of learning;
- Exhibit entrepreneurial leadership in the advancement of experiential education;
- Promote the use of experiential education beyond their campus;
- Sustain commitment to equity in expanding opportunities for students to participate in experiential education programs.
Nominations for the 2022 William M. Burke Award for Excellence in Experiential Education open in Spring of 2022.
About Wheaton College
Wheaton is a private, four-year, residential college in Norton, Massachusetts that consistently ranks among the nation’s best. Offering more than 100 career-connected majors and minors, Wheaton's 1,700 students enjoy guaranteed access to internship funding along with a highly personalized education in the liberal arts and sciences. The college’s innovative Compass Curriculum encourages students to find a path that fits their interests and goals, with structured advising and mentorship to help guide that passion to career success.
About National Society for Experiential Education
National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE) is a nonprofit membership organization of educators, businesses, and community leaders. Founded in 1971, NSEE also serves as a national resource center for the development and improvement of experiential education programs nationwide.
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