RADNOR, Pa. (March 3, 2015)—Richie Gebauer, director of the First-Year Experience at Cabrini College, received the Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate Award from Cengage Learning and The National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition.
Gebauer was one of only 10 individuals in the nation to receive the honor.
Currently in its 26th year, the annual award honors individuals for their outstanding advocacy on behalf of undergraduate first-year students and the impact their efforts have on the students and culture of their institutions.
Gebauer was honored during the Annual Conference on The First-Year Experience in Dallas, Texas, on Feb. 8, which assists educators and administrators in the planning, implementing, and refining of programs designed to enhance the first-year experience.
At the conference, he also presented “Bridging the First-Year Experience through Student Leadership Roles” with Anne Filippone, director of student engagement at Cabrini.
Since 2007, Gebauer has shaped the first-year experience at Cabrini College. With his help, Cabrini has improved student learning, engagement and success through programs including Living and Learning Communities (LLCs), pre-orientation, summer orientation, and peer mentor model for College Success Seminars.
In the past eight years, Gebauer has grown the LLC program to six LLCs, a commuter Learning Community (LC), and several First-Year Interest Group Learning Communities assisting underprepared students.
With his support, one third of the faculty became involved in the program and nearly half of the first-year students in 2014 enrolled in an LLC or LC.
To better prepare students for their transition to college, Gebauer has helped grow orientation programs to include diverse experiences ranging from adventure-based excursions to faith-based exploration.
In 2013, his work with the summer orientation programs contributed to 93 percent of the first-year class attending one of three orientations.
Gebauer has acted as a consultant to help other colleges and universities begin LLC programs of their own. He has published journals and has presented at conferences across the country with support from faculty and staff contributors.
Gebauer serves as the faculty director of the IMPACT LLC at Cabrini and teaches an “Engagements with the Common Good” course that focuses on the themes of social justice as it relates to Cabrini’s mission.
About Cabrini College
Students do extraordinary things at Cabrini College, a residential Catholic college welcoming learners of all faiths, cultures, and backgrounds.
Since its founding in 1957 by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the College has provided a transformational Education of the Heart, focusing on academic excellence, leadership development, and a commitment to social justice.
Cabrini enrolls about 1,300 undergraduates in more than 30 majors, pre‑professional programs, concentrations and minors on its serene 112‑acre campus located 30 minutes from Philadelphia. The College also enrolls about 1,100 students in graduate and professional studies programs at its main campus in Radnor, Pa., and at 13 off‑site locations.