Indiana State University Newsroom

History professor receives Community-Based Learning Award

April 14, 2016

Colleen Haas, a full-time instructor of African and African American Studies, was recognized with the Community-Based Learning and Scholarship Award Thursday during Indiana State University's Faculty Recognition Banquet.

The award recognizes outstanding faculty who have made serving the community an integral part of their academic goals and activities.

"With so many notable faculty projects at ISU, I was stunned to learn that I had received the Community-Based Learning and Scholarship Award," she said. "Both ISU's history department and Community School of the Arts have consistently supported me as a faculty member to bring experiential learning experiences in African music to campus and the greater Terre Haute community."

Haas has been leading educational workshops on African music and culture since the 1990s. In 2014, she was recruited by the university's Community School of the Arts to teach African music.

"Indiana State is a model university in teaching students how to value their local communities and how to be more involved," Haas said. "I am particularly proud to be part of a 40-year program of African and African American Studies on campus. And now with a partnership with Petra Nyendick and the Community School of the Arts, we can expand those offerings to community members who are not part of the traditional student population.

"Nowhere else have I been able to accomplish these kinds of pedagogical goals by promoting multi-cultural learning and bringing both the community and students together," she added. "I am grateful for the opportunities I have here at ISU and I wish to thank my chair, Chris Olsen and Petra Nyendick, director of the Community School for the Arts for their support. I wish to thank the committee for bestowing me with this honor."

Haas received her bachelor's degree from The College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minn., in 1983. She earned her master's (2005) degree and doctorate (2010) in ethnomusicology from Indiana University. Haas spent 12 months researching in Brazil as a Fulbright scholar in 2006. She joined the Indiana State faculty in 2011.

"The moments in my teaching that give me the greatest joy is when the students and community members, both amateurs and skilled practitioners alike, create new friendships and enjoy making music together that they know enriches the community in some way," Haas said.

-30- -- Colleen Haas

Media Contact: Libby Roerig, director of communications, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or