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Monmouth College's Craig Vivian is helping the Rural Schools Collaborative advance its work in western Illinois and beyond.

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Craig Vivian, Ph.D., Is RSC's Newest Advocate

September 24, 2018

The Rural Schools Collaborative (RSC) is pleased to announce that Craig Vivian, Ph.D., has become the latest RSC Advocate. Vivian chairs Monmouth College's Educational Studies department and resides in Monmouth, Illinois.

Joshua D. Gibb, RSC Chair and President and CEO of the Galesburg Community Foundation said, "For more than a year Craig has really helped us advance our work to strengthen rural schools and communities in the western Illinois region. Our new partnership with Monmouth College would not have happened without his support."

Craig Vivian coordinates the Rural Schools Collaborative's new partnership with Monmouth College, which includes an on campus office that is staffed by Community Engagement Fellow Amjad Karkout and Community Engagement Intern, Courtney Harmon. The office also serves to support several Monmouth College initiatives, including the new TARTANS rural teacher corps. The partnership is a key component of RSC's Western Illinois Hub.

Vivian's academic odyssey is truly Homeric. He explains:

"I started on my first career path as a carpenter. Out of high school, I apprenticed with a master carpenter for 4 years, learning all aspects of building a house-from the concrete foundation to the interior trim. Deciding, at the age of 22, that we could do something good for the world, my wife and I joined the Peace Corps. We spent the next 13 years living and traveling in many places around the world. I have lived and worked in Kiribati, the Sudan, Zimbabwe, Switzerland and France. In each place we ended up, I would naturally gravitate toward teaching informally in a local school, usually tutoring children or working with adult learners. When we decided to settle back in the states, it seemed natural for me to pursue teaching formally."

Vivian's research Interests include student conceptualizations of learning over time, the process of becoming a "student," the institutionalization of education, metaphors of learning, the role of distraction in learning, and using boardgames as educational tools. He describes himself as an apiarist and a ludophile.

Vivian received his B.A. from Cornell University in 1989 and his Ph.D. from the same University in 2000.

Rural Schools Collaborative Advocates make important contributions to rural schools and communities in their respective regions. Their willingness to support RSC's work enhances both the credibility and capacity of the organization.

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