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Littlefield Honored as Outstanding Continuing Educator

Dr. Cathy M. Littlefield of West Chester, Pa., has received the 2013 Alexander Charters Outstanding Continuing Educator Award presented by the University Professional and Continuing Education Association Mid-Atlantic Region. Littlefield teaches continuing education courses at Widener University as an adjunct faculty member within the School of Education, Innovation and Continuing Studies.

The UPCEA's Alexander Charters Award recognizes the scholarship, leadership, and contributions to the continuing education profession by an individual who entered the profession less than 10 years ago. Littlefield taught her first continuing education course at Widener in 2009.

"Cathy always strivescathy l to be thorough and available for her students, and her evaluations clearly show that she is succeeding in these goals," wrote Karen Chiarini, coordinator of distance learning at Widener, in her nomination letter for Littlefield. Chiarini is one of five Widener faculty and staff members who nominated Littlefield for this award.

Littlefield currently teaches two courses within Widener's Continuing Studies Division: Becoming a Civically Engaged Professional and Introduction to Applied Supervision. She also teaches part time for Widener's Graduate Programs in Higher Education and full time at Pierce College as an associate professor of graduate studies in the Organizational Leadership and Management Program.

Prior to her career in higher education, Littlefield worked in the hospitality and manufacturing industries. She also launched and operated Forever Floral, a full-service florist in West Chester, with her husband, Dan. They still operate the scaled-down business out of their home through word-of-mouth referrals.

"I went back to school to earn my master's and my doctorate while I was working full time," Littlefield explained. "I think that is why I enjoy teaching continuing education courses. I can relate to the adult learner and the challenges they encounter when balancing family and work with their schooling."

Littlefield said that she enjoyed training staff while working in the hospitality industry. That experience coupled with her desire to "make a mark on someone's life" ultimately led her back to the classroom to make teaching a career.

Littlefield earned her bachelor's degree in hotel and restaurant management from Widener in 1990, her master's in business administration from West Chester University of Pennsylvania in 1998 and her doctorate in higher education leadership from Widener in 2012.

Widener University is a metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. A comprehensive doctorate-granting university, Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate, baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral degrees. The university's campuses in Chester, Exton and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., serve more than 6,300 students. Widener is proud to be a tobacco-free campus. Visit the university's website,