Faculty, student community engagement excellence recognized

Friday, May 13, 2016
Jomella Watson-Thompson received a Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award
Jomella Watson-Thompson, center, receives a faculty award presented by CCSR Director John Augusto, left, and Assistant Director Linda Dixon.
Tyler Galloway received a 2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award
Tyler Galloway, center, receives a faculty award presented by Augusto and Dixon.
Paige Hillebert receives the 2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award presented by CCSR Student Engagement Coordinator Amanda Wright, left, and Augusto.

LAWRENCE — The Center for Civic and Social Responsibility announces the 2016 Faculty and Student Excellence in Service Learning Awards and recognizes the Student Service Showcase winners from the April 7 community partner Service Celebration.

Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Awards were conferred upon Jomella Watson-Thompson, associate professor of applied behavioral science, and Tyler Galloway, associate professor of design, for their achievements in connecting coursework and community concerns through service learning pedagogy. Paige Hillebert, a senior from Shawnee majoring in business administration and minoring in French, was recognized with the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award. Three student posters were recognized during the Student Service Showcase of the April Service Celebration.

Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Awards

Watson-Thompson was recognized with a faculty excellence award for connecting students and community partners through applied behavioral science courses, such as Building Healthy Communities and Community Leadership. Watson-Thompson has continually connected her teaching, research and service to community engagement and has been an ambassador of service learning practices to other faculty across campus. Cindy Lynn, a Pelathe District Boy Scouts representative and one of the many community partners that collaborated with Watson-Thompson’s classes, commended Watson-Thompson’s “ability to navigate community interventions and the challenges that arise from working with student volunteers and agency needs.”

Galloway received a faculty excellence award for his ongoing commitment to addressing community needs and effectively engaging students in the design classroom. Creating clear learning objectives for each of the service projects he incorporates into his classes, Galloway has led multisemester collaborations with the United Way of Douglas County and Lawrence public schools. His students have worked with these entities on problem-based design projects to address community-identified issues, such as poverty in Douglas County and high school dropout rates. Galloway participated in the 2016 Community Engagement and Pedagogy Research Symposium at the KU School of Architecture, Design, and Planning, sharing his experiences with other faculty.

Student Excellence in Service Learning Award

Paige Hillebert received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for her achievements in applying coursework to community concerns and her dedication to environmentalism and volunteerism. Hillebert earned a Certificate in Service Learning through her participation in a KU Alternative Break at the Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and taking the accompanying Special Projects in the Community service learning course. Upon her return to KU, Hillebert dedicated herself to volunteerism as a Daily Bread coordinator for the Center for Community Outreach, addressing issues of hunger, food recovery and sustainability. With the skills she’s developed through her business administration degree, Hillebert plans to work with nonprofit organizations for social change.

Service Showcase Poster Winners

The second annual Service Celebration, which was lasat month at The Commons, brought together service learning faculty, students and community partners to recognize the multiple community organizations and agencies who make service learning at KU possible. New to this year’s celebration was a juried Service Showcase Poster Competition in which students presented posters on their volunteer or service learning involvement. Seven students from three projects received awards of $100 for their service posters:  

  • Jordan Hildenbrand, junior in chemical engineering from Blue Springs, Missouri, for her volunteer work at Heartland Community Health Center
  • Alex Kong, Lawrence; Breanna Clark, Shawnee; Therese Castrogiovanni, Lemont, Illinois, all seniors in pharmacy, and Corbin Stephens, senior in economics from Lawrence, for their work with the Lawrence Community Shelter through their co-founded student group, Students Empowering Local Futures.
  • Brittney Beckham, senior in visual communication from Omaha, Nebraska, and Elena Anderson-Smith, sophomore in Spanish and Latin American and Caribbean Studies from Omaha, for their volunteer work with the Center for Community Outreach program Environmental Action to Revitalize the Heartland (EARTH).
Wright with Poster Showcase winners  (left to right) Corbin Stephens, Alex Kong and Breanna Clark, and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies DeAngela Burns-Wallace. Not pictured: Therese Castrogiovanni. Wright with Poster Showcase winners Brittany Beckham and Ellie Anderson-Smith and Burns-Wallace. Wright with Poster Showcase winner Jordan Hildebrand and Burns-Wallace.