Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

Past Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients

2016 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Jomella-Watson Thompson, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members John Augusto and Linda Dixon.

2016 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jomella 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.”


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $500 check.
Paige Hillebert, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Wright and John Augusto.

2016 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

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.


2015 Award Recipients
Three people holding an award certificate, an imitation $500 check, and an oversized dollar bill with one of the people's face on it..
Dena Register, center, receives the faculty award from Center for Service Learning staff members Amanda Schwegler and John Augusto.

2015 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dena Register, who was the Director of Faculty Programs for International Programs and an associate professor in music therapy and music education has taught service learning courses at KU since 2008. As a Spring 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, she created Southeast Asia’s first music therapy degree program and established clinical music therapy programs for patients with neurological disorders and children with special needs at two Bangkok-area hospitals. Register has also led five study abroad programs to Thailand, allowing students to observe and implement music therapy sessions at clinical training sites such as university hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and education facilities for children.


Three people holding an award certificate and an imitation $250 check.
Jordyn Gunville, center, receives the student award from Center for Service Learning staff member John Augusto and faculty member Jomella Watson-Thompson.

2015 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Jordyn Gunville, senior in Applied Behavioral Science, received the student award for the leadership and personal growth she’s exhibited through her volunteer work and community health courses. Gunville volunteered with a KU Medical Center mobile clinic that serves urban and reservation American Indian communities and, through service learning practicum coursework, created guides and protocols to assist and support future volunteers at the clinic.

Also through coursework, Gunville independently developed and received a grant to help Native American youth from South Dakota participate in LEAD UP, a youth leadership and college access program at KU for racial and ethnic minority youth. Gunville was placed with the Center for American Indian Community Health at the KU Medical Center for a practicum experience and was instrumental in getting high school, undergraduate, and graduate racial and ethnic minority students from KU and other institutions involved in an eight-week summer internship program at that center.


2014 Award Recipients
One individual holding an award certifiate and an informational poster surrounded by 15 other people.
Dory Sabata, center, displays her faculty award with her occupational therapy students.

2014 Faculty Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Dory Sabata, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy education
Sabata received the faculty award for building a service learning program in the occupational therapy education program at the KU Medical Center.

“Dory coordinates all service learning activities,” says colleague and occupational therapy Associate Professor Lisa Mische Lawson. “She supports both the service learning mentors and the students to make sure things go smoothly and both academic and program goals are met.”

Sabata’s efforts began in 2011 with one class of students working with a few community partners and by 2014 had grown the program to a year-long service learning project that collaborates with more than a dozen partners.

“We would not have service learning without Dory,” says Lawson.


Three people holding an award certificate.
Boys and Girls Club staff members display their community partner award.

2014 Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence
The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence received Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. The Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) is an after-school program that offers educational and recreational programs to build character, academic success, and healthy lifestyles in young people. BGCL hosts university service learning students from over a dozen KU departments each year and works with multiple KU student groups to put on youth-oriented holiday and sporting events. These collaborations benefit the KU students as much as they provide opportunities for the Boys and Girls Club youth, teaching them leadership, management, and relationship-building skills.

“A lot of what helped me get through the challenges of starting my first "real" job I credit back to my service learning project with Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence,” reflects honors English program and service learning alumna Meghan Crylen. “It was where I realized that applying what I learned with what I experienced was a powerful combination and a true agent for change.”

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


One person holding an award certificate with a classroom in the background.
Leigh Loving receives the student award during a Jayhawk Health Initiative meeting with other students.

2014 Student Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipient

Leigh Loving, junior in Genetics
Leigh Loving received the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating community awareness, engagement, and positive impact as well as academic and personal achievement through service learning.

Loving, a junior majoring in genetics, earned a Certification in Service Learning by taking ABSC 310: Building Healthy Communities and HNRS 492: Citizen Philanthropy. In these classes, she learned about sustainable community efforts and positive outcomes.

Loving is also the founder and president of the Jayhawk Health Initiative, a student-run international service program that helps bring medical and dental care to underserved communities in Panama.

Loving says she “took her education outside the classroom” when she organized and led 25 pre-health undergraduates on the first Jayhawk Health Initiative medical mission to Panama in 2013. Preparation for the second trip is currently underway.

Loving says of her service learning and community efforts, “A truly balanced education needs the traditional academic side along with experiential learning through service.”

 

2013 Award Recipients

2013 Faculty Award Recipient

Bob Basow, associate professor of Journalism
Basow received the faculty award for implementing service learning in a manner consistent with good practice and for demonstrating a positive impact on students and the community. Basow’s service learning courses apply students’ strategic communication skills to enhancing public outreach efforts of local nonprofit organizations. Teams of students research and create recommendations for how the nonprofit organizations can more effectively solve communications challenges. Basow’s service learning efforts have led to the creation of the Jayhawk Buddy System, KU’s responsible drinking program; cost-effective advertising strategies for the Lawrence ReStore; and marketing plans that engaged the KU community in creating a culture of conservation, among others.


 

2013 Community Partner Award Recipient

Eudora Elementary School
Eudora Elementary School was selected for the community partner award to honor their commitment to the academic, civic, and personal development of students and their facilitation of effective service learning environments. Eudora Elementary School has hosted KU elementary education majors for ten years as assistant teachers and lesson planners. Eudora Elementary School teachers mentor, guide, and serve as role models for KU students. Teachers also provide feedback and evaluation of KU student work.

According to Diane Coffman, Curriculum & Teaching instructor, “The students learn so much by working with actual elementary students and being able to observe and interact with professional educators outside of our classroom setting.”


 

2013 Student Award Recipient

Bailey Reimer, senior in American Studies and Linguistics
Reimer was recognized with the student award for her civic commitment, community awareness, and positive community impact, as well as academic impact and personal development through service learning. Reimer has held multiple leadership roles in KU Alternative Breaks, a student-run service learning program that organizes student volunteer trips across the country. In planning Alternative Breaks trips, Reimer created and maintained relationships with nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and worked to maximize the impact of the Alternative Breaks preparatory class on all student participants.

Of her experience with service, Reimer said, “The single most formative experiences for me at the University of Kansas have been those through service learning initiatives, the lessons which I have used to shape my lifestyle, goals, schoolwork and extracurricular involvement.”

Reimer has also volunteered with the Shawnee Mission School District and with the national nonprofit Education Pioneers. Reimer held a Resident Assistant position for the Honors community in Templin Hall and made it a priority to engage the residents in service and service reflection.

 

2012 Award Recipients

2012 Faculty Award Recipient

Nils Gore, associate professor of architecture
Gore received the faculty award for his implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Since 2003, Gore has incorporated service learning into his architecture studio classes, allowing students to design and build structures that benefit the community. A sampling of these projects include a community playground built for three Lawrence neighborhood associations; a West Junior High School courtyard renovation; and a Kaw River trailhead structure and an overlook, both for the Kansas Biological Survey.

In addition, over 2 years between 2006 and 2008, Gore took his architecture students to New Orleans to work with a local cultural center in assisting the post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans community. Gore and his students designed and built several structures that would help the community come together again after the hurricane, including a mobile stage, community garden shed, and an outdoor classroom, all at the request of local community members.


 

2012 Student Award Recipient

Allyson Bell, a graduating senior in applied behavioral science
Allyson Bell was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Bell graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science. Through her academic service learning and co-curricular activities, she developed a specific interest in autism. She worked with the nonprofit Integrated Behavioral Technologies, providing services to children with special needs and their families. Bell was a founding member of KU’s only service sorority, Omega Phi Alpha, and helped start the student group Piecing Together Autism, which works to raise awareness of autism and helps fund therapy for children with autism. She has been involved in research related to early intervention in young children with developmental disabilities. Bell has also been working towards a national behavior analyst certification, so that she can provide needed services to children with autism and other disabilities after she graduates.


 

2012 Community Partner Award Recipient

Van Go, Inc.
Van Go, a nonprofit that provides arts-based job skills training for high-needs and under-served youth, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Van Go has partnered with many departments at KU to advance the learning of KU students, including Social Welfare, Applied Behavioral Sciences, Communication Studies, Art and Design, Architecture, and Visual Art. Van Go has made multiple efforts to create meaningful service for KU students, placing them according to their skills, being open to new projects based on students' areas of focus, and helping them understand the importance of their role with Van Go students.

 

2011 Award Recipients

2011 Faculty Award Recipient

Raquel Alexander, assistant professor of business
Raquel Alexander received the faculty award for her implementation of service learning in the classroom and the impact of that work on students and the community. Alexander teaches tax research in the School of Business and has been incorporating service learning into her classroom since 2005. In her classes, Alexander has repeatedly responded to topical community needs that could benefit from students’ tax skills. After Hurricane Katrina, Alexander’s students created a website explaining the new tax relief code to hurricane victims. The site was praised by the American Bar Association and used by New Orleans tax professionals. More recently, Alexander’s classes have created a tax publication for victims of the Greensburg tornado that was recognized by the IRS and offered tax form training for United Way affiliates across Kansas.


 

2011 Student Award Recipient

Austin Brown, a graduating senior from Olathe and Overland Park
Austin Brown was given the Student Excellence in Service Learning Award for demonstrating civic commitment, community awareness and positive community impact as well as academic and personal achievement. Brown graduated this spring with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a concentration in entrepreneurship. In addition to his service learning coursework at KU, Brown has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, Lawrence High School and other community organizations. He is also brand manager for a social media startup business that has provided pro bono work for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Douglas County. He is the son of Jim Brown of Olathe and Penny Brown of Overland Park. He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School.


 

2011 Community Partner Award Recipient

Audio-Reader

Audio-Reader, a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled citizens of Kansas and western Missouri, received the award for Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning. The award honors an agency that has demonstrated commitment to the academic, civic and personal development of students by facilitating effective service learning environments. Audio-Reader has collaborated with Cheryl Lester, associate professor of American studies, and her Jewish-American studies classes since 2006. Throughout this partnership, Audio-Reader has integrated students into its organization and worked closely with Lester to refine and improve the collaboration.

Four people holding an award certificate.

Feloniz Lovato-Winston (left) and Janet Campbell (second from right) represent Audio Reader, the Community Partner Excellence in Service Learning Award recipient for 2011. With them are CCSR Director Andi Witczak and American Studies Professor Cheryl Lester (right).

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