Service Learning Awards
The Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility would like to congratulate the following University of Alabama faculty members, departments, and students for their commitment to service learning in the 2005-2006 school year.
Excellence in Departmental Service Learning:
This award is presented to an academic department at UA that has demonstrated a sustained, outstanding commitment to service learning. The 2006 award goes to the Department of Advertising and Public Relations, in the College of Communication & Information Sciences. Accepting the award is Bruce Berger, chair of the department. The department’s required Capstone course for public relations majors and advertising majors allows students deal with actual communication problems or opportunities in local, regional, and national organizations. Presently, seventy-five percent of the client organizations for these campaigns are nonprofits. The department has demonstrated this exemplary level of commitment to the community for more than 20 years, during which time more than 4,400 students have participated in such classes. Most faculty in the department teach or have taught these valuable service-oriented courses; most recently, these professors include Karen Cartee, I-Huei Cheng, Susy Daria, Karla Gower, Lance Kinney, Meg Lamme, Mike Little, and Tracy Sims.
Innovative Service Learning Faculty:
This award is presented to an innovative professor in honor of a newly designed or recently reconstructed course that exemplifies a commitment to thoughtful and creative service learning. The 2006 award is granted to Dr. Kim Campbell for her work in the redesign of Managerial Communication Strategies (MGT 395). MGT 395 students practice written and oral communication skills through the process of communication audits, which examine an organization’s communication practices in order to increase their effectiveness. As Coordinator of MGT 395, Dr. Campbell is pilot testing a service-learning component in two sections of this course. In teams of six, students work with non-profit organizations to prepare a proposal and carry out the audit through assessment methods such as client surveys or staff and volunteer interviews. This spring semester, seventy juniors and seniors are performing communication audits with twelve non-profit organizations. Next fall, the project will be expanded to involve many more of the approximately five hundred students enrolled in the course each semester.
Outstanding Service Learning Course:
This award is presented to an exemplary service learning course that consistently exemplifies the principle that engagement with community is a central aspect of student learning. The 2006 award is given to the Business Honors Seminar, a course-series in the C&BA Business Honors Program. Professor Jim Cashman directs the seminar with assistance from Professor David Heggem. Students in the seminar organize into small groups and complete community-based research projects. Examples of past BHP group projects include helping the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce to increase the membership of Hispanic owned businesses, and developing a marketing strategy with the Red Cross, United Blood Services, and LifeSouth.
Student Excellence in Service Learning:
This award is presented to a student or students who demonstrate creativity, vision, and excellence in designing, implementing, and directing a service learning project. The 2006 award is given to Rachel Duncan and Shermeen Memon for their research and program design concerning health literacy and diabetes in rural communities. A Computer-Based Honors Program project originally initiated with faculty sponsors Dr. Felicia Wood and Dr. Julia Hartman, the project involved developing a Diabetes Health Literacy Assessment for the Pocket PC, which evaluates whether rural residents understand the complex terminology used by their health care providers in reference to their diabetic needs. Rachel and Shermeen are currently developing a multimedia survey assessment tool to accommodate functionally illiterate patients, and the next step in this research will be translating it into Spanish to serve the state’s growing Hispanic population. They also hope this research will serve as a model for addressing other health needs beyond diabetes.