Current Recipients

2014 Excellence in Service Learning Award Recipients


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.


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.”


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.”

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More than 2,350 students certified in service learning since 2007
More than 4,000 service learning opportunities each year
KU has been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll every year since the award began
KU received the Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement Classification for 2010-20
Service learning students develop better problem-solving skills and better understanding of complex issues than other students
6: Engaged learning certifications available. More on the way
3: Service learning awards conferred each year
Service learning students have more connection to community and school than other students
Real-world experience accompanies classroom learning
Service learning certification is indicated on students' transcripts