Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Seven students receive awards from EXS-L Programs at UIS

Seven students at the University of Illinois Springfield have received Outstanding Student Awards from Experiential and Service-Learning Programs at UIS. The awards were presented in May for placements and portfolios undertaken in 2008.

Katherine Shaffer and Stephanie Miller are recipients of the Craig Brown Outstanding Applied Study Term (AST) Student Award. The award honors Craig Brown, Political Studies professor emeritus who also served as a member of the AST faculty for more than 20 years.

Applied Study Terms are individualized field experiences, approved and supervised by UIS faculty, that give students an opportunity to apply theory, expand knowledge, determine additional learning needs, and explore careers while earning academic credit. To be nominated for an Outstanding AST Award, students must demonstrate excellence in several areas, including self-learning, personal growth, reflection, and the acquisition of new skills.

Shaffer served as a Marketing Intern at the Laketown Animal Hospital, helping to manage the hospital’s “Healthy People, Healthy Pets” event, writing press releases and a monthly newsletter, creating employee incentives and learning about the industry.

Miller created a portfolio titled “Forensic Scientist for a Semester” based on her experience in the Illinois State Police Research & Development Laboratory. Miller’s work helped to produce a report that recommended a change to the state police forensics manual.

Kemberly Martin is the recipient of the Walden-Irwin Credit for Prior Learning Program Outstanding Student Award. Credit for Prior Learning is a portfolio-based assessment for students who have acquired college-level, experiential learning outside the classroom. CPL evaluates experiences such as professional training, certification, volunteer work, independent research projects, military service, and more that may qualify as college credit.

Martin’s portfolio spans from her childhood years through her adult life including her time serving as a Medical Laboratory Technician in the U.S. Air Force and as a civilian employee working in the Pentagon during the attacks of September 11, 2001. Through her Narrative Essay, Martin incorporates learning theory from her AST class and also from her own independent learning to help her thoroughly identify, evaluate and describe her experiential learning.

The Barbara Jensen-Schweighauser Outstanding Public Service AST Award was given to Scott Allen and Shana Stine. The award is named for a UIS emeritus AST faculty member who worked in AST for 19 years and is given to students who demonstrate excellence in self-learning, personal growth, and the acquisition of new skills in their individualized field experiences and who intern in the public service sector.

Allen was placed in the Illinois Department of Corrections Jail/Detention Standards Section and assigned to review inmate grievances and determine if investigations were necessary. He conducted investigations and had to work with personnel issues that were beyond the scope of a normal internship.

Stine created a new non-profit organization named “Jump for Joel” after having served as a volunteer in the Gathiga Children’s Hope Home in Nairobi, Kenya. With her leadership, Jump for Joel has raised more than $17,500 to support the orphanage.

Lastly, the Dr. Elaine Rundle-Schwark Service-Learning Award was given to Rebecca Brown and Teela Whyte. The award was named for the Experiential and Service-Learning Programs director who wrote the first Service-Learning course offered at UIS and designed the minor in Social Responsibility and Leadership Development. The award recognizes students who go above and beyond what is required in their Service-Learning coursework.

Brown enrolled in two online service-learning courses in 2008. In the spring semester, Rebecca worked with the hospice in her local area, visiting a family regularly and also working to educate youth on what hospice does. In the fall, she worked with an organization that supported youth with cancer, serving as an activities director for the semester she served there.

Whyte enrolled in “AST 202- Learning and Serving with Homelessness in LA” during summer 2008. Even after the course was over, she continued to volunteer with one of the organizations in the L.A. area, and during the fall 2008 semester, Whyte volunteered to assist with recruitment of students for the course.

All UIS Experiential and Service-Learning Programs courses can be used to fulfill ECCE Engagement and Elective categories. For more information, contact the EXS-L office at 217/206-6640, e-mail or go online to

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