Current Service-Learning Award Recipients

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2017 Award Recipients

Finn Loendorf, a sophomore physics major, received the Undergraduate Excellence Award for their leadership and substantial contributions to the campus and community through organizations such as Carolina Advocating Gender Equity at the Campus Y and Boomerang, a youth empowerment program in Chapel Hill. Loendorf is also a former participant and student leader in the First-Year Service Corps and APPLES Service-Learning Alternative Break programs. Loendorf is from Stanley, North Carolina.

Sonda Oppewal received the Teaching Excellence Award for her development and teaching since 2010 of the course Health Care in Global Context. As part of the course, Oppewal leads an interdisciplinary group of students to spend a week in Tyrell County, North Carolina examining a wide range of factors contributing to residents’ health. Students gain perspective and concrete skills while contributing to the work of their partners through screening older adults for risk of falls, taking blood pressure, conducting home visits, and discussing long-term healthcare and medications.

Robeson County Church and Community Center was honored with the Community Partner Excellence Award. Since 1969, the Robeson County Church and Community Center has involved people across cultural, racial and denominational barriers in partnership with each other to address a wide range of social needs in the community. The organization has partnered consistently with the APPLES Service-Learning Alternative Break programs, providing students with substantive opportunities to participate in its work while learning more about social change and the history of Robeson County.

Michael Ulku-Steiner ’92, received the Outstanding Alumni Award. One of the visionaries and members of APPLES’ founding team, Michael Ulku-Steiner has remained dedicated to service through his accomplished career in education. He currently serves as Durham Academy’s head of school, where he also has worked as a teacher, coach and advisor. Ulku-Steiner has stayed connected to APPLES and recently came back as part of the alumni speaker series to talk with current organizers about the early days of service-learning at Carolina and his career in education.

Patricia Parker, department chair and associate professor of Organizational Communication, was awarded the Service-Learning Award in honor of Ned Brooks for a career of engaged teaching and research in social justice leadership. Her experience includes founding The Ella Baker Women’s Center for Leadership and Community Activism, developing a diversity liaison program for the College of Arts and Sciences, and decolonizing organizational communication processes within her research. Parker has taught several popular APPLES courses, including Collective Leadership Models for Social Change.