Current Service-Learning Award Recipients

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2018 Award Recipients

Undergraduate Excellence Award – Joyce Yao
Joyce Yao is honored for her visible leadership and substantial contributions to the campus and community. As an advocate for the Community Empowerment Fund, Yao helps community members experiencing homelessness reach their goals of securing affordable housing, financial independence and health insurance. Yao also works with The Marian Cheek Jackson Center to serve and preserve the Northside community and strengthen relationships between the Northside community and students.

Community Partner Excellence Award – Volunteers For Youth
Volunteers for Youth (VFY) empowers youth with tools to become responsible adults. VFY started the Juvenile Community Service and Restitution Program where youth who have broken a law are assigned community service hours. Volunteers for Youth also runs Teen Court, where student attorneys present the facts of a case, and a peer jury is responsible for rendering a constructive sentence benefitting the defendant and community. Volunteers for Youth is a long-time partner with the Buckley Public Service Scholars and APPLES Service-Learning programs and provides Carolina students mentoring opportunities through SMART Mentoring.

Teaching Excellence Award – Amy Cooke
Associate Professor Amy Cooke is honored for her dedication to Edible Campus UNC, which facilitates student engagement in sustainability by maintaining edible gardens on campus. Cooke developed and currently teaches an APPLES Service-Learning course that works to sustain the community gardens. As the director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Environment and Ecology, Cooke supports a wide range of food initiatives and inspires students to work toward food justice.

Outstanding Alumni Award – George Barrett
During his senior year at Carolina, George Barrett served as an APPLES Service-Learning volunteer at The Marian Cheek Jackson Center. Now the Jackson Center’s associate director, Barrett has connected more than 480 students and nine APPLES courses with the Jackson Center. He is currently organizing a porch revival tour that contextualizes the significance of Northside porches. In 2017, Barrett partnered with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life on an initiative that reduced noise complaints in the Northside and Pine Knolls neighborhoods by 60 percent.

Service-Learning Award in honor of Ned Brooks – Theater Delta, in memory of Ben Saypol
Theater Delta is recognized in memory of its founder, Ben Saypol. Saypol promoted social progress with interactive theater that challenges others to look inward to change their perspectives. Across the country, Theater Delta is lauded for using theater to unpack a range of complicated social issues. At Carolina, undergraduate students have seen the legacy of Theater Delta through the interactive play at orientation, which was written by Saypol. Nationwide, Theater Delta has been shared with more than 65,000 audience members.