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2020 Award Recipients

Undergraduate Excellence Award – Bethann Mwombela
“While working with us, Bethann became invaluable to the work we do at the Life Center in Durham. She was very hands-on with our students and dedicated to ensuring that all of their needs were met. After graduation, she continued to work with us during the summer and fall. The children grew to love and respect her. She left an indelible mark on our summer lunch program and our after-school program. She has continued her generous community work through a nonprofit in the DC area, and still lends a hand at the Life Center when she can.” Yoni Newkirk-McKoy, community partner at Life Center, Durham

Community Partner Excellence Award – Girls on the Run of the Triangle
“Girls on the Run is an incredible organization that has come to speak with numerous Alternative Spring Break classes about the work that they do in the community. They work to empower young girls through lessons focusing on building friendship and self-esteem all while running or walking. I am currently coaching with GOTR for the first time ,and I am so excited to see how the program impacts youth, as well as how I can take some of these lessons and teach them to children I work with in other capacities.” -Kaila Umstead, co-chair of alternative winter break 2019-2020

Teaching Excellence Award – Gary Bishop
“Dr. Gary Bishop regularly teaches an APPLES Service-Learning course entitled Enabling Technologies. In this course, he teaches students at UNC-Chapel Hill how to utilize their growing technical skills to support and benefit individuals in the community who experience physical and mental disabilities. He is known throughout the department and community for his consistent and endless dedication to young people who experience and live with physical and developmental disabilities, and I am very inspired by his work.” -Izzi Hinks, co-chair of service-learning courses 2019-2020

Outstanding Alumni Award – April Warren
While in college, Warren began working as a teacher at Student U, a Durham organization that provides a pipeline of resources for students. She remained connected with the organization after her graduation in 2013, and she now works at Student U full-time as the middle school program coordinator. Warren leads Student U’s efforts to ensure equitable access to education for Durham students. Many APPLES students have followed April’s footsteps by engaging in service-learning partnerships with Student U.

Service-Learning Award in honor of Ned Brooks – Marian Cheek Jackson Center
“Working with the Jackson Center and Heavenly Groceries has broadened not only my perspective on Chapel Hill, but my role as a public servant. As a leader in APPLES, I’ve reflected with many different students from various backgrounds who have praised the work that the Jackson Center does and the positive role that the Center plays in our local community by educating students and celebrating the historically black Northside neighborhood.” -Nicole Cervi, APPLES president 2019-2020

2019 Award Recipients

Undergraduate Excellence Award – Sofia Ocegueda
Sofia Ocegueda, a senior from Durham, N.C., is honored for her service and continuous dedication to the APPLES program and community. As co-director of SOAR, a program serving Latinx students by providing resources, mentorship, exposure to STEM fields and an environment for character development, she hopes to influence the personal and professional growth of Latinx youth. Sofia has participated in an Alternative Fall Break, a Bryan Fellowship, 4 APPLES courses, and an APPLES summer internship with Student U. She also serves as a mentor through the Scholars Latino Initiative and Carolina Covenant.

Community Partner Excellence Award – Kidzu Children’s Museum
Kidzu Children’s Museum in Chapel Hill focuses on inspiring children to learn through creative, purposeful play. It is a hands-on, interactive museum space, for kids to make, build and explore. Programs such as Kids in the Kitchen, Junior Gardeners, and Steam’d Up introduce children to enriching concepts that help them develop as young people. APPLES has worked with Kidzu for several years through service-learning courses and internships. The Kidzu team helps APPLES and UNC students have a unique experience based on the things they want to learn and the areas in which they want to grow.

Teaching Excellence Award – Marshele Carter
Before coming to teach at UNC, Chapel Hill-native Marshele Carter led a successful career in the nonprofit world, owning a nonprofit that served military service members and their families and advocating on issues through keynote speaking and authoring books. We recognize her for her work with APPLES courses, Public Relations Writing and Cause Communications, service-learning experiences that help prepare media and journalism students to launch into careers that use their communications skills for good, just as she has. Marshele is dedicated to providing students with quality service-learning experiences and help them connect the practical skills from the classroom to serving the community’s needs.

Outstanding Alumni Award – Jon Young
Class of 2010 UNC Alumnus, Jon Young, is currently the co-director of the Community Empowerment Fund (CEF), which works to eliminate homelessness and poverty in the Orange County and Durham County regions. He has created software specifically for CEF in order to better the work of the program. As a passionate advocate for mental health, Jon is always willing to hold space and lend a listening ear and thoughtful presence to members of the community. CEF has continuously hosted APPLES interns and course volunteers to work alongside them towards their overall mission and we are grateful for Jon’s contributions.

Service-Learning Award in honor of Ned Brooks – Micah Gilmer
In 2005, Micah co-founded Frontline Solutions, a Black-owned and -operated consulting firm that works with nonprofits and philanthropic foundations across the country. He has made an incredible impact on over 30 APPLES Bryan Fellowship teams and numerous public policy students in the ten years he has spent teaching at Carolina. Micah developed the project management course that has substantially shaped the APPLES Bryan Fellowship program since 2012 and has contributed to teaching not only that course, but also the public.

2018 Award Recipients

Service-Learning Award in Honor of Ned Brooks: Theater Delta, in memory of Ben Saypol
APPLES Community Partner Excellence Award: Volunteers for Youth
APPLES Teaching Excellence Award: Amy Cooke
APPLES Undergraduate Excellence Award: Joyce Yao ’20
APPLES Outstanding Alumni Award: George Barrett ’14

2017 Award Recipients

Service-Learning Award in Honor of Ned Brooks: Patricia Parker
APPLES Community Partner Excellence Award: Robeson County Church and Community Center
APPLES Teaching Excellence Award: Sonda Oppewal
APPLES Undergraduate Excellence Award: Finn Loendorf ’19
APPLES Outstanding Alumni Award: Michael Ulku-Steiner ’92

2016 Award Recipients

Service-Learning Award in Honor of Ned Brooks: Mae B. McLendon
APPLES Community Partner Excellence Award: Farmer Foodshare
APPLES Teaching Excellence Award: Dr. Sarah Dempsey
APPLES Undergraduate Excellence Award: Luis Acosta ’17
APPLES Outstanding Alumni Award: Alexandra Zagbayou ’09

2015 Award Recipients

Service-Learning Award in Honor of Ned Brooks: Donna Lefebvre
APPLES Community Partner Excellence Award: Community Empowerment Fund
APPLES Teaching Excellence Award: Rachel Willis
APPLES Undergraduate Excellence Award: Reena Gupta ’15
APPLES Outstanding Alumni Award: Cindy Cheatham ’91

2014 Award Recipients

Service-Learning Award in Honor of Ned Brooks: Clair Lorch
APPLES Community Partner Excellence Award: One Act
APPLES Teaching Excellence Award: Hannah Gill
APPLES Undergraduate Excellence Award: Hannah Smith
APPLES Outstanding Alumni Award: Robyn Fehrman ’00, ’04

2013 Award Recipients

Service-Learning Award in Honor of Ned Brooks: Student U
APPLES Community Partner Excellence Award: North Carolina Campus Compact
APPLES Teaching Excellence Award: Maggie O’Shaughnessey
APPLES Undergraduate Excellence Award: Wendy Song
APPLES Outstanding Alumni Award: Jason Langberg ’04

2012 Award Recipients

Service-Learning Award in Honor of Ned Brooks: Episcopal Farmworker Ministry
APPLES Community Partner Excellence Award: The Arc of Orange County
APPLES Teaching Excellence Award: Tiffany Washington ’00
APPLES Undergraduate Excellence Award: Maggie Peng
APPLES Outstanding Alumni Award: Jatin Desai ’05

2011 Award Recipients

Service-Learning Award in Honor of Ned Brooks: Dr. Ron Strauss
APPLES Community Partner Excellence Award: North Carolina Botanical Garden
APPLES Teaching Excellence Award: Della Pollock
APPLES Undergraduate Excellence Award: Lauren Brown

2010 Award Recipients

Service-Learning Award in Honor of Ned Brooks: Campus Y
APPLES Community Partner Excellence Award: BounceBack Kids
APPLES Teaching Excellence Award: Dr. Darcy Lear
APPLES Undergraduate Excellence Award: David Baron