Dory Sabata, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy Education, has been awarded the 2014 Excellence in Service Learning Award.
Each year, the Center for Civic and Social Responsibility on the Lawrence campus honors one faculty member, one student and a community partner with the honor. The faculty recipient must implement service learning in a way that shows an impact on students and the community both inside and outside of the classroom.
2014 Award Winners
"The dedication of my occupational therapy education colleagues, students, and community partners reminds me of the mutual respect and joy we share from participating in service learning," says Sabata, who received the honor during a surprise ceremony following student service learning presentations. "Today, I was overwhelmed with gratitude and able to celebrate with them in receiving the Service Learning Faculty Excellence Award as we shared how we are changing our community, our education, and our future practitioners."
Sabata, who has been at KU since 2007, was nominated by her colleague Lauren Foster, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy. Both Sabata and Foster have done presentations on service learning at national conferences.
In the spring of 2010, Sabata began leading service learning activities in the master of occupational therapy program (MOT) with five community partners, a few collaborating faculty and students providing about 600 hours of service. The program has grown into a year-long fieldwork experience for all first-year MOT students, providing 10 community partners with nearly 3,000 hours of service annually in greater Kansas City.
Students work in small groups applying classroom learning into real world settings at one of 10 partner sites. The work is done with the support of faculty and graduate teaching assistants in the occupational therapy department. Sabata credits the occupational therapy department faculty for their commitment to specific learning sites. This commitment has led to expansion of occupational services, grant funding and additional publication and media attention.
"Dr. Sabata believes that students and community sites benefit from prolonged engagement," Foster wrote in her nomination.
The award program was started in 2011, and the honors are conferred each spring. The Student winner this year was Leigh Loving and the Community Partner award went to the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence.