Urkovia Andrews, DrPH., assistant director for service-learning in the Office of Leadership and Community Engagement (OLCE), recently won the 2021 National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE) Outstanding Experiential Education Research award. The award recognizes Andrews’ published research that makes important contributions to the understanding of experiential education.

Urkovia Andrews | Source: Lori Grice Photography

“I participate in research that focuses on the various aspects of service-learning,” Andrews said. “At Georgia Southern, service-learning is a course-based, credit-bearing organized service activity that enables students to apply academic knowledge and critical thinking skills to address community priorities. For service-learning to occur, at minimum, there must be collaboration among faculty, community partners and students.”

OLCE grad student Angelique Jennings has worked with Andrews in multiple capacities, including as a service-learning facilitator. She said Andrews has had a positive effect on the students the service-learning department has served, as well as Jennings herself.

“This role has prepared me to be a strategic and disciplined worker as well as make my work sustainable and create longevity,” Jennings said. “It has also allowed me to become an effective organizer, team member and creative. Urkovia has taught me the importance of patience, especially in the situations we work under. Her work with service-learning has prepared many students to be successful in their workplaces.”

Andrews said her research has a direct impact on students in a variety of ways.

“Service-learning provides students the opportunity to use their knowledge to work with communities to improve quality of life,” she said. “Information gained from these research projects influences programmatic design, which includes training for faculty, recruitment of community partners, preparation and reflection components for students, website redesigns, and more.”

Andrews will be presented with the award at the NSEE Conference in Orlando happening September 27 through 29. For more information on service-learning within OLCE, visit https://students.georgiasouthern.edu/LeadServe/service-learning/.