SPRINGFIELD – Five students at the University of Illinois at Springfield – Andrea Danes, Thomas Hargrove, Lea Hudson, Stephanie Myers, and Edward Simmonds – have received Outstanding Student Awards from Experiential and Service-Learning Programs at UIS. The awards are presented each spring for placements and portfolios undertaken the previous year.
Hargrove, Myers, and Simmons are recipients of the Craig Brown Outstanding AST Student Award. Danes and Hudson received the Credit for Prior Learning Walden-Irwin Award.
Applied Study Terms are individualized field experiences, approved and supervised by UIS faculty, that give students an opportunity to apply theory, expand knowledge, determine additional learning needs, and explore careers while earning academic credit. To be nominated for an Outstanding AST Award, students must demonstrate excellence in several areas, including self-learning, personal growth, reflection, and the acquisition of new skills. The award honors Craig Brown, Political Studies professor emeritus who also served as a member of the AST faculty for more than 20 years.
Hargrove is majoring in mathematical science with a minor in computer science. He completed his AST at the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago, performing so well during his internship that he was selected as Employee of the Month and was offered a permanent position on completion of his degree.
Psychology major Myers pursued an AST as a social worker intern in an inpatient adult psychiatric treatment unit at McFarland Mental Health Center. Her duties included admissions and discharge procedures, completing psychosocial assessments, and making required notations in patients' charts.
Simmonds, a computer science major, undertook an AST at his current workplace, the National Association of Realtors. As part of his internship, Simmonds was responsible for monitoring and implementing the conversion of the association's servers from Windows to the Linux operating system, as well as overseeing software upgrades.
Credit for Prior Learning is a portfolio-based assessment for students who have acquired college-level, experiential learning outside the classroom. CPL evaluates experiences such as professional training, certification, volunteer work, independent research projects, military service, educational travel, or hobbies that result in significant learning that may qualify as college credit. The Walden-Irwin Award, given to participating students who have presented outstanding work in their seminars and finished portfolios, honors proficiency in identifying, documenting, evaluating, and describing prior college-level learning acquired outside the traditional university classroom.
Danes has extensive experience in business and management and monitored the implementation of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards in state offices. She also helped to develop draft legislation concerning healthcare policy, and has been involved in the review of federal policy as it affects the state of Illinois. She is now a political studies major at UIS.
Hudson presented three portfolios to the CPL office, reflecting her learning experiences as owner, editor, and writer for Springfield Magazine, as well as her wide experiences in civic engagement with a variety of groups. She is currently a graduate student in UIS' individual option program.
In addition to Applied Study and Credit for Prior Learning, UIS Experiential and Service-Learning Programs includes Service-Learning, an opportunity for students to provide community service to local non-profit agencies and to explore the connections of academic theory to the practical needs of the community. For more information about any of these areas, contact the EXS-L office at 217/206-6640 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.