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Congratulations to this year’s Faculty Service Learning Award recipients. Dr. Amber Henslee, assistant professor of psychological science, and Dr. Jana Neiss, director of Missouri S&T’s teacher education program, were recognized for their involvement and influence with students in service learning within the classroom and community service activities outside the classroom at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, Feb. 18.
Henslee has a passion for service learning. One of the first classes Henslee was assigned when she arrived at S&T in 2010 was human services internship. The class had been established before her arrival, but she immediately made it her own. As a clinical psychologist, she recognized the importance of giving students the education that can only come from being in a real-world setting. Henslee has worked hard to ensure students receive this very experience. As one of her nominating students said about her internship experience “during this time I found what I was passionate about and I could see the big picture of what my classes had been teaching me.” As a result of her hard work and dedication to expanding the internship, students in the department of psychological science can now see first-hand what is involved in their desired field of study.
Since arriving at S&T in 2010, Neiss has consistently promoted service learning. Among their various field experiences, students in the teacher education program have worked with students with severe learning disabilities in the Edgar Springs school district, with several emotionally injured middle school students at Boys and Girls Town and helped S&T’s international students improve their conversational English at the Applied Learning Institute. In a program called “A World in Motion,” Neiss partnered with Mark Twain Elementary School, S&T engineering students and teacher education students in an after-school program to help elementary students understand the laws of physics, motion and electronics. One nominee said that, because of service learning opportunities, “this career is more than what I have ever dreamed of.”