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Community Service Recognized in Service Learning Awards

UW-River Falls recipients of the fifth annual Service Learning Awards of Excellence were recognized at a ceremony in the River Room of Rodli Commons on May 5. Chancellor Ann Lydecker presented the awards to one agency, one student, one academic staff person and one faculty member, to honor them for their participation in projects that served the community.

The River Falls Offices of Planning and Engineering received the Service Learning Award of Excellence for an Agency, for its work with students majoring in land use planning. The students are required each semester, as a service learning project, to develop and publicly present a full set of maps and development documents for sites within the city that are slated for development.

"The project requires that the student apply course content to the real needs and benefits of the community, thus giving the student a genuine professional development opportunity and experience. The city is in turn provided with background research and design ideas that have often become the actual development details in the final adopted design," nominator and environmental science and management Professor Kelly Cain said.

Adam Wehling, a senior from Chippewa Falls majoring in agricultural education, received a Service Learning Award of Excellence for Students. Wehling served as the agricultural education department's parliamentary procedure activity coordinator for 2002, was an assistant instructor in the leadership and group dynamics class, and organized and conducted workshops for high school students. Nominator Gerald Matteson, assistant dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, said Wehling's teaching of students has been outstanding; his students have always earned high grades on the final oral exam.

Also receiving the Service Learning Award of Excellence for Students were social work majors Sharon Christiansen, a freshman from Prescott; Lindsey Colbeth, a freshman from Roseville, Minn.; Maggie Hoyer, a freshman from Benton; and Jone' Nelson, a sophomore from Stillwater, Minn., for removing unsafe playground equipment at Turningpont Domestic Abuse Shelter in River Falls. Social Work Professor Ruth Kalms, who nominated the group, said the students used their problem solving skills and critical thinking skills, and worked with a diverse population on a project that all thought was impossible at the beginning.

Art Director Tony Bredahl received the Service Learning Award of Excellence for Academic and Support Staff. Bredahl was instrumental in scanning a federal grant to be sent to the Corporation in Washington, D.C. In previous years, Bredahl designed the stationery, created brochures and created the layout and artwork for Wisconsin Partnership in Service Learning publications.

"Tony has always been most professional in trying to meet faculty requests. He's not afraid to go the extra mile, even if it means staying later at work to meet deadlines," nominator Florence Monsour, service learning implementation team member, said.

Geography Professor Don Petzold received the Service Learning Award of Excellence for Faculty, for his work on the UW-RF Service Learning Implementation Team for the past five years. Petzold has also instructed students in service learning projects, conducted primarily with elementary schools,that involved designing and painting maps on the school playgrounds.

Petzold was nominated by Monsour, who said, "Don has been a most faithful and responsible committee member. He has also been intricately involved in all phases of service learning: recipient of the training; teacher; presenter and active participant in the projects."

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