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TTU News

Beyond academic courses, the truly higher nature of education many Tennessee Tech University students and faculty members practice was honored with the recent presentation of TTU’s first Service Learning Awards for Faculty and Students.

During this year’s Stonecipher Symposium on Technology, Communication and Culture, themed “Engaging a Culture of Service, seven faculty members, three individual students and a student team representing each major academic division received awards. For faculty members, the Service Learning Awards recognized how well they incorporated community service into their curriculums and classrooms. The students were chosen for their abilities and desire to use their special skills fostered at TTU to serve others.

“Although the collective amount of time and effort given by these recipients is amazing, it’s the individual planning and personal attention to others that makes all these projects and people outstanding and heartwarming,” said TTU President Bob Bell.

Faculty Service Learning Awards

  • Steve Canfield, College of Engineering
    Each semester, mechanical engineering professor Canfield’s machinery design class focuses on developing assistive devices for disabled children. This provides students with open-ended, real-world engineering activities while allowing them to communicate with individuals in other disciplines and to increase their knowledge of how to use their education to help others.


  • Cathy Cunningham, College of Agriculture and Human Ecology
    Cunningham, a human ecology professor, frequently works service learning into her nutrition courses. As one example, students participate in a rural health clinic project, which includes wellness centers, senior citizen centers, health clinics and assisted-living facilities, where they help patients treat illnesses that can be controlled or improved through nutrition.

  • Jennifer Golz, College of Arts and Sciences
    As the first English Department instructor to incorporate service learning into writing courses, Golz requires a minimum of 10 hours of service with elderly individuals per student each semester. Based on their experiences, students write reflective and interactive journals, conduct interviews and prepare research-based papers about the elderly.


  • Ada Haynes, College of Arts and Sciences
    A sociology professor, Haynes offers her students a variety of service experiences through her classes. For example, students taking “Sociology of Appalachia” have organized a food salvage program, lobbied Congress for Headstart funds, held a toy drive and compiled oral and documentaries concerning the plight of minorities in Appalachia.


  • Lisa Rand, College of Education
    Rand, an adjunct curriculum and instruction instructor, coordinates the America Reads tutoring program, which matches students trained as tutors to Putnam County K-12 students who are behind in reading and math. In addition, she developed a parents’ handbook focusing on techniques for helping children at home.


  • Gail Stearman, School of Nursing
    Through clinical experiences supervised by associate nursing professor Stearman, senior nursing students support family, pediatric and women’s health in the community. Through a grant-funded clinic primarily caring for Hispanics, students focus on women’s health and perinatal care of families. These students learn how to communicate effectively in Spanish and to incorporate cultural issues in healthcare.


  • Stuart “Doc” Wells, College of Business Administration
    The business community benefits from Wells, a decision sciences and management professor, making class assignments in TTU’s capstone management information systems course. Under Wells’ guidance, students have worked for about 400 for-profit and non-profit businesses to analyze, design and implement information systems and solve actual industry problem.

Student Service Learning Awards

  • Theresa Ennis, College of Arts and Sciences
    A secondary education major, Ennis coordinated two projects for Tennessee Tech, one involving international students and the other addressing the issues of poverty and hunger. She promoted diversity by inviting international students to interact with Boy Scout troops. She also worked on a food salvage program, coordinating a system to allow restaurants with left-over food to donate that excess to the community’s hungry citizens.


  • Amy Jackson-Church, College of Agriculture and Human Ecology
    Church, who majors in child development and family relations, develops programs for Cumberland County’s House of Hope, a temporary shelter that serves as a methamphetamine detoxification center for children who have been removed from their homes until foster care can be secured. In addition, she prepares educational materials, coordinates speakers and raises fund for the House of Hope.


  • Dana Key, College of Education
    Key, a junior multidisciplinary studies major, served as a literacy tutor in TTU’s America Reads program, working with a number of young people in area schools. She implemented an intervention program for each of her students and developed a system to assess each student’s strengths and weaknesses.


  • David Drake, Amanda Jordan, Jillian Quillen, Gabe Rochat
    This team of senior mechanical engineering students designed and built an adaptive playground structure. The team researched, designed, fabricated and tested the adaptive pieces of equipment that now allow access to all children.