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2020 Service-Learning Awards honor outstanding students, community partner

Aerial photo of University of Indianapolis campus

The Center for Service-Learning & Community Engagement announced its annual awards honoring students and community partners for their dedication to serving local populations who are most in need through service-learning courses. 

Kendall Beckstein
Kendall Beckstein

Kendall Beckstein ’21 (DPT) received the 2020 Outstanding Graduate Student Service-Learning Award. Ed Jones, assistant professor in the Krannert School of Physical Therapy, nominated Beckstein for her participation and leadership at the University of Indianapolis Physical Therapy Student Outreach Clinic. The clinic is a free, student-run clinic that provides primary care-based services for the uninsured and underserved in the Indianapolis area.

“Kendall has served her community in multiple ways through this clinic,” said Jones, who serves as faculty advisor for the program.

Leadership positions on the clinic’s board are filled by students to run the operation and organization of the services. Beckstein took on leadership roles and eventually moved up to the position of board chair.

“In this role, Kendall’s star has been even brighter. She has pushed for initiatives to improve the clinic in multiple areas including research, innovative program changes, and organizational changes. In addition, Kendall has worked to engage other students in the PT program and found innovative ways to encourage their involvement and volunteer their time,” Jones said, noting that she stayed ahead of the curve during the coronavirus pandemic by making the decision to suspend services for safety even before it was mandated by governing bodies.

Morgan De La Rosa
Morgan De La Rosa

Morgan De La Rosa ’20 (theatre major, sociology, child & youth programs minors) was honored with the 2020 Outstanding Undergraduate Student Service-Learning Award for her practicum with the RightFit Program at Central Catholic School.

Colleen Wynn, assistant professor of sociology, noted that De La Rosa was initially meant to assist in the running of the program, but had to quickly expand her role.

“By week two, Morgan was already running her own programs,” Wynn said. “Morgan also has been so reflexive about her time at CCS and with RightFit. She has thoughtful analyses in her weekly journal and always makes such wonderful connections between her readings and her own experiences. This learning experience is what I hope for with all practicum students, and it’s a joy to watch Morgan having this experience, even if it was much more responsibility than she expected when she signed on.”

Community Health Network Rehabilitation Clinic at UIndy received the 2020 Outstanding Community Partner Award. Trent Cayot,  assistant professor of exercise science, noted the unique experiential learning opportunities provided by the clinic during the past several years. Physical therapists at CHN’s clinic collaborate with the University of Indianapolis exercise science program through the Post Rehabilitation Exercise Program (P.R.E.P.). 

“The P.R.E.P. allows undergraduate exercise science students to train clients in a personal training setting who have been discharged as a patient from the Community Health Network Rehabilitation Clinic. The real-world experience that the P.R.E.P. provides our students is second to none,” Cayot said.

The Center for Service-Learning & Community Engagement continues to support faculty through services that meet their current curricular service-learning needs during the coronavirus pandemic. The Center is also exploring ways to bring its semi-annual Community Partners Fair to faculty and students virtually or through other means.