Garcia Contreras Recipient of Outstanding Contribution to Service Learning Teaching Award

Assistant Professor Rogelio Garcia Contreras receives the Service Learning Outstanding Teaching Award.
Photo Submitted

Assistant Professor Rogelio Garcia Contreras receives the Service Learning Outstanding Teaching Award.

Rogelio Garcia Contreras, teaching assistant professor and director of social innovation in the Walton College of Business at the U of A, was named the recipient of the 2021-22 Outstanding Contribution to Service Learning Teaching Award. The Service Learning Committee recognized the extraordinary commitment and accomplishments of Garcia Contreras through his service-learning courses — Social Entrepreneurship, Honors Strategy Innovation & Entrepreneurship, and Consulting for Social Impact. He was also recognized for his work in directing multiple service-learning-based honors theses, helping instructors across campus navigate service learning experiences during COVID, and promoting service learning through his efforts on the Service Learning Committee.

The award ceremony was held Monday, March 14, to honor Garcia Contreras. In addition to the Service Learning Committee, attendees included Lynda Coon, dean of the Honors College; Jason Ridge, professor of strategic management and department chair of the Department of Strategic Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Walton College of Business; Anne O'Leary-Kelly, the William R. & Cacilia Howard Chair in Management and senior associate dean in Walton College; and Alan Ellstrand, professor in management and associate dean for programs and research in Walton College. Other faculty colleagues and community partners were also in attendance both in person and on Zoom.

Using one word to describe him, Garcia Contreras's colleagues contributed adjectives such as "intentional," "compassionate" and "innovator."

Garcia Contreras and his students work with different partners each semester, which are mainly organizations, non-profits, businesses, corporations and government entities that lead, design or implement initiatives with a strong social or environmental mission. Some of the partners they have worked with are Seeds that Feed, Engage NWA and 7Hills Homeless Center.

He says the benefits of his service learning classes are that they provide "a constant opportunity to learn, appreciate the creativity of students, look at things with a fresh and unique perspective, and connect the dots in our collective efforts to design viable, sustainable and scalable solutions to some of the challenges faced by our partners." The students in these classes gain hands-on experience in the assessment, design and implementation of viable solutions that address the local manifestation of global challenges. Garcia Contreras' passion for his work in service learning, and student and partner enjoyment, is evident in his courses' many successes. He was previously named the 2020-21 Service Learning Committee Member of the Year.

Nominees for the 2021-22 Outstanding Contribution to Service Learning Teaching Award were also recognized at the ceremony for their contributions to service learning courses. They include:

Jeanne Eichler, assistant professor of occupational therapy in the combined UA/UMS OTD Program

Margie Gilbertson, instructor in communication sciences and disorders

Laura Herold, assistant teaching professor in human environmental sciences

Jacquelyn Mosley, professor in human development and family sciences

Tiffany Murphy, professor of law, associate dean for academic affairs, and director of Criminal Practice Clinic

Lanier Nalley, professor in agricultural economics and agribusiness, graduate program coordinator

Tim Tarvin, professor of law, director of Federal Practice and Transactional Clinics

Anne Marie Velliquette, clinical assistant professor of marketing, faculty director of Walton Honors Program

Lisa Wood, clinical associate professor of soil and environmental sciences, assistant dean for honors and international programs

About the Service Learning Initiative: The Service Learning Initiative is a joint initiative of the University of Arkansas Provost Office and the Honors College with the purpose of formalizing and expanding Service Learning opportunities on campus. Since 2014, when the Initiative was launched, more than 200 courses have been designated as Service Learning. Each semester, faculty and course instructors are encouraged to apply for Service Learning course designation. More information regarding Service Learning Course Designation can be found on the Service Learning Initiative website.

Contacts

Jennie Popp, co-chair of the Service Learning Initiative
Honors College
479-575-7381, jhpopp@uark.edu

Kendall Curlee, director of communications
Honors College
479-575-2024, kcurlee@uark.edu

Headlines

Groundbreaking for Fine Arts Center Restoration Nov. 29

The U of A will host a groundbreaking ceremony for the restoration of the Fine Arts Center at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29, at the courtyard off Garland Avenue. The event is free and open to the public.

Ranch Horse Team Goes from Stock Horse of Texas World Show Reserve Champ to Overall Title

The U of A ranch horse team won the overall Division II collegiate title at this year's event in October, and student Jessica Bookout won the reserve all-around championship.

Honors College Recognizes Exceptional Faculty

The Honors College will recognize eight faculty members at the annual Honors College Faculty Reception from 5:30-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6, in the Fowler House Conservatory.

Malloy, Shumaker, Kelley Win Hoyt Purvis Awards for Aiding International Programs

Sarah Malloy of the Office of Study Abroad, Camilla Shumaker of ITS and Christopher Kelley of the School of Law were honored with the Hoyt Purvis Award for their service to the field of international education.

Joe Hatfield, Communication Faculty Member, Wins Dissertation of the Year Award

Hatfield's dissertation merges multiple methodological frameworks to analyze the mediated history of trans suicide, with a focus on the 2014 suicide of 17-year-old Leelah Alcorn.

News Daily