Jobe receives Academic Service-Learning Award at WWU

Shelby Jobe is described as a tireless worker with a desire to apply her knowledge to improve other people’s lives, particularly members of the Deaf community.

The recent William Woods University graduate from Russellville, Mo., received the Academic Service-Learning Award during WWU’s academic convocation April 23. She was honored specifically for work she did on a grant proposal to improve medical interpreting.

Jobe graduated May 10 from William Woods with a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Sign Language-English interpreting and Deaf studies, for which she was named a Distinguished Scholar. She worked for three semesters in grant writing and technical writing and then independently with Dr. Stephanie Wells to produce a grant proposal for submission to the Missouri Foundation for Health.

If funded, “Training Shortage of Medical Interpreters” would help to alleviate the scarcity of medical interpreter training by conducting workshops and conferences on the William Woods campus over a period of five years. A total of $340,000 was requested.

The Academic Service-Learning Award is presented to the student who best demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to service-learning within a course containing an academic service-learning element during the academic year.

Professors may nominate any full-time William Woods student who holds a 3.40 GPA or better and who has not only fulfilled the course’s academic service-learning requirement, but also has made an exemplary contribution to the project or to their community as a result of the project.

Recipients must demonstrate intrinsic motivation to serve beyond self-promotion, serve as a role model for their peers, embody a dedication to learning, produce exemplary work in conjunction to the project, engage in critical reflection of the service and the related learning, or a combination of these elements.

“Shelby has worked tirelessly on this project and is deeply concerned about quality interpreting in health care settings,” Wells said.  “Should our proposal be accepted, she will then write a full grant proposal submission in the coming weeks.”

She added, “Her commitment to this project demonstrates her involvement with the William Woods community, the Deaf community and the health care community, as well as her seriousness as a student and desire to apply her knowledge to improve other people’s lives.”

William Woods University is a natural location for the workshops as it is one of only about 30 universities in North America offering a four-year degree in American Sign Language Interpreting.

Jobe’s proposal would provide workshops and conferences that would allow interpreters to gain enough medical knowledge to act as effective liaisons between Deaf community members and their doctors.

A lack of communication or a simple misunderstanding between doctors and patients can be detrimental to the patients’ health and well-being. This is a particularly common problem experienced by individuals in the Deaf community. Jobe recognized this need for quality medical interpreters and worked diligently with passion and commitment to remedy the lack of medical interpreters available in the health care system.

During her time at William Woods, Jobe took an active role on and off campus. She was a community adviser and University Ambassador of William Woods, a member of Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership honor society, Student Alumni Council and the Hands Up Club.

Off campus she held three jobs: clerical worker at Central Missouri Vault Company, paraprofessional at the Special Learning Center and merchandise flow supervisor for Victoria’s Secret Stores.