Jessica Tipton, a senior social work major from Emory, Texas, has received the first Academic Service-Learning Award presented at William Woods University. She is the daughter of Ann Tipton and niece of Shirley Hackworth, her “second mom.”
The Academic Service-Learning Award is awarded to the student who has best exemplified an exceptional commitment to service-learning within a course containing an academic service-learning component during this 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.
Over the past several years at William Woods, Tipton has volunteered, participated in service-learning and is currently completing a 500-hour supervised practicum at the Rosa Parks Center for Women. As a requirement for SWK 350 Community Service Learning, she completed service at the Rosa Parks Center and became interested in continuing her service.
After the course requirements were complete, on her own initiative, she contacted the staff at the facility and continued volunteering. During the fall 2007 semester, she completed eight hours of service-learning to the agency by serving as mentor for the young women as a requirement of SWK 215 Introduction to Social Welfare class. She reflected on the knowledge that she gained through a paper and a formal presentation to the class.
During the same semester, in SWK 314 Group Intervention course, Tipton assisted in developing an educational group for the young women at Rosa Parks. Since the fall of 2008, she has been completing her social work practicum at Rosa Parks. By the end of the semester, she will have completed more than 500 hours of service to the Division of Youth Services.
During her internship, she has assisted youth in building and developing life skills, documented and reported information concerning behavioral conditions of the clients, and has built constructive, mentoring relationships with clients.
She completes weekly journals reviewed by Social Work faculty, reflecting on her learning. She participated in the Division of Youth Services Olympics program with the young women in September, assisting the women in competing in numerous events, and bringing home several awards.
“Jess has spent countless hours mentoring, educating, reflecting and making a difference in the lives of the women at Rosa Parks throughout her years at William Woods University. This experience has not only provided a benefit to Rosa Parks, but has also been invaluable to her as she prepares for a career in Social Work,” said the faculty who nominated her for the award.