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UWP prof gets service learning award
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PLATTEVILLE — In only five years, Dr. Kristina Fields, a UW–Platteville assistant professor in civil and environmental engineering, has shown tremendous strides towards instilling service learning in students.

UW–Platteville has selected Fields to receive the Excellence in Service Learning Award.

“I am honored and excited to receive this award,” said Fields. “Just being nominated by other staff members for the excellence in service learning award is extremely encouraging and speaks well in their confidence in me.”

The award annually recognizes a faculty or teaching academic staff member who has made distinguished contributions to student engagement through service learning. The criteria consists of demonstrating contributions in service learning, conforming the accepted definition of service learning experiences and producing exceptional achievements in the field of endeavor.

One project Fields created was a multi-disciplinary Safe Routes to School project with the City of Platteville. UW–Platteville civil and environmental engineering students performed walking to school audits from neighborhoods across Platteville, helped run a community open house for soliciting input for improving the safety of walkability and bikability of kindergarten through eighth grade students, and met with transportation engineering professionals who work with Safe Routes to School projects regionally.

“She has been an outstanding example in our department of how to successfully integrate service learning in pedagogy,” said Matthew Roberts, UW–Platteville associate professor in civil and environmental engineering. “I envy her endless energy, persistence and expertise in setting up service learning, and I know that her efforts have greatly benefited her students.”

The Pioneer Academic Center for Community Engagement at UW–Platteville has allowed Fields and her students the opportunity to impact the surrounding community.

“UW–Platteville students are strongly encouraged to connect with people in the community through service learning opportunities in their school work and programs like PACCE,” said Fields.

Fields said the ability to provide service-learning opportunities for students and teachers outside of her classroom has been an extremely rewarding experience she intends to keep practicing.

Fields will be honored at the UW–Platteville Convocation ceremony at Williams Fieldhouse Aug. 30 at 2 p.m.