Longtime English Instructor Wins Outstanding S-L Faculty Award
The Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership and a select committee of LSU service-learning faculty unanimously selected Senior English Instructor Sharon Andrews as the recipient of the 2020 Outstanding Service-Learning Faculty Award. This distinguished honor recognizes exceptional commitment to implementing quality service-learning activities into the academic curriculum, by engaging in significant community partner involvement with substantial outcomes and community impact.
Andrews’ nearly 19 years of S-L partnership with Connections for Life (CFL), a local women’s re-entry and transitional program, has served as a shining example of community engagement at LSU. Students in her Writing for Community Action and Advocacy composition (ENGL 2000) and Introduction to Poetry: Social Issues and Poetry of Witness (ENGL 2027) sections have engaged and dialogued with CFL residents through direct placement at the site, maintained reflection journals that critically consider their positions on a variety of sensitive issues, and presented projects that align with each course’s curriculum.
“Sharon Andrews is one of the longest-serving and most deeply committed service-learning practitioners on our campus,” said Becker, CCELL Director. “Her nearly two decades of reciprocal partnership with Connections for Life has brought an unparalleled richness of experience to student lives and learning processes at LSU while supporting one of Baton Rouge’s most creative and impactful nonprofit organizations. We are thrilled she is our 2020 winner.”
Andrews joined the LSU English department in the spring of 1999 as an instructor, and has taught service-learning since 2000. From 2003-2018, she has either presented research or paneled sessions at the regional Gulf South Summit on Service-Learning and Civic Engagement through Higher Education. For her inspired integration of research, teaching and service, Andrews has earned several awards including the Gulf-South Summit Award for Outstanding Contributions to Service-Learning in Higher Education (2011), the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity Outstanding Faculty Award (2010), and the Tiger Athletic Foundation Teaching Award (2007).
"Service-Learning provides a framework through which my students produce writing projects that matter," said Andrews, who also serves as Associate Director of the University Writing Program. "I am grateful for the opportunity to work with so many inspiring people committed to encouraging excellence in our students through community engagement.
As Karen Stagg, Executive Director of CFL, described in her letter of support for her faculty partner’s award nomination, Andrews pedagogy of empowerment and engagement “beautifully bridges the classroom and the community.” For an astounding 37 semesters, Andrews has helped contextualize students’ stake in their own communities, and how their service can make a difference.
“Connections For Life feels fortunate that Ms. Andrews finds it so important that her students gain an understanding of the needs for our clients and the journey the client has led in her life,” Stagg wrote. “As her community partner, we have witnessed semester after semester now she engages her students in thought-provoking coursework and guides them and our agency through [this] learning and growing experience.”