Two local non-profit organizations, Development Homes, Inc. and Red River Valley Community Action, recently nominated Dr. Andrew Quinn, Associate Professor of Social Work, for the Stone Soup Faculty Service Learning Award for his outstanding work in the Grand Forks community. The Stone Soup Awards are sponsored by the University of North Dakota’s Center for Community Engagement. The Faculty Service Learning Award is presented to a full-time UND faculty member who has demonstrated exemplary effectiveness in using service learning as a pedagogy to meet the goals of civic skills, civic knowledge, civic professionalism, and civic impact.
Dr. Quinn has actively engaged his social work classes in civic experiences through partnerships with Development Homes, Inc. (DHI) and Red River Valley Community Action. Each year, he provides his students with opportunities to work with the organizations to conduct research that is both educational to the student and also beneficial and useful to the organization. The research conducted by Dr. Quinn and his students focuses on program design and results. For example, this fall the students worked with DHI to research five areas of their program: gauging and impacting public awareness of services, analyzing data on service outcomes for individuals, analysis of employee injury data, a family satisfaction survey, and the effectiveness of DHI’s revised new employee orientation process. The results of the students’ research were used by DHI to improve processes and implement new assessments.
Sandi Marshall, CEO of Development Homes, Inc. said, “He [Dr. Quinn] is effective in developing and utilizing service learning opportunities that enable students to have hands-on learning to create practical research outcomes that are beneficial to DHI and the people we serve.”
In addition to engaging students in research, Dr. Quinn has also been an active supporter of Community Action of the Red River Valley, presenting research at regional and national community action conferences as well as working extensively with the North Dakota Community Action Association.
Kent Keys, Executive Director of Red River Valley Community Action stated about Dr. Quinn, “He brings passion to his academic field and a large portion of community engagement from both him and his students. In my estimation, his techniques are examples of how university professors should interact with their local community. It’s a win-win for the students and local non-profits.”
Congratulations on this recognition of your service to the community, Dr. Quinn!