Educator Receives Prestigious Spirit of Service Learning Award

Coral Gables (May 07, 2012) — A University of Miami faculty member known for preparing physicians to work in medically underserved communities is the recipient of a prestigious award that recognizes South Florida educators who integrate service learning into their teaching.

Erin Kobetz, an assistant professor of epidemiology and public health at the Miller School of Medicine and a task force member in the University of Miami’s Office of Civic and Community Engagement, received the Spirit of Service Learning Award in Higher Education, which is presented by the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida.

Nominated for the award by the Office of Civic and Community Engagement, Kobetz teaches courses on community-based participatory research that encourage students to reflect on their roles as medical practitioners in distressed communities and to consider the impact of social, political, and economic aspects of the local community environment on possible health interventions. Her students focus on medically underserved communities, including Liberty City, Hialeah, West Perrine, and Little Haiti.

She was among 18 nominees from five South Florida universities. The selection committee consisted of former Miami-Dade County Public Schools Teacher of the Year Stephanie King and three Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.

Three other UM professors were among the finalists: Laura Kohn-Wood, associate chair and associate professor in the School of Education and Human Development’s Department of Educational and Psychological Studies; Michelle Maldonado, associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Religious Studies; and Scotney Evans, assistant professor in the School of Education and Human Development’s Department of Educational and Psychological Studies.


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Erin Kobetz.

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