Ohio Campus Compact, a nonprofit membership organization of 40 Ohio colleges and universities, announced last week that Dr. Tim Burkart, assistant director of experiential education and assistant professor of clinical practice in pharmacy at the University of Findlay, is recognized as a finalist for the 2020 David Hoch Memorial Award for Excellence in Service. The Award honors the outstanding work in service-learning and/or civic engagement by faculty and/or staff members at an Ohio Campus Compact member institution.
Dr. Burkart joined the University after learning as a pharmacist that a patient’s treatment is not typically just their medication, and patients are not always those in a hospital bed. Those ingrained ideas helped him guide his teachings and work in Academic Service Learning in the College of Pharmacy. Dr. Burkart says, “this was where the opportunity arose for my local community to become ‘the patient’ and transfer of skills, listening, exchange of dialogue, and understanding become ‘medication’.”
Through Academic Service Learning, he’s worked with both pharmacy students and faculty to develop projects that identify and address individualized community needs. He knows that their services benefit the health of the community, but can see the benefits to students as well who typically find a passion for one population.
One specific example that Dr Burkart writes about is, “in working with a local family center in town which shorts those struggling with poverty, we had a planned service-learning event go well. In reflecting later with the students, they wondered about the individuals there and how much of an impact the event had. We discussed follow up and this discussion developed into the idea of a long-term commitment. This became the focus of the following year, where a single group turned into a class cohort, and a single event turned into service every Friday morning during the fall.” He hopes that they will continue to further this type of programming in the community and for students. Of this experience, Dr. Burkhart mentions that the more students became actively involved, the further the relationships and services could go with the residents of the family center. Residents looked forward to working with his students.
Dr. Burkart cites the supporting environment of the University as one of his steps to continued success – specifically the University’s Director of Service and Community Engagement. He says that Crystal, along with others in this department, don’t usually have a yes or no answer to an idea. They support each other instead in figuring out the right way to approach the idea.
“Dr. Burkart has a strong rapport with his students and our local community, and I genuinely appreciate the way he cares for others. He believes that service experiences are of immense value to his students and goes above and beyond to extend such learning opportunities to them and to the benefit of our community.” Dr. Katherine Fell, Ph.D., President, University of Findlay.
Ohio Campus Compact is a statewide nonprofit coalition of 40 college and university presidents and their campuses working to promote and develop the civic purposes of higher education.
For more information, contact Ohio Campus Compact at 740-587-8568 or firstname.lastname@example.org