Duke Service-Learning Offers the Betsy Alden Awards

Deadline: March 20, 2017

The Betsy Alden Outstanding Service-Learning Awards recognize one graduating senior, one faculty member and one community partner for their commitment to the ideals of service-learning. Each Alden award winner will receive $250 to further develop his/her community-building and leadership skills.

One of the “founding mothers” of the service-learning movement at Duke, Betsy Alden began combining learning and service in the 1980s. Since then, she has done it all: created and taught service-learning courses; forged community partnerships; recruited, inspired, and mentored faculty and students; developed and administered campus service-learning programs; and championed service-learning through publications, lectures, workshops and service on national boards. In the ten years Betsy led the service-learning movement at Duke, service-learning evolved from an obscure pedagogy used by a handful of faculty to a vibrant cross-disciplinary practice.


Graduating seniors, faculty members, and community partners who have participated in at least one service-learning course at Duke are eligible for an Alden Award.

Selection Criteria

  • Leadership, initiative, or ongoing commitment to academic service-learning
  • Quality of reflection about the service-learning experience
  • Meaningful integration of the service experience with course content (structure of the service experience, selection of community partners, use of critical reflection)
  • Consideration of, and ongoing commitment to, the needs of community partner(s)
  • Impact of community partnership(s) at Duke or in the local community
  • Involvement in the service-learning community at Duke
Community Partners
  • Ongoing commitment to the academic and personal development of Duke students
  • Collaboration with Duke students and faculty members

Nomination Instructions

Any member of the Duke community or a community partner organization may nominate an eligible student, faculty member, or community partner (individual or organization) for a Betsy Alden Outstanding Service-Learning Award.

  • Faculty and community partner nominations: Submit a statement of approximately 500 words indicating why the nominee deserves the award in light of the criteria listed below.
  • Student nominations: Submit a statement of approximately 500 words indicating why the nominee deserves the award in light of the criteria listed below. ALSO, the student nominee must provide a short description or reflection on their service-learning experiences at Duke. Please provide the student with the instructions below. We suggest doing so by the first week in March to allow time for them to prepare a statement before the nomination deadline, generally the week after spring break.

Joint nominations are welcomed. Nominations should be submitted to Dane Emmerling, Assistant Director, Duke Service-Learning, by e-mail, mail (Box 90739), or in person (West Duke 213), and must be received by the deadline.