210 Pittsboro Street
Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-6210

T 919-962-2091
F 919-962-2279

People briefs

For immediate use

Feb. 13, 2007

APPLES associate director receives
award for efforts in higher education

Leslie Parkins, associate director for programs and leadership at UNC’s APPLES service learning program, recently received an award for her professional and scholarly contributions to higher education.

The American College Personnel Association honored Parkins with its Annuit Coeptis Emerging Professional Award. One of five individuals nationally to receive the award this year, Parkins will attend a formal ceremony at the ACPA’s April conference in Orlando, Fla.

Parkins initiates APPLES programs and facilitates existing ones. Programs she has worked on include the Service-Learning Initiative, a two-day project for first-year students; the Alternative Break Programs, student-led service trips during the fall and spring breaks; and ongoing faculty development efforts to integrate service-learning across the curriculum. Since Parkin’s arrival in 2002, the number of courses offered by APPLES has nearly doubled.

“I find the students inspiring and so committed and talented,” Parkins said. “It’s something not every administrator gets to experience everyday.”

APPLES – Assisting People in Planning Learning Experiences in Service – is a student-led program that engages students, faculty, and community agencies in service-learning partnerships. The program’s goal is to foster socially aware and civically involved students through participation in an enriched curriculum and hands-on experiences that address the needs of North Carolina communities.

The ACPA is an international student affairs association with more than 8,000 members at 1,500 universities. Its Annuit Coeptis award recognizes professionals who are heavily involved in student affairs and are selected based on their overall career work, the promise of what their careers will become, and nominations from various professors, supervisors and colleagues.


FPG director recognized
for work in special education

Dr. Samuel L. Odom, director of UNC’s FPG Child Development Institute, recently was honored with the 2007 Outstanding Research Award from the Council for Exceptional Children.

The award recognizes an individual or research team whose research has made significant contributions to the education of exceptional children and youth.

Odom has dedicated his career to studying preschool inclusion and peer social interaction. An expert on autism spectrum disorder, Odom conducted intervention work with preschoolers with autism beginning in the 1980s. He was part of a National Academy of Sciences committee to identify effective educational practices, resulting in a report titled “Educating Children with Autism.”

Odom studied inclusive preschool classes as a doctoral student. He examined classroom environments that promoted positive social interactions and identified a range of strategies now used by many interventionists and in preschool classrooms around the world. In the early 1990s, Odom organized a group of education leaders to create recommended practices for the Division for Early Childhood, one of 17 divisions of the Council for Exceptional Children.

The Council for Exceptional Children is an international professional organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities, students with disabilities and the gifted.

Named for former UNC president Frank Porter Graham, the FPG Child Development Institute is a multidisciplinary institute that has for the past 40 years, through research and outreach, shaped how the nation cares for and educates young children. For more information, visit


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UNC Library’s Community Workshop Series
wins national award for innovation

A UNC program that teaches computer and researchskills to Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Durham residents has received national recognition.

The Community Workshop Series, developed and managed by UNC’s University Library, recently won the 2007 Instruction Section Innovation Award from the Association of College and Research Libraries.  

The workshops bring trained instructors to local public libraries, where they provide free classes to community residents. The Chapel Hill Public Library, the Carrboro Cybrary, the Carrboro Branch of the Orange County Public Library and the Durham County Public Library are partners in the program.

Classes range from introductory computer and Internet skills to advanced topics such as evaluating health information, job searching on the Internet, and writing a resume. Some classes are offered in Spanish. The instructors, all volunteers, include librarians and  graduate students from UNC’s School of Information and Library Science. The workshop series is also a partner with APPLES, a UNC program that provides service learning opportunities for undergraduates.

Since the workshop series began in March 2005, it has offered 270 classes (22 in Spanish), reaching 1,622 participants and involving 60 instructors. Visit for information.

A $3,000 prize and a plaque will be presented to the Library during the American Library Association’s June conference in Washington, D.C.

The Association of College and Research Libraries is a division of the American Library Association, representing 13,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. The association develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians.

Photo URL:
Photo caption: Grant Lynch, masters student at UNC’s School of Information and Library Science, teaches a Community Workshop Series class at the Chapel Hill Public Library in January.

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APPLES contact: Jenny Huq, (919) 962-0902,  
FPG contact: Tracy Zimmerman, (919) 966-0867,
UNC Library contact: Lisa Norberg, (919) 843-3590,