The Provost’s Awards for Faculty Excellence in Undergraduate Research, Service Learning, and Education Abroad honor University of Alabama at Birmingham faculty members who demonstrate extraordinary commitment to engaging UAB’s undergraduate students in research, creative activities, service learning, and education abroad experiences.


Nomination Form


The awards are based on outstanding accomplishments in teaching and mentoring as demonstrated by any or all of the following:

  • Actively and effectively guides students’ research, creative, or service projects; and personal development
  • Establishes clear expectations and maintains high standards for academic performance
  • Inspires and assists undergraduates in developing their own scholarly profiles and in disseminating the results of their work as appropriate (e.g., meetings, conferences, committees, performances, publications, UAB Expo)
  • Actively prepares students for success in applications to graduate and professional schools or professional careers



Each selected faculty member honored receives a cash award and a plaque that recognizes his or her achievement at the UAB Expo Awards Ceremony on April 13, 2018.


All UAB faculty members are eligible.

Deadline and Procedure for Nomination

Nominations must be submitted by March 30, 2018. Any UAB student, faculty, staff, or community member may make a nomination by completing and submitting a short paragraph describing why the nominee is deserving of the award.

Selection Committee

The Offices of Service Learning and Undergraduate Research, and Education Abroad will review nominations and make recommendations to the Senior Vice Provost for each of the following categories: Undergraduate Research, Service Learning, and Education Abroad.

  • 2017 Winner
  • 2016 Winner
  • 2015 Winner
  • 2014 Winner

Lordes Sanchez 2017The 2017 award for Faculty Excellence in Service Learning goes to Lourdes Sánchez-López, Professor of Spanish, and associate chair and director of the Spanish for Specific Purposes Certificate program in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. Along with service learning, a hallmark of her teaching, her research and teaching interests are: applied linguistics, Spanish for specific purposes (health and business), second language acquisition, phonetics and phonology, cultural studies, foreign language pedagogy, and engaged scholarship. She came to UAB in 2001 to develop and establish UAB’s Spanish for Specific Purposes program (health, business, and translation and interpretation), among the first programs of its kind in the nation. An integral component of this program is its signature capstone service learning course in which students participate in enriching, mutually-beneficial experiential learning with a local community partner while engaging in meaningful service to the Hispanic community. Through her course and over the years, Dr. Sánchez-López has developed numerous and sustained internal (within UAB) as well as external (local) valuable partnerships. Recently she presented at the University of Rhodes in Greece, “Service Learning in Higher Education: In Search of Best Practices” and she has published articles about her work including: Service Learning Course Design in Languages for Specific Purposes Programs and An Analysis of the Integration of Service Learning in Undergraduate Spanish for Specific Purposes in Higher Education in the United States.


""The Provost’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Service Learning was presented to Dale Dickinson, Assistant Professor and Graduate Program Director in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences in the School of Public Health. Dr. Dickinson has been incredibly successful in creating and implementing transformational learning experiences for his students and serves as a dedicated mentor to his students, colleagues, and community partners. One of his student nominators wrote that Dr. Dickinson “impacted my life as an international student who first found it hard to approach professors. When I shared my dream to make my country's health sector world-class, he inspired me to dream big and to believe that there are no limitations.” Another student said that “his assignments enable his students to think beyond memorizing factual information and how to apply the knowledge and facts to real life situations. His classes have challenged me to think by pushing the boundaries, question the unknown, and form my own opinions.”



The 2015 award for Faculty Excellence in Service Learning goes to Assistant Professor Martha Earwood in the Department of Justice Sciences. Professor Earwood exposed students to the theory and practice of supervising criminal offenders in the community outside of prison walls. Through partnerships with the Shelby Country Veterans Court and the nonprofit group Aid to Inmate Mothers, students engaged in grassroots efforts to reintegrate and connect incarcerated offenders into the community. Numerous studies have demonstrated the value of maintaining parental bonds despite incarceration, and Martha’s students helped incarcerated women at Tutwiler Prison record video messages for their children, which helped them maintain relationships with their children. Through Professor Earwood’s innovative teaching, her students were able to see how their work in community corrections had a real and positive benefit, before they even graduated from college.

Dr. Lynda Wilson, Professor of Nursing, received the 2014 Provost's Award for Faculty Excellence in Service Learning. She was recognized by students in Interprofessional Global Health Service Learning, an innovative new course, for her guidance, creativity and innovation in collaborating with students and community partners on projects that impact student learning and provide real community benefit.

Dr. Wilson engaged students with community organizations to assess and develop plans that addressed community-identified problems. Besides helping create the course, Dr. Wilson mentored a group of students who collaborated with the community group One Roof to create a Vulnerability Index. This Index was vital to help the organization evaluate local homeless individuals for housing and other urgent resources.

Visit the UAB Undergraduate Research Page

Click to learn about Student Resources.

Click here to learn about Community Partners.