2017 Faculty Excellence Awards
Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor
Outdoor Adventure Leadership Program, CAHP
Outstanding Service Learning Award
Lynne Fitzgerald is passionate about getting her students engaged with and serving the Billings community.
“Service learning is an important aspect of education as it gives students real-life, hands-on experience,” Lynne said. “Plus, both the community and the students benefit from it.”
Lynne’s dedication to service learning has had a significant impact on the students, university, and community.
Her REC 411 Adventure Guiding and Instructing classes have been collaborating with the Billings Parks and Recreation Department for four years on “Refresh the Rims.”
This annual fall clean-up has grown substantially.
“It’s really gained momentum and every year the turnout from community volunteers grows. Students have been very successful in recruiting volunteers and we had more than 150 people that came out,” Lynne said. “Last year, we were able to expand our clean-up area to include land below the Rims as well.”
Chris Waite, volunteer coordinator with Billings Parks and Recreation, said Lynne is especially deserving of this award.
“She’s incredible,” he said. “She has such passion for her students and does a really good job preparing them for success during the event and then does a really good job evaluating them afterward. Refresh the Rims not only gets the Rims cleaned up, but it creates an opportunity to have this wonderful dialogue with the public about how important our public spaces are.”
Another popular service learning opportunity her students engage in is working with Skyview High School’s physical education department to teach rappelling, ropes, and challenge courses for students. She and her Outdoor Adventure Leadership students also help many other community groups, including the Audubon Education Center and Boy Scouts.
Lynne’s commitment to service is apparent as well. She was a Service Learning Fellow in 2015 and currently serves on the Service Learning Advisory Board.