Huelskamp Awarded 2019 Excellence in Applied Learning Award

Assistant Professor Wins Applied Learning Award

August 9, 2019 - School of Health and Applied Human Sciences Assistant Professor Amelia (Kit) Huelskamp has been awarded the 2019 Excellence in Applied Learning Award.

The Excellence in Applied Learning Award recognizes faculty and staff who practice excellence in and demonstrated commitment to the integration of the UNCW model of applied learning into teaching and pedagogy.

Huelskamp was nominated because of her commitment to providing her students with powerful learning experiences in applied settings. Her applied learning projects include MedFest, The Portable Nutrition Lab and Parent’s Night Out.

MedFest, coordinated by Huelskamp, provides a valuable service learning opportunity for students in HEA 304: School Health Methods, as well as athletic training students. This annual event  is held in conjunction with Special Olympics of NC to provide free physicals and health education activities to school-age Special Olympics athletes. While athletic training students and local volunteer practitioners provide medical screenings that keep athletes eligible to participate, Huelskamp’s HEA 304 students plan and implement interactive health education for the youth with special needs, focusing on topics like nutrition, disease and injury prevention, flexibility, strength training and mental health.

One of two first ETEAL three-year Initiatives, The Portable Nutrition Lab is now entering its second year of implementation and has already been integrated into HEA 304: School Health Methods and PED 385: Curriculum Development in Health and PE. Starting in summer of 2019, The Portable Nutrition Lab will also provide applied learning opportunities for graduate students in PED 546: Analysis of Teaching Health and PE. The program provides nutrition education and increases access to fresh fruits and vegetables for community members of all ages in the Cape Fear region. Students in courses that work with the program travel into local schools, including Isaac Bear Early College and Heide Trask High School, where they teach K-12 students to read food labels, plan and budget for healthy meals, navigate a grocery store and prepare foods in healthy ways. Students also work with adult populations living in food deserts. Huelskamp recently established a new collaboration with Local Motive, a service provided by Feast Down East, to teach food desert residents how to prepare fresh, locally grown produce provided at reduced cost.

Most recently, Huelskamp received funding for a collaborative project with Assistant Professor Alana Seaman that focuses on the integration of literacy and storytelling in physical education. This project provides students in PED 235: Principles of Teaching Health and PE with an opportunity to apply new content knowledge, teaching strategies and classroom management techniques in a fun, festive atmosphere that encourages movement, fitness, literacy and a love for reading.

“Applied learning is the most organic, authentic pedagogy I have ever seen,” Huelskamp said. “I love the concept of weaving community engagement into impactful teaching, and I'm learning more about it every day.”