July 1, 2015
Associate Instructor of NSC’s Human Communication program Steve Neel has received yet another award for his committed partnership with Junior Achievement (JA), a non-profit organization that brings the real world to students through hands-on curriculum.
Neel was the recipient of the 2015 Above and Beyond Award at the Junior Achievement of Central Florida’s annual meeting on June 24. Associate Director Tim Brown accepted the award on his behalf as Neel was unable to attend the event.
Neel has previously been recognized for his work with JA, receiving the Golden Service Learning Partner Award in 2012 and an induction to the Junior Achievement Hall of Fame in 2013.
Neel has played an integral role in establishing and maintaining the partnership between the Nicholson School of Communication’s (NSC) and JA with the incorporation of the JA Service Learning project as a requirement for his COM 1000, Introduction to Communication class.
As a part of their Service Learning Project, students in Neel’s COM 1000 class deliver JA lessons to students at the elementary school level. Students, upon receiving training on the JA curricula, are empowered to go to the classrooms and over a six-week period interact with both the teacher and the elementary students. In addition to completing the program, each student is required to write a reaction report, relating their coursework to a practical application of communication theory and principles.
The exercise is geared at helping students develop their communication skills as well as overcome their fear of public speaking. NSC students consistently receive high marks from their elementary classroom teachers and the schools look forward to their visit.
In praising Neel for his commitment to JA, Junior Achievement officials said, “Steven understands the value of our partnership in supporting both JACF and UCF’s goal and commitment to develop business leaders who understand their responsibility to become actively involved in serving their community. He has been supportive and committed to this partnership for the past eight years.”
Junior Achievement works with local businesses and organizations to deliver experiential programs on the topics of financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship to students in kindergarten through high school.