Campus News

Senior Scholars promote engaged teaching, learning across campus

Service-learning senior
2008–2009 Service-Learning Seniors Scholars are (from left

The 2008-2009 Service-Learning Senior Scholars, funded through a faculty development grant from the Office of Service-Learning, are working to enhance and expand service-learning and engaged teaching and learning across campus. In the program, five faculty members each designed a proposal to bolster service-learning and community engagement throughout the institution.

During this year-long faculty leadership program, the Senior Scholars serve as members of the office’s leadership team, developing OSL projects in five targeted areas: curricular initiatives, global initiatives, faculty development, community engagement and research related to service-learning. The five scholars are David Berle, horticulture; Deborah Gonzalez, international public service and outreach; Su-I Hou, health promotion and behavior; Paul Matthews, Center for Latino Achievement and Success in Education; and Kathy Thompson, elementary and social studies education.

Berle, Hou and Matthews are continuing projects they began as inaugural Senior Scholars in the 2007-2008 academic year.

“One of our goals this year is to provide timely and relevant information for faculty interested in service-learning through print, online and human resources,” said Matthews, assistant director and outreach coordinator for CLASE and Senior Scholar for faculty development. “This will help ensure that we are supporting and informing faculty of all ranks and career paths on how they can appropriately incorporate service-learning into their work in ways that benefit their students, the community and their own careers.”

As the Senior Scholar for curricular initiatives, Berle is continuing a successful campus-wide pilot of a service-learning course assessment instrument he initially developed to understand the impact of service-learning on students in his horticulture courses.

Hou, an associate professor in the College of Public Health and Senior Scholar for research, conducted a benchmark study of faculty perceptions of service-learning’s benefits and barriers as a Senior Scholar last year.

Gonzalez, assistant director of international public service and outreach and Senior Scholar for global initiatives, is researching best practices for international engagement and service-learning at other institutions. She is also developing a workshop on global service-learning as a spring 2009 course offering in the Global Certificate Program.

Thompson, a public service associate and Senior Scholar for community engagement, is focused on strengthening the OSL’s community partnerships. She is developing an advisory board made up of educators, university faculty and students to create a university-community collaboration model.