Service-Learning & Civic Engagement

Annual Report

Faculty Service-Learning Committee
Annual Report, 2008-2009

Earl F. Mulderink III
Faculty Coordinator of Civic Engagement

The academic year kicked off with campus visits and workshops by nationally-known service-learning scholars Kathleen Rice and Nadine Cruz. They met with the President’s Council, deans, department chairs, faculty, community partners, and student leaders. More information and resources from their visit are found at http://suu.edu/servelearn/resources.html.

The Faculty Service-Learning Committee met monthly through 2008-2009 to develop new programs and sustain established ones. Committee information, additional resources, and relevant links are located at our SL&CE web site: http://www.suu.edu/servelearn/. Our “civic engagement” budget was capably administered by Debra Pool, Office Manager of the Student Success Center.

Committee Members

  • Earl Mulderink , Chair, Faculty Coordinator of Civic Engagement
  • Lisa Assante (BUS)
  • Steve Barney (HSS)
  • Pam Branin (S&L Center)
  • Briget Eastep (EDU)
  • Scott Hansen (CIET)
  • Jeff Hanson (PVA)
  • Lacie Jo Huber (Student)
  • Matt Nickerson (Honors Program and Library)
  • Karl Stevens (SCPS)
  • Cindy Wright (SCI)

2009 Service-Learning Fellows Named
For the third successive year, the Faculty Service-Learning Committee announced a new group of Service-Learning Fellows to recognize “engaged educators who practice service-learning in an effective manner”:

  • Dr. John Ault, Professor of Psychology, recognized for developing service-learning components in PSYC 3800, Professional Roles, Ethics, and Clinical Practices.
  • Rita Osborn, Associate Director of the Utah Center for Rural Health, honored for her effective use of service-learning in two courses: Service-Learning for Pre-Nursing and Pre-Allied Health Students (SCI 2120) and Biology Co-op Education (BIO 4840).
  • Dr. David Shwalb, Associate Professor of Psychology, is recognized for developing a service-learning component within an upper-level class, Adult Development and Aging (PSYC 3230).

Utah Campus Compact Honorees
The Committee selected SUU’s honorees who were honored at a statewide recognition event on April 7, 2009: Civically Engaged Scholar: Dr. Briget Eastep, Assistant Professor of Outdoor Recreation, Physical Education and Human Performance; Civically Engaged Staff Member: Pam Branin, Coordinator of the Service & Learning Center; Civically Engaged Student: Lacie Jo Robinson; and Committed Community Partner: Paul Roelandt, Superintendent of the Cedar Breaks National Monument.

Service-Learning Scholars Program
In Spring 2009, five undergraduate students were honored for completing this rigorous program. Lacie Jo Robinson, a Psychology major, and Layne Oyler, also from Psychology, worked with Professor Jeff Elison to develop a more systematic assessment of service-learning at SUU as their Capstone Community Project. Working with Communication faculty members Stan Gwin and Suzanne Larson, Karleen Watson, a Communication major, submitted a capstone project that focused on her service with Habitat for Humanity. Joshua Snow Hansen, also a Communication major, organized a “Drug Awareness Week” program as his capstone project. In the School of Business, Tanya Lamb developed an after-school program under the direction of Denise Woodbury. These students were honored at graduation ceremonies with a cord, recognition in the Commencement program and at their College Convocation programs, and a transcript notation.

These new Service-Learning Scholars met stringent requirements: 12 semester credit hours of service-learning coursework; overall GPA of 3.0; 400 hours of community service; and a Capstone Service Project (CSP). The CSP’s service portion is expected to be a minimum of 40 hours and relate to the student’s academic major. Following review and approval by a committee that included their faculty advisor, the completed CSP reports are deposited in the Sherratt Library. More details are found at http://suu.edu/servelearn/scholar-program.html.

Service-Learning Course Approval
The Service-Learning Committee considered several classes for official designation as “service-learning” courses. Full details about the criteria and application process are found online at http://suu.edu/servelearn/course-designation-app.html. As of Spring 2009, the following courses were added to the list of a “service-learning” courses:

  • HRHM 3600, Guest Services, Dr. Lisa Assante
  • PSYC 3800, Psychology Practicum, Dr. John Ault

Other courses were given “provisional” approval to revise and resubmit.

Service-Learning Enhancement Grants
To promote service-learning across campus, the committee oversees a mini-grant program for requests of up to $500 per instructor per fiscal year. Online application materials are available through our web site. The following grants were approved in 2008-2009:

  • Professor Ben Davidson, “Athletic Training Majors Service-Learning Project at Huntsman World Senior Games”; $336 awarded for work in October 2008
  • Dr. Cynthia Wright, “Testing and Treating Household Drinking Water in Guaymas, Mexico”; $500 awarded for 2008 Alternative Winter Break
  • Dr. Lisa Assante, “Providing Food and Educational Materials to Canyon Creek Women’s Crisis Center”; $500 awarded in Spring 2009
  • Dr. Steve Barney, “Qualitative Assessment of International Service-Learning in Home Construction”; $500 awarded for ASB program in Guaymas, Mexico
  • Professor Boyd Fife, “ASB Mexico House Construction,” $250 awarded to defray project costs

Professional Development

Funds were allocated for participation in workshops and conferences inside and outside of Utah. A dozen faculty and staff members attended the 5th Annual Engaged Scholar Institute at Dixie State College in St. George in February 2009. Others participated in the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association 2009 Annual Meeting and at Utah Campus Compact-related meetings in Salt Lake City. Funds were also provided to assist conference participation by Earl Mulderink at the Eighth International Conference in Service-Learning Research in New Orleans, in mid-October 2008.