Service-Learning & Civic Engagement


Faculty Service-Learning Committee
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Registrar’s Conference Room, 12 PM

Meeting was called to order by Earl Mulderink at 12:10 PM. In attendance: Steve Barney (HSS), Pam Branin (CSD), Neal Cox (Student Services), Briget Eastep (EDU), Mark Grover (SCI), Larry Johnson (PVA), Blair McDonald (CIET), Matt Nickerson (LIB & Honors Program), Karl Stevens (SCPS). Excused: Denise Woodbury (BUS). No student representative was in attendance.

Approval of Minutes
Minutes for the meeting of December 6, 2006, were approved without changes.

Chair’s Report: Earl distributed a copy of “Service Learning and Civic Engagement” that was recently printed in the latest edition of Academic Affairs from the Provost’s Office. He also passed out an article, “A Legacy of Service Learning at Southern Utah University,” from The Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin. This piece focused on service-learning endeavors by Artis Grady, Kathy Croxall, and Rea Gulber of SUU’s Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics programs. Earl encouraged all members of the committee to publicize their own and others’ activities in service-learning and civic engagement.

After distributing materials related to the Student-Faculty Scholarship Day scheduled for April 19, under the direction of Lynn White, Earl opened discussion about how to best incorporate service-learning and/or community-based research. Committee members expressed a strong desire that relevant research be included in the events, and that our committee might review students’ work in awarding outstanding projects.

Next, Earl distributed an informational packet about the UCC-sponsored Engaged Scholar Retreat at Moab, February 23-24. He noted and thanked committee members who plan to attend: Steve Barney, Briget Eastep, Karl Stevens, and Denise Woodbury. Finally, Earl shared a handout regarding his participation in the 2007 National CASTL Institute in Chicago, June 6-9, 2007. Sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation, the event addresses “Civic Engagement in the Classroom” and promotes the scholarship of teaching and learning. Again, he urged committee members to seek out service-learning conferences and venues and to use our program’s travel funds to assist with their participation.

Other Reports. Karl Stevens and Pam Branin talked about their recent service-oriented trip to Guaymas, Mexico, in late-December 2006, where they chaperoned nineteen students who worked in orphanages and did other volunteer work for five days. Similarly, Earl briefly talked about his experience in assisting two dozen Rural Health Scholars in their service trip to Guaymas and San Carlos, Mexico, before Christmas 2006. In addition, Pam reported that she is expecting about fifty students (including six from Dixie State College) to participate in the Alternate Spring Break that will return to Mexico. She also noted that a team of about twenty students plans to go to New Orleans to work with a Habitat for Humanity project. We discussed ways to promote student learning through reflections, both oral and written, and suggested using digital video interviews of participants to promote learning and publicity.

Briget Eastep reported that she is coordinating conservation-related service-learning programs with the cooperation of eight land agencies in our region. Mark Grover commented on his ongoing work with the Red Cliffs Preserve under the direction of Washington County. Finally, we discussed the recent approval of the Hispanic Studies Center at SUU and the burgeoning tutoring program under the supervision of Elise Leahy.

New Business
A. Service Learning Fellows Program
Thanks to our diligent subcommittee (Steve Barney, Briget Eastep, and Denise Woodbury), we discussed and approved a new “Service Learning Fellows Program.” Their submitted materials included a letter to all faculty and staff on campus, an application form, and evaluation criteria. We agreed on an application deadline of March 9, with awardees to be notified in early April, prior to the Student-Faculty Scholarship Recognition Event. We agreed that the committee chair will publicize, distribute, and compile applications, and that committee members are eligible to apply for the Fellows program but will be excused from the evaluation process. The entire packet, with slight modifications, passed with unanimous support of committee members. Thanks, again, in making this program a reality this year!

B. Other
Pam Branin explained that the Utah Campus Compact Recognition event will be on April 3 in Salt Lake City. She also reported about naming of a new UCC Executive Director, Melissa Miller Kincart. Pam was on the Search Committee, and expressed her satisfaction about the selection process and outcome. We tentatively planned to have our next committee meeting at the end of February, also on a Wednesday at Noon.


Meeting was adjourned at 12:55 PM.