Service-Learning & Civic Engagement


Faculty Service-Learning Committee
Wednesday, January 13, 2010, 12 Noon
Service & Learning Center
185 S. 300 West

I. Call to Order
Earl Mulderink called the meeting to order at 12:00 PM. In attendance: Lisa Assante (BUS), Steve Barney (HSS), Pam Branin (CSD), Briget Eastep (EDU), Boyd Fife (CIET), Jeff Hanson (PVA), Lacie Jo Robinson (S&L Center), Karl Stevens (SCPS), Cindy Wright (SCI). Excused: Matt Nickerson (Honors and Library), Beau Shakespear (Student).

II. Approval of Minutes
Minutes for the meeting of December 2, 2009, were approved without changes.

III. Reports
A. Chair’s Report
Earl Mulderink first mentioned positive reportage about Alternative Winter Break in the University Journal and then distributed a full-page excerpt from the recent Provost’s Newsletter that focused on service-learning and civic engagement. He encouraged committee members to publicize our activities. He shared information about a new online peer-reviewed scholarly publication, Journal of Community Engagement and Higher Education, at Next, Earl talked about two items relating to the Utah Campus Compact: 1) Betsy Ward’s official installation as Executive Director on January 15, 2010; and 2) SUU data drawn from last year’s WRCCC online faculty survey, summarized in a two-page handout. The entire report is available to anyone who is interested. Earl then discussed recent efforts by SUU’s Experiential Learning Requirement Focus Group that created a short “white paper” for circulation to the Provost, Deans, and the Academic Planning Steering Committee. Earl offered to distribute copies of the white paper to committee members because of the Focus Group’s support for service-learning. Following suggestions of committee members that we invite Provost Cook to join an Alternative Spring Break trip to Mexico, Earl promised to follow up with a more formal invitation. Next, Earl distributed copies of the new form for the 2010 Service-Learning Fellows Program and urged committee members to share these with colleagues in their departments and colleges. Finally, he led the committee in applauding Pam Branin as the Cedar City Chamber of Commerce “Woman of the Year.”

B. Pam Branin, Coordinator of the Service & Learning Center
Pam discussed several issues that included the Sub for Santa and Holiday Assistance programs, Alternative Winter and Spring Breaks (including Habitat for Humanity efforts in Taos, NM, and Tacoma, WA), and the next Bread & Soup Nite on Monday, December 7. Pam explained the difficulties she encountered when she and Jeb Branin were turned away at the Mexico border with donations before Thanksgiving. The new policy by the Mexican government will force changes to bringing supplies and donations to Guaymas and surrounding communities.

C. Other
Lisa Assante provided details about the Pro-Start event on campus on January 27, 2010. Lisa reported working with local school officials and the Utah Restaurant Association to promote this large gathering of high school students, and she is eager to showcase service-learning.

IV. New Business
A. Utah Campus Compact

Earl reminded committee members about the forthcoming Annual Conference on Civic Engagement scheduled for February 19-20, 2010, in Salt Lake City. Besides sharing a schedule, he wondered about ways to maximize SUU’s participation, particularly among “new blood” at SUU. He expressed some concern about the costs of sending a large contingent as we have been able to do in previous years (to Moab and St. George). He encouraged committee members to think of one other faculty/staff person to invite, and he will follow up by email.

A second UCC topic related to the annual UCC-sponsored awards for Civically Engaged Scholar, Staff Member, Student, and Community Partner. Earl distributed the criteria for each award and suggested that he would create a web-based application form to facilitate our committee’s evaluation efforts. The UCC Recognition Event is scheduled for April 9, 2010, in Salt Lake City.

B. Carnegie Classification Effort

The next round of applications for the Carnegie Classification for Community Engaged Institutions will open on February 1, and our committee will play a central role in completing our materials. Within the context of institutionalizing service-learning, Steve Barney, Chair of the Psychology Department, shared a recent job description in his department that emphasizes their search for a tenure-track faculty member with “demonstrated success in engaged learning pedagogies.” This is probably the first time that SUU has actively advertised for a faculty member with such skills.

C. Promotional Video (Lisa Assante)

Lisa Assante played a four-minute video produced by her student Raquel Roldan that focused on service-learning programs at Ruby’s Inn at Bryce Canyon National Park. If possible, and with the assistance of Jeff Hanson, we will place the high-quality video on our SL&CE web site.

V. Old Business
A. Curricular Issues and Course Proposals

Cindy Wright’s course, NFS 4480, “Community Nutrition,” was approved unanimously as a service-learning course. Committee members applauded her exemplary application that included sample liability waiver statements.

Alan Hamlin’s course, MGMT 4200, “Government, Business, and Ethics,” was approved unanimously as a service-learning course. Committee members wondered how the course might be offered through an online format and appreciated his patience in awaiting the committee’s evaluation.

Rebecca Rasmusson’s course, NURS 4335, “Nursing Care of the Family Clinical Lab,” was approved unanimously as a service-learning course. Committee members expressed a wish that that the reflection component(s) be strengthened, and they appreciated her persistence and patience in submitting a revised course proposal and syllabus.

B. Service-Learning Course Proposal Criteria (Subcommittee chaired by Lisa Assante)

A number of comments were directed to Lisa to assist her in improving the course proposal application and process. New versions will be forwarded by email to committee members.

C. Other

Karl Stevens wondered if we could make inquiries about using the Banner system to notify students when they register for a service-learning class. It was noted that faculty can send emails to students through Banner, and Earl pledged to follow up with the Registrar to find out more.

A short discussion ensued about AmeriCorps funding for students in various fields such as Education and Science.

VI. Adjournment
Meeting adjourned at 1:10 PM.