Service-Learning & Civic Engagement


Faculty Service-Learning Committee
Wednesday, March 10, 2010, 12 Noon
Service & Learning Center
185 S. 300 West

I. Call to Order
Earl Mulderink called the meeting to order at 12:03 PM. In attendance: Lisa Assante (BUS), Steve Barney (HSS), Pam Branin (CSD), Briget Eastep (EDU), Lacie Jo Robinson (S&L Center), Karl Stevens (SCPS), Cindy Wright (SCI). Excused: Boyd Fife (CIET), Jeff Hanson (PVA), Matt Nickerson (Honors and Library), Beau Shakespear (Student).

II. Approval of Minutes
Minutes were approved for the meeting of February 10, 2010, after Earl promised to fix a typo.

III. Reports
A. Chair’s Report
Earl Mulderink began by showing copies of recent articles in the University Journal that focused on service and service-learning events. He mentioned his delight that the first-ever SUU Annual Report features references to service and service-learning, but expressed disappointment that SUU has not yet publicized the institution’s placement on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. He stated that SUU will go forward with an application for the Carnegie Community Engagement classification between April 1 and September 1, 2010. He mentioned that five applications have been received for 2010 Service-Learning Fellows with the application deadline on Friday, March 12. Earl led a brief discussion of lunch options for our noontime meetings.

B. Pam Branin, Coordinator of the Service & Learning Center
Pam Branin referred to the recent high-profile story on Fox News about the HOPE Pantry, a feature by former SUU student Ben Winslow that is viewable at the Fox website. She said that the positive publicity has brought an increase in food donations. Pam briefly discussed her (and Earl’s) involvement in a proposed “social justice” Living Learning Committee. She talked about the forthcoming Alternative Spring Break trips to Mexico and reiterated plans for this year and next. Briget Eastep offered a helpful suggestion about using “Expedition Planning” checklists. In discussing better reflection opportunities for ASB participants, Karl Stevens reminded everyone of previous efforts in which students composed letters to themselves about their experiences in Mexico. The Habitat for Humanity trip to Tacoma, Washington, looks promising with advisor Lindsey Brown leading thirteen students. If a Taos ASB program is ever tried again, Briget Eastep volunteered to serve as advisor. Finally, Pam stated that a VISTA volunteer will be available next year for the Service & Learning Center, a position to cost only $1,800 thanks to the UCC’s Betsy Ward.

IV. New Business
A. SUU Nominations for Utah Campus Compact Awards

Based on nominating materials and committee votes, the following honorees will be invited to the UCC statewide recognition event in Salt Lake City on April 9, 2010:

  • Civically Engaged Scholar: Dr. Steve Barney, Associate Professor and Department Chair, Psychology
  • Civically Engaged Student: Alyssa Winterton
  • Civically Engaged Staff Member: Wes Curtis, Vice President of Government Relations and Regional Services
  • Committed Community Partner: Lance Syrett, General Manager, Ruby’s Inn

B. Review of SUU Service-Learning Scholar Program

Earl distributed information about similar programs in Utah prompted by the UCC Faculty Development Network’s desire to create articulation agreements among UCC institutions. The goal is to benefit transfer students and bring more coherence to all programs. Earl stated that although SUU graduated five (5) S-L Scholars last year, only one student is following through this year. Earl asked what could be done to improve student awareness of and participation in this program. Suggestions included the following:

  • Steve suggested that we visit all service-learning courses to distribute information;
  • Pam suggested that the S-L Scholars have regular meetings and events with guest speakers;
  • Pam mentioned that next year’s student service-leaders and possible Learning Community could generate greater student interest;
  • Lacie Jo suggested that the new freshman class should be informed about the program;
  • Briget suggested that an eLearning site be established to share forms, information, and tracking, an idea seconded by Karl;
  • Earl and committee members agreed that more effort is needed to promote the program.

In response to questions about the S-L Scholars criteria, it was agreed that all capstone work does count toward the 400 service hours and that ASB’s would be a prime area for generating a large number of service hours.

C. Other

Lisa Assante invited everyone to a service-learning event on April 7 to honor veterans, and she welcomed suggestions about who to contact.

V. Old Business
A. Service-Learning Course Proposal Criteria (Subcommittee chaired by Lisa Assante)

Lisa led discussion about finalizing the service-learning course proposal form. She was asked to enhance information regarding minimum requirements (e.g., 25% course weighting and/or 20 or more hours per project), and she pledged to continue work on a generic liability and risk waiver statement that could be included in service-learning course syllabi. Committee members thanked Lisa for her outstanding efforts.

B. Other

Lisa led discussion about finalizing the service-learning course proposal form. Following comments, the generic liability and risk waiver statement was approved with minor changes, and Lisa and her student assistant will finalize the form for placement on our web site. Thank you, Lisa and Becky!

VI. Adjournment
Meeting adjourned at 1:20 PM.