Service-Learning & Civic Engagement


Faculty Service-Learning Committee
Wednesday, April 14, 2010, 12 Noon
Service & Learning Center
185 S. 300 West

I. Call to Order
Earl Mulderink called the meeting to order at 12:05 PM. In attendance: Lisa Assante (BUS), Pam Branin (CSD), Briget Eastep (EDU), Jeff Hanson (PVA), Lacie Jo Robinson (S&L Center), Karl Stevens (SCPS), Cindy Wright (SCI). Excused: Steve Barney (HSS), Boyd Fife (CIET), Matt Nickerson (Honors and Library), Beau Shakespear (Student).

II. Approval of Minutes
Minutes were approved for the meeting of April 10, 2010.

III. Reports
A. Chair’s Report
Earl Mulderink brought the committee up to date with Utah Campus Compact events. He distributed a copy of the program for the UCC Annual Recognition Event in Salt Lake City on April 9, 2010, that brought further attention to our honorees: Steve Barney, Wes Curtis, Alyssa Winterton, and Lance Syrett. Pam Branin has agreed to represent SUU on the newly-reconstituted UCC Steering Committee, and Pam will oversee several summer events here in Cedar City. UCC’s new VISTA coordinator will be making a trip through southern Utah in the early summer, and a statewide retreat of student leaders is planned for May 12-14 followed by the Campus Service Directors in June. Next, Earl distributed a position announcement with expectations of hiring a work-study student in 2010-2011 who can assist with communication and public relations. He then shared a copy of an article entitled, “Getting Males to Volunteer” (The Chronicle, March 9, 2010) along with a list of the new 2010-2011 Student Service Leaders. In the never-ending quest for good press, Earl shared articles from the University Journal and local newspapers about Lisa Assante’s successful service-learning dinner for local veterans. The new service-learning course application form is online now, and Earl distributed a current list of official “SL” designated classes. Finally, he noted that SUU will graduate one Service-Learning Scholar this year, Kathryn Tilby, whose capstone project and report will be reviewed by members of this committee.

B. Pam Branin, Coordinator of the Service & Learning Center
Pam Branin discussed plans for a new VISTA position next year along with the acquisition of a truck for use by the S&L Center. She mentioned that shelving will be placed in the garage and that a yard sale will be held on April 24 at the S&L Center. She explained the process by which two dozen student service leaders were chosen for next year from a pool of three dozen qualified applicants. Finally, she invited everyone to the S&L Center Open House this afternoon.

C. Other Reports
Lisa Assante spoke about her recent service-learning dinner that honored local military veterans. She was particularly appreciative of campus and off-campus entities that made in-kind donations.

IV. New Business
A. Service Learning Community Discussion

After distributing general and specific information about learning communities at SUU, Pam and Earl discussed their work on a committee that oversees these new endeavors in campus housing. As part of a larger effort to integrate first-year students into campus life, the “Service Learning Community” will draw freshmen interested in campus and community service. Under the guidance of student mentors, faculty, and staff, students will be exposed to non-profit organizations and career opportunities, open dialogues on community building and positive change, develop leadership skills, and impact the University, Cedar City, and beyond through a variety of projects. Members of the Service-Learning Committee are welcome to support this new program as it unfolds in 2010-2011. As one curricular connection with the Service Learning Community, Pam Branin will teach a section of UNIV 1000 specifically for a cohort of service-oriented freshmen.

B. Selection of 2010 Service-Learning Fellows

In line with established criteria and a competitive application process, the Committee reviewed eight applications for consideration as new Service-Learning Fellows. (Committee members who applied were excused from all deliberations.) Using explicit criteria, committee members selected the following individuals as “engaged educators who practice service-learning in an effective manner.”

  • Lisa Assante, Assistant Professor (BUS)
  • Laura Cotts, Assistant Professor (SCI)
  • Shobha Gurung, Assistant Professor (HSS)
  • Jean Lopour, Professor (EDU)
  • Cindy Wright, Professor (SCI)

Each Fellow will receive a $750 honorarium, a handsome commemorative plaque, and recognition at the annual Faculty-Student Scholarship Day Recognition Event on April 21, 2010. More detailed biographical sketches of the Fellows are found at

VI. Adjournment
Meeting adjourned at 1:05 PM.