Service-Learning & Civic Engagement

Minutes

Faculty Service-Learning Committee
Monday, September 19, 2011, 4:00 p.m.
Community Engagement Center
417 West 200 South

I. Call to Order

Earl Mulderink called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. In attendance: Pam Branin (CEC), Sheraya Barajas Brown (CEC), Veronica Cazares (CEC), Bridget Eastep (EDU), Boyd Fife (COSE), Jeffrey Hanson (PVA), Karl Stevens (SCPS) Wynne Summers (HSS). Excused: Lisa Assante (BUS), Shayla Hill (Student), Lacie Jo Robinson (CEC).

II. Approval of Minutes

Minutes were approved for the meeting of April 18, 2011.

III. Reports

A. Earl Mulderink, Chair

Earl welcomed everyone to the first meeting of the semester. He mentioned that the Community Engagement Center has evolved into an amazing work environment with new paint, carpet, air conditioning, and useful space. He thanked Facilities Management, Pam, Lacie Jo, Shayla, and Amy for working hard to clean up the CEC, a former sorority house. A new storage shed is coming, thanks in part to President Benson who offered to pay for half. Sheraya Barajas Brown, a work-study student, is the CEC's Communications Manager who will sustain publicity through Facebook, Twitter, a blog, and other promotional efforts. Earl acknowledged good press in recent issues of the University Journal and encouraged everyone to share with Sheraya. Finally, Earl distributed a handout that explains the "Community Engagement" Module for the new UNIV 1010, Introduction to Experiential Education.

B. Pam Branin, Associate Director of the Community Engagement Center

Pam reported that Amy Dean Brinkerhoff, our VISTA for the past eleven months, is now directing the Iron County Volunteer Center. The CEC is advertising for a VISTA replacement, and applications can be submitted online at Americorps.gov. The full-time positions exclude students and provide a living allowance and educational stipend at the conclusion of service. Pam spoke about the Service Learning Community located in Cedar Hall that meets weekly on Wednesdays and is overseen by an excellent Resident Assistant, Gianna Lopresti. They will devote every other week to a service activity. At this point, Pam oversees 22 Service Leaders who are responsible for the CEC's many service programs that now include Special Olympics. This year's "Service Saturday" was successful as about 800 students participated at 16 community sites along with smaller groups who worked at car washes. Food and cash donations were raised to support the Iron County Care & Share in line with the university's "Food and Faiths" initiative.

C. Other Reports

Karl Stevens talked briefly about the new Canvas LMS and plans to offer tutorials to support UNIV 1010 and the Experiential Education program. Bridget Eastep mentioned a forthcoming service event on Saturday, September 24, at Three Peaks Recreational Area as part of a BLM public lands initiative. Also, Briget and Pam discussed new plans for "Family Hikes" in Fall 2011.

IV. New Business

A. Forthcoming Events and Activities

  1. "Food and Faiths" Interfaith Service Initiative (see SUU's proposal and other information at http://www.suu.edu/servelearn/interfaith.html)
  2. SAIL ("Student Alliance of Interfaith Leaders") Pizza Party on September 21, 2011.
  3. Community Engagement Center Dedication Event will be on October 21, 2011, probably at 12 Noon. President Benson and Provost Cook will be asked to say a few words. Everyone is welcome to attend and we encourage committee members to participate.
  4. Service-Learning Committee Meetings for Fall 2011 will be once per month on Mondays at 4:00, with specific dates to be distributed later.

B. Committee Goals for 2011-2012 (Discussion)

  1. Review 2010-2011 Annual Report (see http://www.suu.edu/servelearn/report1011.html)
  2. Review Service-Learning Courses, 2010-2011
  3. To spark discussion, Earl shared an e-mail from Briget of a year ago that laid out simple goals that focused on increasing the number of service-learning courses, scholars, and fellows applicants, and develop the "Civic Engagement" portion of the Experiential Education program. Suggestions included:
    • add an upper-division SL class, possibly with variable credit
    • explore graduate-level service-learning courses and activities (Karl will follow up)
    • encourage committee members to promote service-learning at college/school meetings
    • build online and physical resources for syllabi development
    • have workshops for service-learning course development
    • get the attention and support of the Deans' Council;
    • share examples of successful service-learning course applications
    • compel Service-Learning Fellows to apply for SL course designation
    • offer cash bounties for successful SL course applications

Earl offered to follow up as needed, particularly after our web site is reorganized.

V. Old Business

Questions were raised about Alternative Break trips to Mexico, and Pam explained that she is investigating a potential trip in late December to Mexicali through a well-established organization, Via International. SUU had excellent experience with Via last year in San Diego. Otherwise, Earl mentioned that the Rural Health Scholars program is planning a trip in late December to Managua, Nicaragua, that will aim for pre-med students.

VI. Adjournment

Meeting was adjourned at 4:55 p.m.