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Quarterly Service-Learning

A publication of the Volunteer and Service-Learning Center

What’s New in the VSLC? Spring is recruitment time for the Volunteer and ServiceLearning Center (VSLC). More than two dozen student leadership positions will be advertised and filled within the next seven weeks, so the staff will be busy with interviews and selection right up until commencement. While word of mouth helps us fill the vast majority of our leadership positions, recommendations from the campus community are always helpful. Below are some of the positions open for students—contact Jessica Gagne Cloutier at if you would like to make a recommendation. Please be mindful that these are one year commitments. Service-Learning Associate (SLA) SLA’s partner one-on-one with service-learning faculty to improve and expand in-class reflection opportunities. Campus Kitchen Leadership Team (CKLT) CKLT members guide forward progress of the Campus Kitchen at ECU, and lead cooking and delivery shifts. Peer Counselors Peer Counselors help with the day-to-day operations of the VSLC and large, one-time service events like the MLK Day Challenge and the Million Meal Event. T.R.I.P.S. Leaders T.R.I.P.S. leaders plan and implement fall and spring break service trips.

Community Partner Spotlight Pitt County Substance Abuse Coalition The Pitt County Substance Abuse Coalition (PCSAC) strives to build a community in which youth reject tobacco, alcohol, and other related substances, and anyone can find help. PCSAC has the following two goals: 1. to reduce substance abuse among youth and, over time, among adults by addressing the factors in a community that increase the risk of substance abuse and promoting the factors that minimize the risk of substance abuse, and 2. Establish and strengthen collaboration among communities, private nonprofit agencies, and federal, state, local and tribal governments to support the efforts of community coalitions to prevent and reduce substance abuse among youth. To accomplish these goals, PCSAC has an extensive action plan that includes increasing community awareness of substance abuse, equipping parents and youth with skills to address risk and protective factors, and mobilizing community action. Service opportunities include data collection, leading focus groups, and creating videos. Learn more at Next Spotlight: Pamlico/Tar River Foundation

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Spotlight on Michael Dermody School of Communication

Hot Topics Publications of Interest Quarterly Reflection Activity

Call for Proposals Grants & Funding Opportunities Conferences & Events

East Carolina University

Alumni Spotlight

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“It is not by muscle, speed or physical dexterity that great things are achieved, but by reflection, force of character, and judgement.” ~Marcus Tullius Cicero

Michael Dermody is an assistant professor in the School of Communication. This spring, Michael utilized service-learning pedagogy for the first time in the capstone production course for the media production concentration. Why did you decide to use S-l pedagogy in your course? I use Service Learning in the capstone production course for the Media Production concentration. I use it for three primary reasons: 1) because it will give the student producer/director one more video project for his/her portfolio reel, 2) it gives the student the experience of working with a “real” as opposed to a “simulated” client, 3) and the most important reason is for the student to recognize that the skills and talent they have been developing can benefit someone other than themselves. How did you prepare yourself? Your students? I leveraged ECU’s Volunteer and Service-Learning Center. I found all of the help and assistance I needed in identifying community needs and connecting with organizational leaders. I would not have been able to implement this large of a project without VSLC’s support. How have you approached reflection? The students had to complete a lengthy debrief paper where they responded to questions about the process, challenges, and what they took away from the experience. Thus far, have you noticed a difference in student learning? Almost to a person, the response has been overwhelmingly positive from the students. Most cite the fact that they were anxious having an actual client and how they had to overcome that and perform. Many also expressed a connection with their client and the organization. This is an excellent learning vehicle and I believe it creates an authentic learning environment. Has the service aspect of this course caused any challenges for you or the students? Yes, there were a multitude of challenges for the students and for me as the instructor. For the students, having to manage clients that are not on a school schedule seemed to be the most common challenge. For me as an instructor, keeping track of a dozen productions occurring throughout the community was a challenge; as was attempting to ensure a very high level of professional quality. I ended up having to modify the course schedule and provide more time to complete the project. This allowed me to work with the production crews individually to meet the student and the students’ client’s needs. How did you find community partners? Have partners been responsive? I believe that of twelve community partners all but one was amazingly responsive. In fact, having worked in this field professionally I anticipated more client problems. I was surprised that we were able to accomplish as much as we did. And, I would not have been able to find and then rally the partners without the VSLC. They did a fantastic job. How will you gather feedback from community partners? I plan to e-mail community partners and get their feedback once the videos are completed and delivered to the clients. Will you use S-l in this course again? Absolutely. I believe that as my students transition to the workforce it’s important for them to appreciate the skills and creative talent they’ve developed and to witness it changing lives. I don’t believe there is a more effective way to do that then putting them to work for a community organization.

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Hot Topics

Publications of Interest

The VSLC recently asked students enrolled in service-learning courses, “what is a service-learning hot topic that affects you?” They responded unanimously... “what do we do if we’re just starting our service-learning assignment?” This topic has been covered in SL Quarterly before, but here’s a refresher: Each semester local community partners are bombarded by service-learning procrastinators. These students make frantic calls, begging to schedule 10 or more service hours in the last 2-3 weeks of class, unaware of the extraordinary burden they place on the organizations they’re seeking to “help.” If you have students who need last minute service hours (whether for a service-learning component or extra credit) please direct them to the following resource: This online calendar of events showcases service opportunities available to students throughout the year. By serving at these events, students are meeting genuine community needs without creating unnecessary hardship for our local partners. It’s a positive compromise for a difficult dilemma!

Giant Likert Scale

Directions: Place large post-it notes around the room, each representing a different view (strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, & strongly disagree). Read a statement out-loud and ask students to move near the post-it with the view that most closely represents their opinion. For example, if you are exploring end of life care, your statement could read, “families should be responsible for caring for aging relatives, not assisted living facilities,” or “physician assisted suicide should be an accepted practice in all states.” Once students have settled near their

Cash, R., Wikler, D., Saxena, A., & Capron, A. Ed. (2010) Casebook on Ethical Issues in International Health Research. World Health Organization. Butin, D. (2010) Service-Learning in Theory and Practice: The Future of Community Engagement in Higher Education. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. Out now: Benigni Cipolle, S. (2010) Service-Learning and Social Justice: Engaging Students in Social Change. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc. Free podcasts:

post-it of choice, as a few students to share why they stood where they did. They should be able to defend their choice. If someone has a particularly compelling argument you might ask if anyone would like to move to a different post-it. The VSLC recommends opening and closing this activity by reminding students that there are no right or wrong answers, and that the results of discussion are not to be discussed outside of the classroom. This activity can also be used to gauge students perceptions of their community impact and learning. For example, statements might include: • my contributions have benefitted my community partner • my contributions have benefitted the community at large • I have more to offer the community • I have given 100% to my service-learning activities • I see connections between my service and class theory

Quarterly Reflection Activity

This activity can be used at any point during the semester-long reflection process. It is helpful for physically and verbally identifying how students view topics and ideas, and can encourage critical conversations about sensitive topics.

Coming soon:

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Call for Proposals 6th Annual Symposium on Service-Learning & Civic Engagement: Pursuing an Engagement Agenda: Pathways and Perspectives The proposal should be based on a servicelearning/civic engagement program, project (including research), or course and may address the Symposium theme in various ways. It should deal with specific pedagogical issues or perspectives on student learning emerging from service-learning/civic engagement research or practice.

Grants and Funding Opportunities The Prudential Foundation provides grants focusing on education, economic development, and civic infrastructure. The Prudential Foundation supports nonprofit, charitable organizations and programs whose mission and operations are broad and nondiscriminatory, or whose activities address social needs or benefit under-served groups and communities.

Proposal Submission Deadline: April 5, 2010

For more information, go to:

For more information and the proposal form go to:

Application Deadline: Ongoing; applications reviewed in February, June, and October.

Conferences and Events

Mark Your Calendars! Holocaust Awareness Day April 13, 2010

Sponsored by: the Volunteer and Service-Learning Center More information available soon at:

Higher Education and the Greater Good: Meeting the Challenges of the 21st Century The New England Campus Compact Regional Conference April 13-14, 2010, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT Webinar: Service-Learning Course Design: What Faculty Need to Know April 14, 2010, 10:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. Indiana Campus Compact Service-Learning Institute: Connecting Campuses with Community May 17-21, 2010, Idiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis 6th Annual Symposium on Service-Learning & Civic Engagement: Pursuing an Engagement Agenda: Pathways and Perspectives June 10, 2010, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC

Volunteer and Service-Learning Center Old Cafeteria Complex 252.328.2735 (phone) 252.328.0139 (fax) • Judy Baker, Institutional and Community Development Consultant Kimberly Caudle, AmeriCorps*VISTA Jessica Gagne Cloutier, Service-Learning Coordinator Michael Loeffelman, Volunteer Coordinator Shawn Moore, Community Partner Coordinator

Spring Edition 2010

Service Learning Quarterly Spring 2010