2007-2008 Faculty Fellows in Service Learning

CESR is pleased to recognize the Faculty Fellows class for the 2007-2008 academic year. Their courses are expected to be maintained in their respective departments as ongoing class offerings.

Kelly Brennan, Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership, Policy, and Technology Studies. Integrating philosophy, political science, and literature, UH 101 Citizenship: Service Learning allows students to reflect on how they can be a force for positive change. Students serve for 13 weeks as a tutor and mentor at a local elementary or middle school, coordinated through Tuscaloosa’s One Place. Regular in-class discussion and activities and reflective writing encourages students to understand how their hands-on service work relates to informed, ethical citizenship and social justice.

Joe Brown, Assistant Professor, Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering and New College. The multidisciplinary course NEW 490/CCE 491/591 Sustainability By Design, which was taught for the first time in Spring 2008, is an interdisciplinary and largely hands-on course examining current approaches to sustainability and “green” design to the built environment. Partners include the Tuscaloosa chapter of Habitat for Humanity and the Hale County-based nonprofit HERO. Dr. Brown’s research focuses particularly on sustainable development and environmental justice in the deep south.

Julia Cherry, Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences and New College. NEW 243 Natural Science I: The Laboratory Experience, which is offered every semester, engages students in 16 hours of service with Friends of Hurricane Creek. Students participate in river clean-up, invasive species removal, and the design of education and outreach projects that can be used by this local nonprofit. Regular journaling and a reflective essay complement the service experience, challenging students to integrate the scientific concepts covered in class with the service learning project.

Pauline Johnson, Associate Professor, Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering. CE 491/591 Onsite Wastewater Treatment is designed to address community wastewater needs by the application of theoretical principles and design skills gained in the classroom. This project-based course engages students in a septic design project in Hale County. During fall 2007 semester, students in this class designed an alternative septic system for a trailer destroyed by a tornado.

Eyun-Jung Ki, Assistant Professor, Advertising & Public Relations. The goal of APR 433 Public Relations Campaigns is for students to apply the public relations process to a problem or opportunity of a real client and develop a complete communication plan to address that problem or opportunity.

Leslie Rissler, Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences. BSC 303 Field Zoology is a field-based course designed to actively engage students in learning theoretical aspects of ecology, behavior and evolution as they relate to vertebrate zoology. Students take multiple trips to locally biodiverse and endemic regions, including two overnight field trips. Students commit 20 hours of service to biodiversity and conservation projects, including river clean-up and documentation of local species for the Sierra Club of West Alabama, and the design of a presentation on vertebrate diversity in the Talladega National Forest for the U.S. Forest Service.

Michael Steinberg, Assistant Professor, Geography and New College. NEW 230 Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies provides an interdisciplinary survey of major environmental concepts, issues, and controversies. Students engage in 15 hours of invasive species eradication with the University of Alabama Arboretum as a vehicle to understand the economic, political, and cultural factors inherent in current environmental issues.

Shane Street, Associate Professor, Chemistry. The purpose of CH 424 Instrumental Analysis is to provide students with knowledge of various modern methods of instrumental analysis through a variety of laboratory assignments dealing with the principles of analytical calibration, measurement, and error analysis. Real-world lab projects include water analysis for Black Warrior Riverkeepers and a lead analysis project testing lead paint levels in toys at Head Start centers across West Alabama.

Renee Umstattd, Assistant Professor, Health Science. Students in HHE 556 Evaluation in Health Education learn the knowledge, skills, and practical real-world application for planning and implementing health promotion and education program evaluations through a hands-on project with a community agency. Working in teams, students assess how health needs are currently being addressed by the partner through interviews with employees, design an evaluation plan of educational materials to determine if implementation of materials is effective, and develop an overarching evaluation plan. The class culminates in a final report and presentation to the agency and community members.