2010-2011 Faculty Fellows in Service Learning

CESR is pleased to recognize the Faculty Fellows class for the 2010-2011 academic year. Their courses are expected to be maintained in their respective departments as ongoing class offerings.

Diane Bridgewater, Instructor, Human Nutrition and Hospitality Management.  RHM 285 Food Safety and Risk Management teaches principles and techniques used in managing sanitation, safety, and security functions in food-service operations. The course requires students to visit 20 restaurants and report each restaurant’s last inspection score or visit five restaurants and perform one mock inspection.  Students will also offer food-safety training to financially struggling day-care facilities, and students will perform mock inspections at these facilities.

Meredith Cummings, Instructor, Journalism.  JN 436/536 Teaching of Journalism students go into area K-12 schools to assist advisers with newspapers, yearbooks, literary magazines, websites, and broadcast stations. In years past, these students (both education and journalism students) have learned the process of doing these things, but through service learning they actively participate in facing the challenges and seeing the triumphs teachers and students experience while putting together student publications, whether in the form of lesson plans or dealing with larger issues like censorship.

Susan Daria, Instructor, Advertising and Public Relations.  APR 419 Public Relations Development focuses on the development of ideas, strategies, and visual executions as related to the practice of public relations. The course will be a combination of lectures, assignments, and service. Using knowledge from previous communication coursework, students will develop, plan, promote and evaluate an original fundraiser for Alabama Credit Union’s Secret Meals for Hungry Children program.

Catherine Davies, Professor, English.  EN 466/525 Dialectology engages linguistics students learning about varieties of American English with adult community members who are working to overcome functional illiteracy. The program is mediated through the Literacy Council of West Alabama.  Students will begin by reflecting on their own taken-for-granted literacy and will research the concept of “functional illiteracy.”  Working under the guidance of literacy volunteers, students will record stories from adult students as examples of Southern American vernacular English and will assist in using the stories both to help with literacy development and also to explore strategies for changing public attitudes about the problem of functional illiteracy.   

Betty Florey, Instructor, Honors College.  UH 101 Citizenship: Service Learning encourages students to become engaged citizens while simultaneously being a positive force for change. Students will serve 13 weeks as a tutor or mentor in elementary or middle schools under the direction of leaders from Tuscaloosa’s One Place. Readings and class discussions will integrate humanities, philosophy, literature, and psychology, and students will meet weekly to report progress and share experiences.

John Giggie, Associate Professor, History.  HY 300/AAS 395 Religion and Civil Rights is an undergraduate research initiative that seeks to bring to life long-hidden histories of civil rights protests in Tuscaloosa and West Alabama. In this semester course, students spend the first seven weeks closely studying how religious belief and institutions undergirded the civil rights movement.  They then partner with a local black church to tell its history under segregation.  Students create a demographic profile of the church’s membership over the past fifty years, track down newspaper reports, and, most importantly, interview older congregants about their lives during Jim Crow.  Students transcribe these interviews and collectively synthesize their research in the form of a book that they present to the church at the end of the semester. 

Qi Hao, Assistant Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering. ECE 482 Computer Vision and Image Processing introduces modern computer vision and digital image processing techniques with emphasis on image acquisition, representation and processing for target tracking and pattern recognition. The video-camera-based computer vision technology has many applications in daily life, including monitoring and security, that are utilized in this service-learning project.  Students work with community partners in extending the computer vision technology to improve the service quality for non-profit day care of children from low-income families. Through developing computer vision systems for community services, students are expected to better understand how technologies enhance societal responsibilities.

Nancy Payne, Instructor, Social Work. SW 320 Volunteerism in Human Services is designed to allow students to volunteer in human and social service agencies.  Each student develops an individualized service-learning activity plan that includes the provision of 60 hours of volunteerism.  Students gain an understanding of issues surrounding diversity and populations in need by developing relationships with community members from different backgrounds and situations. There is a particular focus on the development of mutual respect, the call to social responsibility, and local community involvement. This is an online elective open to all majors that allows students to participate in service-learning in a wide range of communities.   

Heather Pleasants, Instructor, New College.  NEW 490 Our Voices, Our Lives, Our Future: Community Engagement through Digital Media Practices explores the connection between digital-media-arts practices and community engagement within and outside the United States. Students will create their own digital stories and develop an understanding of how to use digital media and the arts to create opportunities for personal reflection and civic engagement across diverse communities and contexts. Students will have opportunities to assist middle and high school students with creating and exhibiting digital stories for a variety of audiences.

Ariane Prohaska, Assistant Professor, Criminal Justice. SOC 490 Gender and Poverty students will participate in a semester-long service project with the Alabama Women’s Resource Network.  The tentative goal is for students to present research on the financial situations of women who are about to be released from prison.  They will present this information to a group of influential community leaders and policymakers. Students will come up with a plan, based on library research and interviews with women offenders, to help reduce the debt many women in prison accumulate before and during their incarceration.   

Lu Tang, Assistant Professor, Communication Studies. COM 300 Human Communication Research addresses empirical research methods, including surveys, experiments, content analysis, ethnographies, and focus groups. The introduction of a service-learning component will help students see the real-world application of research methods.