2015-2016 Faculty Fellows in Service Learning


CESR is pleased to recognize the Faculty Fellows class for the 2015-2016 academic year. Their courses are expected to be maintained in their respective departments as ongoing class offerings.


Melanie Acosta, Assistant Professor, Curriculum & Instruction. CE 370 Teaching Reading in Elementary Schools creates transformative learning experiences for undergraduate pre-service teachers through service-learning that begins to move them toward cultivating a sense of moral responsibility as part of their teaching habitus. Students will work in a community-based afterschool program to challenge their existing perceptions about reading achievement and their roles as reading teachers. They will also gain in-depth knowledge of ways to promote the interests of local communities through effective literacy teaching. A revised version of CE 370 will be offered in Fall 2016.

Andrea Cevasco-Trotter, Associate Professor, Music Therapy. MUS 382 Music Therapy Practicum provides music therapy students supervised experience in facilitating music therapy sessions in local community agencies. This encompasses assessment, program planning, implementation, documentation, and evaluation of music therapy services. Students work closely with local agencies to provide services that enhance the mission statement of the agency as well as feedback regarding the outcomes of their services. A revised version of MUS 382 will be offered in Fall 2016.

Bartow Jerome Elmore, Assistant Professor, History. HY 400 Coca Cola Globalization: Introduction to Environmental History introduces upper-level history students to the practice of creating history, rather than passively surveying the past. Students helped launch the Digital Center for Environmental History (DCEH), an online clearinghouse for scholarship and digital projects related to environmental history. Initiated with the help of Alabama’s Digital Humanities Center (ADHC), DCEH’s first digital creation was the Tuscaloosa Environmental Digital (TED) project, an initiative that maps the environmental history of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, focusing on the central industries that have operated in the university town over the past fifty years. TED allows students to connect environmental history to real life problems in their community, offering them a chance to engage in primary research that gives back to the city of Tuscaloosa by exposing serious environmental issues affecting the lives of citizens. Students do this by taking part in air and water quality samples across various locations; these samples become part of the historical record of Tuscaloosa businesses and their environmental footprint. HY 400 was piloted in Fall 2015.

 Mary Louanne Friend, Assistant Professor, Capstone College of Nursing. NUR 392 Introduction to Inter-professional Health Care Teams & Critical Care Procedures introduces nursing students and medical residents to the core competencies of inter-professional practices, including values and ethics, roles and responsibilities, communication, and teamwork. The course will involve an interactive inter-professional simulation. To prepare for inter-professional practice, students will serve together in an outpatient critical care clinic, the Transitions of Care Clinic at University Medical Center. The clinic, established by an inter-professional team, was developed in efforts to decrease hospital readmissions for patients with chronic conditions who face medical or social issues in the transition from hospital to home. Students will work at the clinic in teams to support a patient’s effort to remain out of the hospital. NUR 392 will be revised in Spring 2017.

 Xabier Granja, Instructor, Modern Languages & Classics. SP 356 Advanced Grammar & Composition helps students improve their Spanish language skills via traditional grammatical activities, bilingual translation for community non-profits, and reflective essays which hone the knowledge learned through service experiences. Students translate texts for Druid City Garden Project, Good Samaritan Clinic, and Turning Point; these translated texts range from educational materials and clinic patient information forms to brochures and guidelines for victims of domestic violence, helping ensure that Spanish-speaking community members have access to necessary information and services from local non-profits. SP 356 was piloted in Spring 2016 and will be revised for Fall 2016.

Lori Lyon, Assistant Professor, Capstone College of Nursing. NUR 324 Fundamentals of Professional Nursing Practice is an introductory clinical nursing course in which students serve in a long-term care facility with a focus on meeting an agency-identified need. While doing so, students develop communication skills, practice working with vulnerable populations, and engage in culturally sensitive care across all ages. A revised version of NUR 324 will be offered in Spring 2017.

 David Meek, Instructor, Anthropology. NEW 413 Politics of Food Sovereignty & Society helps students better understand the opportunities and constraints involved in practicing sustainable agriculture. Students participated in four interrelated service-learning projects with different community members. These included 1) helping an heirloom seed bank digitally categorize its inventory, 2) conducting a survey with area gardeners and farmers concerning their interest in saving seeds, 3) learning about sustainable agriculture while working with area farmers, and 4) helping to organize the West Alabama Seed Swap. A revised version of this course was offered in Spring 2016.

 Katrina Ramonell, Associate Professor, Biological Sciences. BSC 422/522 Biology of Cancer is a cooperative learning experience meant to be an introduction to the biological principals that explain the origins, development, pathology, and treatment of cancer. Students work in teams assigned to particular types of cancer and investigate what is known on various topics related to that type of cancer. They will share this information with other members of the class in order to build a comprehensive picture for cancers in general. As part of the course, students engage in service-learning by collecting data on national, state, and county cancer rates and forms for the Tuscaloosa Environmental Digital (TED) website. The class also partners with Black Warrior Riverkeeper to collect water samples from companies that discharge materials into the river and analyze the samples using Mass Spectrometry. Students present data regarding any chemicals/toxins present in the samples to the Black Warrior Riverkeeper and relate data to their assigned cancers. BSC 422/ 522 was piloted in Spring 2016 and will be revised for Spring 2017.

Wei Song, Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering. CE 434 Structural Steel Design I introduces students to the basic plan design for community houses and associated controlling factors, including safety requirements, cost estimation, and local housing policy impact. This course enables students to analyze, synthesize, and think critically about various design strategies that can influence the decision making on house plans. In the service-learning component of the course, students work with Habitat for Humanity of Tuscaloosa to address their housing needs. CE 434 will be offered in Fall 2016.

Lesley Jo Weaver, Assistant Professor, Anthropology. ANT 450 Anthropology, Psychology, & Mental Health helps students learn about mental health by volunteering at two residential mental healthcare facilities in Tuscaloosa—one catering to a wealthier population and the other serving a poorer population. This course provides volunteer efforts to those institutions and the socially-isolated populations living there while allowing students to witness firsthand how mental health and healthcare are socially influenced. ANT 450 will be offered in Spring 2017.