2015-16 Service Learning Magazine Contents


Front cover  Click here to view the magazine as a pdf.

Editor’s Letter: Service learning not only benefits college students; it has the power to transform communities. - Article by Stephen Black View this article as a pdf. Service learning offers a plethora of benefits for college students. By combining organized service activities with academic study and thoughtful reflection, service learning enhances students’ comprehension of course content while providing them with valuable real-world experience. The impact of service learning, however, can reach far beyond individual students. The manpower, ...Read More
Through Forza Financial, students provide small loans and business coaching to Alabama entrepreneurs. - Article by Ellen Johnson and Olivia Grider View this article as a pdf.   Branson Horn, a University of Alabama junior majoring in finance, came to college with a passion for business and economics – and a desire to serve his adopted community. “I loved studying economics and seeing how businesses worked,” Horn says. “I knew I wanted to be ...Read More
Geography students research and restore environmental conditions in Alabama woodlands. - Article by Katie Bedrich and Olivia Grider  |  Photos by Dr. Justin Hart View this article as a pdf.   Brett Barton had thought for a long time about pursuing a career with the U.S. Forest Service, but he says a University of Alabama service-learning course in forest history and restoration cemented his plans and gave him a deeper understanding ...Read More
UA students transform a classic American car into an environmentally friendly vehicle as part of a national contest. - Article by Lane Stafford and Katie Bedrich  |  Photos by Ellen Johnson and Brandon Bennett and courtesy the EcoCar team View this article as a pdf.   While many college students dream of developing new technologies or using existing ones to make the planet cleaner for future generations, a team of students at The University of Alabama is already delving ...Read More
In a storytelling course that examines systems of justice, UA students provide a platform for the voiceless. - Article by Ellen Johnson and Olivia Grider View this article as a pdf. College students spend countless hours studying history, reading stories for English classes and examining current events, but it isn’t often that a course takes them on the journey of creating a fact-based story themselves. The University of Alabama’s yearlong, multidisciplinary Anatomy of a Trial course gives students ...Read More
UA students explore perceptions of poverty and justice while providing free tax-preparation services to low-income families. - Article by Lane Stafford and Olivia Grider View this article as a pdf. For many college students, the reality of poverty is not a familiar subject. Their outlooks often change dramatically when they meet and learn the stories of impoverished people in their own communities. Students enrolled in the UH 331/MGT491 SaveFirst: Poverty, Faith and Justice in America course discuss ...Read More
Business students learn about opportunities in developing markets while designing products for impoverished Indian communities. - Article by Katie Bedrich View this article as a pdf.   In Summer 2015, University of Alabama students studying science and business spent three weeks in some of India’s poorest communities, learned about challenges residents face and developed products to meet needs. The group of 13 students and a faculty member interviewed people in nine areas, including large cities, urban ...Read More
Journalism and broadcasting students report stories that raise awareness about poverty and food insecurity in West Alabama. - Article by Cara Walker View this article as a pdf. According to the Alabama Poverty Project, Alabama is the seventh poorest state in the nation, and rural West Alabama is home to several of the country’s poorest counties. Food insecurity is prevalent among residents of the nine-county area. In Spring 2015, students enrolled in The University of Alabama’s JN 417 ...Read More
UA students play a key role in making Alabama the top state in the nation for finding and correcting vision problems in young children. - View this article as a pdf. Preschooler Jaden Knox didn’t say a word during his vision screening at Central Elementary School in Tuscaloosa. “He seemed both scared and extremely shy,” recalls University of Alabama student Melanie Chwalek, who conducted Jaden’s screening in September 2015 as part of The University of Alabama’s FocusFirst service-learning initiative. Jaden failed the screening, and a ...Read More
Medical students provide personalized treatment while learning how social and cultural factors influence patient outcomes. - Photos by Kelsey Daugherty, Ginny Sturgill, Ellen Johnson and Bryan Hester View this article as a pdf. When one of Elizabeth Junkin’s patients, a man in his 50s, came to a rural family-medicine clinic with abdominal pain, she suspected appendicitis. She recommended a CT scan that confirmed her diagnosis, then drove to the local hospital in Carrollton, Ala., to check ...Read More
Through the Tuscaloosa Pre-K Partnership, UA students deliver academic and medical services to preschoolers and their families. - Photos by Miranda Barrett, Kelsey Daugherty and Madalynn Young View this article as a pdf. The privilege of teaching a 4-year-old named Gary to write his name was not lost on Annie Wyatt, a University of Alabama freshman majoring in social work. “We would write it together until he could write it correctly on his own,” Wyatt recalls. “It made ...Read More
PR students raise awareness and funds to supply weekend meals to kids in West Alabama schools. - Article by Ellen Johnson  |  Photos by Allie Newman and Madalynn Young View this article as a pdf. Many University of Alabama students and Tuscaloosa-area residents live unaware of problems facing children in their own community. Students in Susan Daria’s APR 419 class are working to change that – and raise money for the cause at the same time. The ...Read More
While working in East Asia, nursing students develop a commitment to global health. - Article by Melody Schmidt and Olivia Grider View this article as a pdf. Nursing students at The University of Alabama have the opportunity to travel around the world to provide health care in impoverished communities and learn about cultures different from their own. Students enroll in NUR 317/517, a study-abroad course that is held each summer with destinations changing annually. ...Read More
UA students engage preschoolers in imaginative play and explore its links to cognitive development. - View this article as a pdf. The latest research suggests we should stop looking askance at people who admit to having childhood imaginary friends and start encouraging the children in our lives to invent some playmates. In young kids, all types of imaginative play – including the gold standard, interacting with an imaginary friend – correlate with higher-level cognitive functions, ...Read More
With the 57 Miles Partnership, UA students battle economic, health and education challenges in one of the nation’s poorest regions. - Article by Melody Schmidt  |  Photos by Matthew Wood, Soledad Cortes-Hernandez and Lane Stafford and courtesy 57 Miles Click here to view this article as a pdf.   Freshmen at The University of Alabama are encouraged to find their “home” in the community, something to be part of that is bigger than themselves. Some students have found their home 57 ...Read More
Students apply philosophical theories to their community through service with local organizations. - Article by Katie Bedrich  |  Photos by Rachael Giles and Ginny Sturgill View this article as a pdf.   Social-justice issues can be controversial and difficult to tackle in a classroom setting. Sometimes the best way for students to understand the world around them is to take action on a local level. Dr. Rekha Nath, assistant professor of philosophy at ...Read More
Students help process cyber evidence in partnership with state and national law-enforcement agencies. - Article by Katie Bedrich | Photos by Kelsey Daugherty, Ginny Sturgill and Bryan Hester View this article as a pdf. As a high school student, Caitlin Hanley had her first experience with cybercrime. Her laptop computer was infected with a virus while she was studying in Germany, and she decided she wanted to help others avoid similar experiences. Around the ...Read More
Future physicians create an English-Spanish tool kit while learning to better communicate with Latino patients. - Article by Ellen Johnson and Olivia Grider  |  Photos by Lane Stafford and Brandon Bennett View this article as a pdf. When University of Alabama medical student Roshmi Bhattacharya saw a problem in her community, she created a course to help solve it. “Roshmi noticed when she was doing her rotation that some of the nurses were treating Latino patients ...Read More
Honors students use art to enhance quality of life for Alzheimer’s patients - Photos courtesy Dr. Daniel Potts View this article as a pdf. Stephanie Grates’ grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease the year she was born, and she spent a lot of time with him and other Alzheimer’s patients as she was growing up. Still, she says the Virtual Dementia Tour she experienced as part of a University of Alabama honors course ...Read More
Through Druid City Garden Project, UA students help connect children and communities to their food sources. - Article by Cara Walker View this article as a pdf. Click here to watch a video of UA students talking about their experience with service learning through Druid City Garden Project. Druid City Garden Project, a nonprofit that relies heavily on University of Alabama student volunteers and partnerships with UA service-learning courses, is thriving and expanding six years after it ...Read More
UA students assist NASA in re-imagining its social-media content as the agency celebrates a milestone. - Article by Cara Walker and Olivia Grider | Photos by Brandon Bennett View this article as a pdf. When NASA celebrated 15 years of human life on the International Space Station in the fall of 2015, the social media campaign it transmitted to the world was shaped by public-relations students at The University of Alabama. Students enrolled in APR 572 ...Read More
During a yearlong course, students examine perspective while creating documentaries telling stories of justice and injustice. - Article by Cara Walker  |  Photos by Miranda Barrett, Ellen Johnson and Kelsey Daugherty View this article as a pdf. After hearing an account of his interracial friends’ awkward tour of a historic mansion in Jackson, Miss., graduate student Brett Shaw began to question how history – especially that of minorities – is addressed in Southern homes. He knew he ...Read More
Students develop marketing campaigns and brand identities for community organizations - Article by Melody Schmidt and Olivia Grider View this article as a pdf. Most nonprofit and community organizations are busy funneling limited resources into fulfilling their missions and don’t have the time, expertise or funds needed to build a strong image or develop a cohesive brand identity. At The University of Alabama, honors students are helping bridge the gap between ...Read More
UA students teach academic and social skills to children through the game of chess - Article by Katie Bedrich  |  Photos by Popi Ledbetter and Mica Aguilar View this article as a pdf. Jennifer Jones, a sophomore majoring in biology at The University of Alabama, says she considered changing her major to education after helping children learn the game of chess through an honors course called Every Move Counts. Each time she left an elementary ...Read More
UA students prepare high schoolers for rigorous math, science and English courses and success in college - Article by Cara Walker View this article as a pdf. After completing a CollegeFirst prep program in summer 2014 and then excelling in the college-level English language and composition class at her high school, Kathryn Versace was eager to sign up for the CollegeFirst calculus program in summer 2015. In addition to preparing her for Advanced Placement coursework, the calculus ...Read More
Students studying communicative disorders take a hearing clinic on the road to rural Alabama counties. - Article by Cara Walker  |  Photos by Kelsey Daugherty and Miranda Barrett View this article as a pdf. When Dr. Marcia Hay-McCutcheon came to The University of Alabama from Indiana in 2008 as an associate professor in communicative disorders, she tried to continue studying cochlear implants. But she soon discovered the number of people in Alabama with cochlear implants was ...Read More
The Faculty Fellows in Service Learning Program provides training and support as faculty members develop service-learning courses. - By Lane Stafford View this article as a pdf.   Launched in 2007, the Faculty Fellows in Service Learning Program is The University of Alabama’s campus-wide initiative dedicated to helping faculty develop and implement service-learning courses. The program includes a series of workshops and has become a source of inspiration for academic innovators. Approximately 10 faculty members per year participate ...Read More