Created in 2006, the Service Learning Fellows Program is a year-long faculty development program that provides an opportunity for selected faculty members to integrate service-learning into their teaching, research, and public service work while becoming recognized campus leaders in service-learning pedagogy and community engagement, according to the Office of Service-Learning.
Fellows meet regularly throughout the academic year and receive an award of up to $2,500 to develop a proposed service-learning project.
“The program is really designed to bring faculty members interested in learning service learning together to problem solve and figure out how to implement service learning in different ways,” said Hein.
“It’s been so helpful to bounce ideas off of other people and hear about service-learning projects across campus. I think being a Service Learning Fellow is giving me a chance to do service learning thoughtfully and with forethought.”
This semester, health promotion students in Hein’s community health course (HPRB 3700) will develop skills in community health assessment by undertaking needs assessments with local community organizations as service-learning case studies.
One group of students from Hein’s class will be partnering with the Athens Community Council on Aging and Campus Kitchens to serve monthly meals to residents of Denney Tower, a subsidized housing community for low-income senior in downtown Athens.
In addition to providing dinner and fellowship, the students will help Denney Tower residents enroll in Senior SNAP, a program designed to make it easier for seniors to receive food stamp benefits through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Students in Hein’s foundations class (HPRB 3020S) will also be tackling service learning projects with Athens-Clarke County’s Wellness Benefits Program, AIDS Athens, The Cottage Sexual Assault Center & Children’s Advocacy Center, and home-based hospice services Compassionate Care and Gentiva.
“I think the Service Learning Office is doing fantastic work at helping faculty members and their students reach out and make a real impact in the community,” said Hein. “In the end the benefits are two pronged. Not only are students learning something, but the community is gaining something as well.”
Posted February 1, 2016.