Emily Colbert Cairns, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Spanish, Salve Regina University
Spanish and French Community at Salve Lives and Learns After School with Pell Elementary School
Dr. Cairns led twenty students that comprise the Spanish & French Living-Learning Community at Salve Regina University along with two Fulbright Scholars partnered with the Pell School to run an after-school program for elementary students. The program consisted of language and culture classes led by the university students from the Living-Learning Community with one course offered in Spanish and one offered in French. Dr. Cairns’ work as a Faculty Fellow aimed to ensure the partnership’s development and long-term sustainability. In the 2014-2015 academic year, the program successfully brought together Salve students and the community partner, i.e. the elementary students at Pell. The partnership grew from five to twenty participants over the course of the year as they opened up the program to all language students at Salve Regina. Survey data contributed to the evaluation of student learning at both the elementary and postsecondary levels.
Dana Dillon, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Theology, Providence College
Catholic Identity and Mission in Campus-Community Partnerships
Dr. Dillon’s project consisted of researching and articulating the ways that the principles of Catholic social thought and the Catholic identity and mission of Providence College can more explicitly inform Providence College’s relationships and partnerships in the Smith Hill community that neighbors the campus. The fellowship project aimed to clearly express the connection between the campus-community partnerships and the mission of the College in order to enhance the prioritization of the partnerships and demonstrate their importance to the education of Providence College students. This project centered on a service-learning course in which all participating students served at partner organizations in the Smith Hill community.
Tonia Fay, Ed.M.
Adjunct Faculty/Coordinator of Career & Internship Program, Community College of Rhode Island
Institutionalizing Service-Learning as a Pedagogical Resource
With the support of the academic affairs administration, the Community College of Rhode Island is interested in introducing the benefits of service-learning and community engagement to the faculty at CCRI. The first step consisted of the creation of an inventory of faculty currently practicing service-learning followed by faculty-focused activities including workshops and outreach events that demonstrate the benefits of service-learning. The project intends to increase the number of faculty who promote service-learning and incorporate community engagement activities into their curriculum.
Jill Hume Harrison, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Sociology and Maria Lawrence, Associate Professor of Elementary Education, Rhode Island College
International Service Learning in Ecuador
This collaborative project immersed faculty and students in education service opportunities in Quito, Ecuador, by developing an international curriculum for elementary school aged children in Ecuador. After an in-country orientation to Ecuadorian history, culture, and the status of formal elementary education in Ecuador, Rhode Island College faculty and students worked with partner organizations and educators in Ecuador to implement appropriate general elementary school natural sciences education instruction.
Diane Kern, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Education, University of Rhode Island
URI CIRCLE of Lifelong Learning
The University of Rhode Island CIRCLE (Community Integrated Resources for Child and Family Learning and Engagement) project strengthened emerging partnerships between the University of Rhode Island, the South Kingstown Schools and the Providence School District with an aim to engage URI, PK-12 schools and community members in mutually beneficial partnerships to solve significant problems associated with poverty in local communities and in the state. Specifically, Dr. Kern’s work endeavored to increase college and career readiness as well as access to careers and higher education for children from historically underrepresented groups and those living in poverty. The project established the URI Academic Success Academy afterschool mentoring program and tutoring program for at-risk students.
Eileen Kwesiga, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Management, Bryant University
The Longitudinal Effects of Service-Learning on Partners and Students
Dr. Kwesiga facilitated service-learning courses for management students at Bryant University and emphasized the research of service-learning benefits in her faculty fellowship project. Primarily used the fellowship to support research effort as she began a longitudinal study of service=learning outcomes for students and participating partner organizations.
Mehdi Moutahir, MBA
Associate Professor of Management, Johnson & Wales University
Exploration of Student and Faculty Motivations to Participate in the “Scholarship of Engagement”
Service learning programs can have significant influence on students’ university experience. These can be life changing and provide numerous opportunities for self-reflection. At Johnson and Wales University, students are often encouraged to develop, lead, and participate in service-learning activities through co-curricular and extracurricular programs. Based on this experience of deep student engagement in curricular, co-curricular and extracurricular settings, Mehdi embarked on a fellowship project that laid the groundwork for an empirical study exploring the motivations of faculty and students in participating in “scholarship of engagement.”
Carolyn Obel-Omia, Ed.M. Ed.D.
Assistant Professor of Elementary Education, Rhode Island College
Building Bridges: Fostering Family Literacy & Prospective Teachers
In this project, Rhode Island College (RIC) early childhood teacher candidates, in collaboration with Central Falls preschool and kindergarten teachers, designed culturally responsive literacy experiences, including classroom centers and book bags for preschool and kindergarten students. Teacher candidates created book bags, each designed to support a developmentally appropriate literacy skill. Building school-home partnerships, RIC students enjoyed opportunities to meet with families through home visits, parent coffees, and the RIC/Central Falls Innovation Lab Parent College. Dr. Carolyn Obel-Omia conducted this project as a part of the Rhode Island College/Central Falls Innovation Lab.
Joanne Walsh, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences, New England Institute of Technology
Positive Psychology in Practice
Dr. Walsh enhanced students’ understanding of psychology and research by facilitating a service-learning course that encouraged students to apply psychological principles to real-world situations. Partnering with a senior center, Dr. Walsh and students worked to implement positive psychology interventions with senior citizens, a previously underserved population in positive psychology research. The course and real-world application of techniques learned encouraged students to adopt the perspective that psychology is not merely theoretical but actionable as well.