2012 Service-Learning Recognition Ceremony reveals the breadth of activity on campus.
On Thursday, April 26, the Colin Powell Center honored almost 50 faculty, students, and community partners at the 2012 Service-Learning Recognition Ceremony. The relaxed occasion was an opportunity for City College’s service-learning practitioners to surround themselves with like-minded colleagues and to acknowledge and celebrate CCNY’s growing service-learning movement.
Breaking Campus Walls
Service-learning is a teaching method that combines formal instruction with related service in the community. In 2011-2012 the Center worked with 12 first-time partner community organizations, such as the Alliance for Lupus Research and the Apollo Theater Foundation, and more than 15 returning organizations, such as the International Rescue Committee and West Harlem Group Assistance.
Through this year's partnerships, more than 600 City College students in 22 service-learning courses had the chance to build their leadership skills, test their emerging expertise, and enhance their understanding of course content. The Center’s goal is to provide every CCNY student with the opportunity to experience service-learning. To this aim, the Center provides faculty fellowships (now available for 2012, course assistants, pedagogical training, and technical assistance. “The activities of the Powell Center continually demonstrate the benefits that can be derived to student learning by having students apply the knowledge they are gaining in their coursework to real problems faced by community members on a daily basis,” noted Darwin Deen, M.D., professor of community health and social medicine with the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, who introduced this year's faculty honorees.
Passion, Energy, and Expertise
These faculty described the results of their collaborations. Students honorees reflected on their personal growth through their activities, while community partners stressed the energy and passion that the students brought to their organizations. One of them, Judith Escalona, is a film studies adjunct professor whose fledgling nonprofit, Latinas Forward, addresses the high suicide rate among metro area Latina teens. She served as a client for the PR Writing class of Lynn Applebaum, director of CCNY's advertising and PR program. Applebaum’s students developed media kits, logos, and related materials for Latinas Forward, which Escalona planned to use with potential funders. The quality and creativity of the students' work and their sensitive treatment of the issue of suicide among young Latina women, Escalona noted, had left her “deeply moved.”