The New York Metro Area Partnership for Service-Learning (NYMAPS)
2011 NYMAPS Symposium
The Powell Center-led New York Metro Area Partnership for Service-Learning (NYMAPS) held its 3rd Annual Symposium entitled, The Power of Partnerships: Transforming Students and Communities through Service-Learning
, on March 23 at Columbia University. The event drew over 100 participants from local colleges, universities and community organizations. Nine concurrent sessions presented by regional experts shared innovative best practices, research findings, and program models for strong, sustainable community-campus partnerships.
Presenting institutions included Alley Pond Environmental Center, Columbia University, Friends of Thirteen, Homes for the Homeless, Macaulay Honors College, Pennsylvania and New York Campus Compact, New York University, Saratoga Inn, St. John Fisher College, Stony Brook University, and Queensborough Community College.
Other NYMAPS events that took place this semester include quarterly professional development workshops such as the one at Lehman College on February 9 on the timely issue of the value of service-learning in regard to the faculty reappointment, promotion and tenure process. Lehman College Provost Mary Papazian, and the Dean of Integrated Learning at Wagner College Patricia Tooker presented on the urgent need for college-wide of institutionalization of service-learning in order for faculty to fully embrace the pedagogy. While shedding light on inherent challenges, the two speakers also shared tangible examples of ways faculty can demonstrate effective use of service-learning practices in their portfolios, as well as how institutions can embed civic engagement into fabric of the college, from the strategic plan to new hire job descriptions and employee policies.
- Macaulay Honors students from all five boroughs interfaced with public media on a variety of projects that encourage civic engagement. These students aided Thirteen's campaign to prepare New York City for the transition from analog to digital over-the-air television and ran email campaigns to "Save PBS" when New York State threatened to cut funding.
- At Queensborough Community College, microbiology students were paired with a faculty mentor to train their peers in laboratory concepts such as staining, microscopy and identification. In addition, these students also helped to organize community event at the Alley Pond Environmental Center.
- Undergraduate students enrolled in a course in NYU's Silver school of Social Work participated in a year-long project that included an alternative break to Ghana, in which students explored international cultures and values through a service context. Students gained a greater understanding of the biopsychosocial systems, and strengths-based perspectives while providing a host of services to local residents and completing both pre- and post-trip assignments.
- More than 50 Students at Marymount Manhattan College provide writing and graphic design workshops as well as one-to-one tutoring for at-risk youth at the East Harlem Tutorial Program.
- Lehman College (CUNY) students enrolled in a Black Studies course provide support to the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy coalition, a grassroots organization which engages neighborhood youth in leadership training, organizing campaigns and direct community action.
- Psychology students at CCNY (CUNY) partner with the American Cancer Society, the Family Center, and the Breast Center to conduct outreach and analyze survey results concerning cancer awareness and prevention among low-income residents.
- Wagner College students provided tutoring to more than 300 youth at Public School 57 on Staten Island.
- Students from CCNY's School of Education, Music and Arts Education Programs provided tutoring and arts education to youth at the East Harlem Tutorial Program, the Children's Art Carnival Public School 123, also in Harlem.
- More than 30 students enrolled in CCNY's Media Arts and Communication Program developed a comprehensive media campaign for WEACT, an environmental justice organization that fights against environmental racism in West Harlem and around the city.