This month in service learning | Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center

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Service learning is a teaching method that combines classroom instruction with meaningful and community-identified service. Service learning projects take place year round. Check out some of the projects taking place this semester below.


Traditional service learning projects involve a partnership between a UN course and a community partner (non-profit organization, business, or government agency) to achieve student learning goals while completing an identified project. by the community.

This fall there are a number of traditional service learning projects taking place.


Seminar in urban studies

Dr. Daniel Scheller’s graduate students UBNS 8000: Urban studies seminar class are partnering with Spark CDI to develop ideas for the use of public space in North Omaha. Spark led the students on a tour of the 24th and Lake Ward to familiarize the students with the existing community. Students then used their class’ theories to develop ideas for potential improvements to public spaces, such as sidewalks, alleys, and vacant lots. The students created posters with their ideas that will be presented at Spark and displayed around the neighborhood at Spark’s Fabric Lab.

Organizational communication

Students of Dr Sharon Storch’s CMST 4170/8176: Organizational Communication are working with The Rose Theater this semester to conduct organizational communication analyzes. The students toured the theater and worked in groups to interview the staff. During their final celebration in December, students will present their findings to The Rose and offer suggestions for improving internal communication as well as community outreach.

Non-profit campaigns

As part of their service learning project, a student from Casey Riesberg’s CMST 2410: small groups The course will use the Share Omaha platform to connect to a nonprofit fundraising campaign of interest. UN student groups will partner with a local community agency of Share Omaha to develop a social media campaign to strengthen their fundraising efforts. In December, students will showcase their nonprofit social media campaigns to their community partners: Planned Parenthood, Project Harmony, and No More Empty Pots.

Introduction to religion

UNO students of Dr. Laura Alexander’s RELI 2020: Introduction to religion The course will be used by Tri-Faith Garden and Orchard to deepen their learning on the intersections between space and land use, interfaith dialogue, sustainability and concern for human rights. In class, students study topics such as indigenous rights and land and human rights. Students will attend a learning panel as a final event where they will reflect on their service learning project.

UN students enrolled in Dr Laura Alexander RELI 2020: Presentation to religion working together at Tri-Faith Garden and Orchard to better understand land use, interfaith dialogue and human rights.

Principles of public relations

Students of Dr Roma Subramanian’s JMC 3230: Principles of public relations develop a unique public relations strategy for a community partner of their choice. Students will meet their partners at least three times on Zoom and work individually to create the strategy that meets the needs of the community partner. Students will present their strategies to their community partners at the end of the semester.

AVQ course planning

This fall, the students of Dr. Cecilia Tocaimaza-Hatch 8020 FLNG: TESOL Research class will select a historic Anti-Defamation League hate march site. Once a site has been selected, UN students will develop a corresponding lesson plan that will guide K-12 teachers on the metro who wish to educate young students about these historic sites across Omaha.

Adapted sports

UN students in Dr. Denae Dinkel’s KINS 8130: Implementation of physical activity in diverse populations will work alongside MS Forward to develop a suitable sports course for gym members who need a mobility aid or members of the senior population. The students have developed an obstacle course that will be implemented at MS Forward for its members to participate. UNO students will create a guide to help demonstrate the rules of the obstacle course and allow for clear instruction.

Comparative Global Aging

Students attending Dr. Lyn Holley’s GERO 4480/8486: Comparative Global Aging meet an elder from the same country and together conduct a brief systematic life review interview. Alumni from the Polish home in Omaha partnered with the UN and were chosen as alumni for the project. This interview will then serve as the basis for writing a short life story to the elder (and his family). The student and the senior survey the senior’s neighborhood and rate its “senior friendliness”. The students then develop recommendations for improvements and a presentation of the project.

Well being at work

that of Dr Danae Dinkel KINS 4200/8206: Well-being at work Students work on developing technologies to keep students connected during distance learning and technologies for a seamless transition from in-person learning formats to distance learning formats. Students will be expected to design, implement, and incorporate some sort of physical / mental activity that promotes well-being in a work environment. Students partner with HFS Wellness Works for Active Daily Rides, Wellness Calendar and DCI Initiative. Dr Dinkel also has students working with the Latino Center of the Midlands on the Healthy Kids Club program.

Omaha in transit

UN journalism students from JMC 4990: Advanced course, JMC 3970: Applied journalism, and JMC 4980: Independent The study is led by Jodeane Newcomb Brownlee as she partners with Craig Howell of Together to compose a podcast that encompasses conversations about poverty and transportation. Journalism students will interview a DACA recipient to see how her family struggles to make it through the day using public transportation. The podcast that the students are developing will be prepared by December.

The Met HD

Shelby Van Nordstrand’s UNO students MUS 2740: Chamber music course attended an opera performance, Fire shut up in my bones, last October in preparation for their spring semester service learning project. The opera tells a heartbreaking story about a young man’s journey through a life of trauma and hardship. James Robinson and Camille A. Brown both co-direct this performance. Camille A. Brown is the first black director to create a Met production on the main stage. Students will be able to apply what they have learned from experiencing a performance in person to their spring service project.

Research methods in psychology

UN students of Dr. Sara Kupzyk PSYC 9560: Research methods in psychology The course will be twinned with the Learning Community Center in North Omaha and will participate in three service learning events. The events will serve children with disabilities, preschoolers and school-aged children. During the first event, psychology students will help parents deal with issues common to families raising a child with special needs by helping them connect with community resources. The second event will be for parents raising preschool children. UN students will teach parents how to make the most of their child’s developmental stages and what effective disciplinary practices are effective. Finally, the third event will be aimed at parents of school-aged children. Students will provide strategies for parents with children aged 6 to 11 for working with teachers or other caregivers.

Learning about food insecurity services

This fall, Kersten Borer’s UN students SOWK 1500: Social work and civic engagement The course will meet bi-weekly with staff from Together, Inc. to learn more about hunger and food insecurity. Students will also sign up for volunteer hours at Together, Inc. pantries. Additionally, students will create a cookbook with recipes and stories about how food brings us together. To create this cookbook, UN students will determine what kind of information they need from the community, find out how to get that information, and collect stories from community members accessing Together, Inc’s pantries. .

Corporate social responsibility

UN students in Dr. Steven Schulz’s BSAD 8356 / SCMT 4350: global sourcing and innovation and BSAD 8386 / SCMT 4380: Industrial purchasing and logistics management The courses will operate in small groups to support community partners on their specific and identified needs related to the provision of materials and services. Students will apply skills learned in class to support their community partners (i.e. OPS Foundation, Habitat Council Bluffs, Together, Inc., Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, No More Empty Pots, Black and Pink, SAENG Corporation) distribute products and services that provide value to their stakeholders. At the end of the semester, students will provide their partners with recommendations which will be provided via a recorded presentation and report.

Design process

This fall, Dr. Christine Toh ITIN 8220: Design process works on new technologies to support transitions to distance learning in higher education. The graduate students involved in this service learning project form small teams. These small teams develop a series of design alternatives for a new interface to meet their design challenge, build a prototype of the design, and conduct a usability assessment of the prototype. Throughout the semester, students interact with various stakeholders (such as community members, other students, faculty, and higher education administrators) through panel, interviews, and usability testing. .


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