This page features stories and events involving our faculty, staff, students, and community partners.

 

    Dr. Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman Develops Global Citizens, Not Global Tourists

    Dr. Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman's star continues to rise. During the 2014-2015 academic year, she was named the inaugural recipient of the Outstanding Community Engaged Teaching Award (a new, annual award created by the Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships and awarded by the Provost’s Office to honor community engaged teaching) and the Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award.

    Also, during this academic year, she received:

    • a Fulbright United States Scholar Grant for 2015-2016;
    • a research grant from the American Sociological Association Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline;
    • the Ruth Landes Memorial Fund grant;
    • and most recently, the 2015 USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy Junior Faculty Research award.
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    Dr. Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman accepted the Outstanding Engaged Teaching Award from Senior Vice Provost & Dean, Office of Graduate Studies Dwayne Smith.

    These grants will enable her to expand her book project “Second-Class Daughters: Informal Adoption as Neo-Slavery in Brazil,” on labor exploitation in Brazilian families.

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    A Tale of Two Cities: how theater helps us delve into the current worldwide prevalence of income inequality

    by Bonnie Silvestri, Director of Strategic Communications

    Recently, Eduard Lewis visited our campus as this year's guest artist for the British International Theatre (BRIT) program for the University of South Florida Department of Theatre, staging the world-famous classic, A Tale of Two Cities. I sat down with him to talk about the themes of poverty and injustice that run throughout the play. These themes are very relevant to our work at the Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships.

    Even as our economy rebounds, the gap between the wealthiest and the least well off seems an insurmountable gulf. In what Harvard philosophy professor Michael Sandel calls “the skyboxification of American life,” the wealthiest are increasingly isolating themselves from those less fortunate.

    The recent controversy over what was described as a Dickensian (referring to Charles Dickens, the author of A Tale of Two Cities), “poor door” was approved at a luxury condominium on the Upper West Side. It was an alternate entrance for the affordable housing residents, part of the seemingly less apt name, Inclusionary Housing Program, to be able to build larger luxury residences by providing some low-income housing. Those residents also would not have access to the amenities, including the pool and gym.

    Sandel continued, “People of influence and people of modest means lead increasingly separate lives. It’s not good for democracy, nor is it a satisfying way to live.”

    A shared theatrical experience can be one of the best ways to engage in much needed dialogue. By looking back at history through the Tale of Two Cities, we can consider the injustices at the root of the gaping wound of income inequality.

    Stay tuned for more video interviews in the coming weeks.

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    Don't miss Dr. Paul Gorski's two-day community dialogue addressing equity and social justice - registration information below

    International expert on equity literacy, Dr. Paul Gorski, will visit USF and the greater Tampa Bay area this week for a two-day community dialogue to address closing the opportunity gap for children and families living on low incomes.

    rp_Gorski-200x300.jpgGorksi, the founder of EdChange and Associate Professor of Integrative Studies at George Mason University, says that relying on multicultural celebrations and “diversity days” to rectify systemic discrimination and injustice is futile.

    Such exercises leave young people of color and those who come from families living on low incomes forced to continue to manage with fewer and often inferior resources. Additionally, he attests that this kind of diversity programming meant to celebrate difference can unintentionally exploit the personal stories of students without adequately addressing the inequities underlying those stories.

    Rather, as Gorski states in a short essay “Equity Literacy for All”: “Schools can commit to a more robust multiculturalism by putting equity, rather than culture, at the center of the diversity conversation” (emphasis added; co-authored with Katy Swalwell, Educational Leadership, March 2015).

    In fact, Gorski and Swalwell argue: “[These initiatives] become distinctly unmulticultural when we don’t offer them alongside more serious curricular (and institutional) attention to issues like racism and homophobia.” Thus, the curriculum itself must explore the history of discrimination through critical analysis and a focus on the importance of social change.

    Just as recently as last Friday, March 20th, the United Nations sponsored a “International Day of Happiness,” a lovely and aspirational idea, but it was promoted through social media as a vehicle for celebrities and others to share through the songs that make them happy. This lets people “off the hook” from having a meaningful international conversation about the major human rights violations and lack of adequate food and drinking water that are more likely to be standing in the way of the happiness of many people throughout the world than achieving a positive state of mind.

    We are all looking forward to the very real opportunity for dialogue and engagement presented by Gorski’s visit. Perhaps this will be an opportunity for a sea change from moving away from blaming those who are the most disadvantaged by the political and economic structures of our society to infusing our curricula with an emphasis on equity and justice.

    There will be a book signing on Thursday afternoon following Dr. Gorski's Diversity lecture.

    There will be a book signing on Thursday afternoon following Dr. Gorski's Diversity lecture.

    “Dr. Gorski’s visit is part of OCEP’s ongoing efforts to facilitate community–university efforts to address poverty and inequality in our region,” said Lance Arney, Associate Director of OCEP “Our community asked us to facilitate conversations about these topics, as well as provide ongoing training to local service providers and educators using evidence-based principles, practices, and research. We are delighted that our many co-sponsors see the value of bringing Dr. Gorski to Tampa.”

    “United Way Suncoast is privileged to partner with USF and fortunate to have the expertise of both Dr. Paul Gorski and Lars Gilbert to help lead discussions about poverty, which aligns with our work in breaking the cycle of generational poverty,” said Emery Ivery, Tampa Bay area president of United Way Suncoast. “The ALICE Report’s data, combined with Dr. Gorski's latest research on working with those in poverty, are a tremendous benefit to both the nonprofit and business communities to provide support for individuals and families on their journey to financial stability.”

    Dr. Devona F. Pierre of the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity stated: “We are thrilled to have Dr. Paul Gorski come to the University of South Florida for the Diversity Lecture Series as well as other university and community events because of his work in Equity & Diversity, Social Justice, and Poverty.  Perhaps the most exciting are the collaborations among departments within USF as well as USF and the community.  There are a number of individuals and units that will be able to benefit from his consultation and lecture and we are glad that the University of South Florida is driving a positive change at our institution and within our community!”

    “We expect that Dr. Gorski's visit will incite deeper discussion on how equity and inequity will be infused in curriculum and pedagogy under the quality enhancement plan (QEP) and revised Constitution of the College of Education,” said Dr. Vonzell Agosto of the USF College of Education.

    For information on upcoming events and to register go to: http://usf-community-engagement.org/2015/03/02/equity-literacy-and-evidence-based-strategies-for-effectively-engaging-children-and-families-living-on-low-incomes-a-two-day-dialogue-with-dr-paul-gorski-george-mason-university/

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    Experiential Learning Program Directors Meeting

    Experiential Learning Program Directors Meeting

    Friday, April 24, 8:30-11:30am
    Multipurpose Room (BSN 225), College of Business

    The Office of Community Engagement & Partnerships, in collaboration with Career Services and the Center for Leadership & Civic Engagement, is hosting an information-sharing meeting for experiential learning program directors/coordinators, as well as faculty and staff involved in experiential learning programs.

    At the meeting, participants will be provided with:

    • a tutorial on how to take advantage of useful features in Employ-a-Bull
    • basic building blocks and best practices for experiential learning programs
    • strategies and justifications for tying academic credit to experiential learning opportunities
    • a Question & Answer session with General Counsel regarding risk and liability issues involving students in off-campus experiences

    Light snacks and refreshments will be provided courtesy of Career Services. Click here to RSVP.

     

    Program Agenda

     

    8:30am      Registration/Sign-in begins

    9:00am      Welcome by Dr. Paul Dosal (Vice Provost for Student Success) and Dr. Tom Miller (Vice President of Student Affairs)

    9:10am      Introduction by Dr. Harold Keller (OCEP)

    9:15am      Employ-a-Bull Tutorial by Diane Mellon (Career Services)

    9:45am      Basic Building Blocks and Best Practices for Experiential Learning Programs by Dr. Brianne Stanback (School of Aging Studies)

    10:15am      Break (15 minutes)

    10:30am      Update on Career Services by Russ Coughenour (Assistant Vice President for Career Services)

    10:40am      Minimizing Risk and Liability in Experiential Learning by Gerard Solis, JD (USF General Counsel)

    11:25am      Closing remarks

    11:30am      Meetings ends

     

     

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    2015 Research that Matters Sustainable Food Conference was a huge success!

    Over 230 participants piled into the Patel Center for Global Sustainability on January 30, 2015 to attend the Sustainable Food Conference: People, Policy and Practice. This “sold out” free event had the highest attendance of any of the Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships’ Research that Matters conferences, and left the campus abuzz in anticipation for follow up to this synergistic event.

    OCEP has hosted three Research that Matters conferences on a range of topics, but this year’s topic, sustainable food, truly struck a chord in the community. Lauren Schweder Biel (click here for in depth interview with Biel) kicked off the event with a rousing speech that set the tone.

    “The energy in this space is palpable. This is an exciting event! Our job is to start the revolution. We are ready for changes. We are ready for this revolution to happen," declared the exuberant Biel, who was thrilled to help carry the momentum in the community forward. She remarked that it is crucial to change what is clearly a broken food system in this country, where one in eight families cannot afford fresh fruits and vegetables.

    Biel continued, “This is a conversation that needs to be happening. You [all] care about furthering this conversation.”

    Biel made the case for going beyond raw data, which she found only took her so far when she went to Capitol Hill to propose policy changes. She was asked, “Do you have peer-reviewed research?” to which she reluctantly could only respond “No” before she was shown the door.

    As a result, she has become a passionate advocate for the importance of academic research in leading the charge in what she says in nothing short of a food revolution that needs to take place in our country. She extolled the audience, “We need you!”

    “Not all research can move the needle and move this revolution forward. Research ‘on the run’ [won’t help].” Rather, Biel said the kind of research that was going to be presented at the conference was exactly what would ultimately carry the day in facilitating important policy changes at both the local and national level.

    Throughout USF and the local community, research projects are being developed, nurtured, and designed to meet community needs. OCEP works to provide financial and logistical support to faculty, students, and community partners working on developing collaborative projects. Several of the conference presenters, including Dr. Roberta Baer and Dr. David Himmelgreen, have received OCEP funding to support their work.

    Biel believes that the organic nature of the projects germinating throughout the campus and the local community—projects developed through a collaborative process based on community identified needs and concerns—is what will make this work useful and successful. “It may be that you don’t know what it means yet; but that is the sign that you are doing research that matters, because it is informed by the actual context. Context matters,” she implored.

    She said the key is to “come to the field, [do] the research and make it work. Make it matter…. There is only one way to know if it works, and that is [through] research!”

    Throughout the day, researchers presented on a variety of topics ranging from “USF Students’ Service Learning Contributions to a Community Garden for Refugees” to “Crafting a Revolution: Beer and the Unintended Outcomes of Social Movements within Markets” to “The Social Dynamics of Food in Local, Ethnically Diverse Families.” The presentations will be available at http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/research_matters/. Stay tuned for details.

    By Bonnie Silvestri, Director of Strategic Communications

     

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    ALICE Can’t Live Here Anymore: Part One

    According to a new report on Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed (“ALICE”) households in Florida, almost 50% of all Florida households do not earn enough to meet a “survival and stability budget.” This figure includes households already living in poverty as well as those whose income is not sufficient to support their basic needs, such as housing, transportation, and childcare, which make up the bulk of their expenses. On January 23, 2015, the Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships, the United Way, and the League of Women Voters co-sponsored an event releasing the ALICE report to the public held at the Children's Board

    rp_ALICE-report-cover-252x300.pngUnited Ways throughout the state of Florida commissioned a team at Rutgers University to do a study of households who make more than the poverty level established by the federal government, but who “are one financial crisis, car issue, or medical emergency to go from ‘just making it’ to poverty,” said Ellen Stoffer, the Director of Financial Stability Initiatives for the United Way of Tampa Bay during the discussion of the report. “They live in a world of fear—one incident happens, and they don’t know what to do,” Stoffer added.

    Stoffer explained that especially those who are “newly ALICE … don’t know how to get help, and they don’t want to.” She said a key implication of the report is “taking the stigma [of financial hardship] away.” Perhaps the sheer enormity of the study’s findings—one in every two households in Florida are ALICE households—will help people understand that this is a state-wide issue that cannot be faced alone. Seventy percent of jobs in Florida pay less than $20 per hour.

    Deanna Willsey, United Way Senior Vice President for Marketing and Communications, said that “the last thing we need in life is another acronym, but ALICE is a person; ALICE is a family; ALICE makes it feel human.”

    As she was leaving one audience member stated that she just lost her job as a security guard and is facing the issues this awareness-raising event was designed to highlight. “I’m ALICE. Thank you for having this event.”

    But we don’t want the conversation to end with an acknowledgement of a problem and another acronym. We want to continue the dialogue and determine how USF and our community partners can work together to address the systemic problems that have resulted in such high numbers of Floridians falling into this previously unnamed category.

    This year’s Research that Matters conference on Sustainable Food touched on issues related to the high cost of healthy food, food accessibility, the widespread presence of food insecurity and obesity, and food justice. With over 200 participants “hungry” to continue the conversation, our office plans to take a leadership role in this dialogue in the months to come. Stay tuned.

    by Bonnie Silvestri, Director of Strategic Communications

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    Meet Lauren Shweder Biel, Director of DC Greens, keynote presenter at the USF Sustainable Food Conference

    By Bonnie Silvestri, OCEP Director of Strategic Communications

    “Collaboration is where it’s at – that’s how we are going to make this happen; we need to carry out a collaborative will for amplified impact,” said Lauren Shweder Biel, Executive Director of DC Greens, the keynote speaker for this year’s Research that Matters conference called Sustainable Food: People, Policy and Practice. The conference took place on January 30, 2015 from 8:30am-4pm at the Patel College of Global Sustainability at the University of South Florida.

    A small group of researchers and local community group members, known collectively as the USF Community Gardening Collaborative, have been coalescing around the topic of sustainable food and organic gardening for the past few years. And, this year’s Research that Matters conference was an opportunity to galvanize these forces to have a greater impact on local food and gardening in the Tampa Bay region.

    lauren

    Sustainable Food Conference keynote speaker Lauren Shweder Biel is the Executive Director of DC Greens.

    Faculty, students, and community members presented on topics ranging from service-learning contributions to a community garden for refugees; the role of craft beer in social movements; a discussion of food banks, food deserts, and food security; and even the connection between meat consumption and climate change.

    Biel said she viewed her role at the conference to be “putting up the bat call to anyone in the region who wants to come out and share” the work that they are doing to move the needle on sustainable food at the local level.

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    SAVE THE DATE: Reaching and Teaching Students in Poverty: Strategies for Erasing the Opportunity Gap

    Save the Dates!: Wednesday and Thursday, March 25-26, 2015

    The Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships is pleased to announce that we will be bringing Dr. Paul Gorski to USF Tampa this spring semester (March 25-26). More details about the program agenda for Dr. Gorski’s visit will be announced here soon.

    Paul GorskiDr. Gorski is Associate Professor of Integrative Studies in George Mason University’s New Century College and specializes in social justice and multicultural education. A nationally renowned and highly sought after presenter, he has spent nearly 20 years working with schools and other educational organizations on building equitable learning environments. He is also the founder of EdChange, a coalition of educators and activists providing professional development on educational equity, creating free resources for fellow educators, social service professionals, and activists, and modeling a commitment to moving beyond celebrating the joys of diversity and toward equity literacy in schools and communities. An oft-cited critic of the “culture of poverty” and other stereotypes about people in poverty, he also offers effective instructional strategies for teaching students from low-income families using an equity literacy approach to close the “opportunity gap” in schools.

    Dr. Gorski’s visit is being co-sponsored with the Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity Office; United Way Suncoast; GSARN (Graduate Student Applied Research Network); the Humanities Institute; the Anchin Center; and the Department of Anthropology.

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    Patel College Presents at USF Sustainable Food Conference

    [Re-posted from http://psgs.usf.edu/news/article/patel-college-presents-at-usf-sustainable-food-conference.]

    Food_Conference_-_Web_Slider-350x180On January 30th, 2015, the USF Patel College of Global Sustainability (PCGS) hosted and participated in the wildly successful USF Research that Matters: Sustainable Food Conference.

    With over 230 people in attendance, the Sustainable Food Conference holds the record for the most popular USF Research that Matters Conference to date. Focused on “People, Policy, and Practice,” the conference showcased diverse paper and poster research presentations from USF professors, students, and community stakeholders on topics ranging from sustainable small-scale agriculture to the cultural context of food and beverage consumption and community gardening.

    Coordinated by the Community Garden Research Collaborative, an interdisciplinary group comprised of 45 faculty, staff, students, and community members from 18 different departments and organizations, the conference was a great collaborative accomplishment that included sponsorship from 9 USF departments including PCGS, the Center for Urban Transportation Research, Research-One, and the Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships.

    Local businesses and organizations such as Sweetwater Farms, Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, Sustainable Urban Agriculture in St. Petersburg (SUAC), Grace’s Hydroponics, Taste of Pine Ave Gardens, and Parks Matter joined in the conference to exhibit their products, services, and volunteer opportunities. Three student organizations – the Student Environmental Association (SEA), Food Activist Revolutionizing Meals (FARM), and Students Protecting the Environment and Animals with Knowledge (SPEAK) – also contributed time, energy, and resources to making the conference a success.

    “It is a great honor for the Patel College to host the Sustainable Food Conference,” said Dr. Kebreab Ghebremichael, Director of the USF Office of Sustainability in his welcome speech. “We are privileged to serve as the epicenter for discussion on this very important topic.”

    Lauren Shweder Biel, Executive Director and co-found of DC Greens, a nonprofit that connects communities to healthy food in the nation’s capital, delivered the keynote address. Biel serves on the D.C. Mayor’s Commission for Healthy Youth in Schools and was named a 2014 Toyota “Mother of Invention” at Tina Brown’s Women in the World Summit.

    “Throughout history, revolutions have been started by hungry people,” said Lauren Biel. “In this country, we have figured out a way to keep people full – but not nourished. This means the revolution is not coming. Instead, it is all of our jobs to start this revolution.”

    “Today, you all are here because you are ready for change, ready to jumpstart a healthy food revolution,” continued Biel. “USF has put up a Batcall with this conference. Who in this community cares about these issues? Who is working on these issues? This is why we are here today – to work together to tackle these issues. This revolution depends on us and it depends on days like this.”

    PCGS students, faculty, and researchers participated in the conference as both presenters and exhibitors.

    PCGS professor Dr. Joseph Dorsey’s presentation, entitled “The Importance of Hydroponic Technology in the Urban Agricultural System” explored Urban Agriculture as a growing interdisciplinary field of study and an application of sustainability principles for food security and ecological resilience in cities across the nation and around the world. In the future, climate change may create environmental conditions that cause risks and uncertainty in food supplies and overpopulation may put a strain on resources and degrade ecosystems services. Growing crops in urban areas using Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), such as hydroponics, would provide fresh and abundant fruits and vegetable all year round, reduce transportation costs and greenhouse gas emissions, and spur community economic development through new business ventures.

    Eric Weaver, a PCGS researcher and doctoral candidate, presented a paper presentation on “Urban Agriculture as One Sustainable Solution” that he co-authored in collaboration with PCGS’s founding dean Dr. Kala Vairamoorthy, and USF professors Dr. Michael Fountain, Dr. Mahood Nachabe, and Dr. John Jermier. His paper compared Urban Agriculture (UA) with the stormwater Best Management Practices (BMP) at the Florida Aquarium demonstration site. The Florida Aquarium has a stormwater BMP demonstration case study, which was constructed in 1995. This proposed data analysis will give community planners confidence in the BMP technologies to allow greater community support of Urban Agriculture.

    PCGS student Adit Patel co-authored a paper presentation on “The Unspoken Truth: Animal Agriculture and Climate Change” with USF alumnus Ryan Kelly. Their paper, which compared the water, land, and energy requirements of animal agriculture in comparison to vegetables and fruit production, concluded that animal agriculture demands significantly more resources.

    Another PCGS student, Catalina Zafra presented a paper on “Local and Global Implications of Food Security: An Issue of Sustainability.” Her paper proposes food sovereignty as a method to adapt or resist to the changes imposed by hegemonic neoliberal agendas that have not fully managed to contribute to food security and explores ideas that entail collaboration, diversity and self-determination for sustainable livelihoods.

    Among the exhibitors, PCGS student Asaf Baruh served as a representative of Sustainable Urban Agriculture in St. Petersburg (SUAC). SUAC is a nonprofit organization with a mission to promote urban agriculture in the city of St. Petersburg and eventually the entire Tampa Bay region.

    “I’ve been volunteering with SUAC for the past 2 years,” said Asaf. “Before I started volunteering, I knew nothing. My backyard garden was a failure. Now I grow 5 different types of greens, some radishes, baby banana trees. Little by little, my garden is growing.”

    The conference ended at 2:30PM with an optional tour of the Temple Terrace Community Gardens.

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    Small seed grants from OCEP lead to over $235,000 in grant proposals written by USF students for local non-profits

    by Bonnie Silvestri, Director of Strategic Communications

    As the proliferation of not-for-profits makes the process of seeking funding as challenging as maintaining strong programming, one USF instructor is doing her part to teach students how to write strong and persuasive grant proposals for local organizations.

    Johanna Phelps Hillen (right) and her mentor Dr. Julie Staggers

    Johanna Phelps Hillen (right) and her mentor Dr. Julie Staggers

    Johanna Phelps-Hillen is one the Office of Community Engagement and Partnership’s (OCEP) rising stars. Her dedication to elevating the quality of community engaged learning has already earned her two (“OCEP”) service-learning grants herself, one for course development (a graduate student research fellowship) and one for incidental costs enabling her to facilitate the service-learning aspects of the course.

    OCEP supports faculty in the development of community engaged learning—an approach that address community identified concerns and requires the participation of community partners in the design and execution of a service-learning course so that the students’ work provides meaningful benefits to the community partners. Johanna chose to develop her new course with Ashley Powe, Director of Operations for Embracing Legacy. Embracing Legacy is a youth empowerment organization founded by Pastor Greg Powe after a sixteen-year-old boy shot and killed a police officer; Pastor Powe wanted to address the cycles of violence that too often plague our cities. Embracing Legacy’s stated guiding philosophy is: “If we can put a trumpet in a child’s hand before someone puts a gun in it, we can save a family.”

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    Service-Learning High-Impact Practice Grant Program Fall 2014 Awardees

    Service-Learning High-Impact Practice Grants are designed to provide funding for courses incorporating service-learning. Service-learning is considered a “high-impact practice” (HIP), or “an investment of time and energy over an extended period that has unusually positive effects on student engagement in educationally purposeful behavior” (Kuh 2010: vi). A HIP is effective with students because it allows them to interact with faculty and peers about substantive matters; increases the likelihood that students will experience diversity; provides frequent feedback about their performance; offers opportunities for students to see how what they are learning works in different settings, on and off campus; and brings students’ values and beliefs into awareness, helping them to better understand themselves in relation to others and the larger world (Kuh 2008: 14-17).

    Roberta Baer, Ph.D.

    Dr. Roberta Baer (center) and students working at the Burmese garden.

    Dr. Roberta Baer (center) and students working at the Burmese garden.

    • Department of Anthropology, College of Arts & Sciences
    • Methods in Cultural Research
    • Community partner: Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program of the St. Mary’s Ethiopian Orthodox Church

    This project will involve students enrolled in Methods of Cultural Research, in the Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program of the St. Mary's Ethiopian Orthodox Church. The church is implementing a “Tampa Garden” to provide gardening opportunities to 35 newly-arrived refugees, primarily from the Burmese community. The garden consists of agricultural land, an area for chicken raising, and ponds suitable for aquaculture. A pilot garden was implemented over the last several years, with approximately 10 families. This phase of the program is a scaling up of the project to include more refugee families. The goals are to promote greater food security and financial security among the refugees, and to accelerate self-sufficiency and integration into the larger community. This class project will include collaboration with the Tampa Bay Garden and the Tampa Bay Burmese Council. The students in this class will do a follow-up project based on the last service-learning class I taught, Anthropology of Food, which focused on weekend food consumption. This project will focus specifically on elementary and high school aged youth, and what they eat during the week. We will also collect data on heights and weights of the youth, and conduct focus groups to learn about their attitudes to food, ideas of body image, etc.

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    From Victim to Advocate: How a Service-Learning Student Found Her Passion by Helping Others

    by Bonnie Beth Silvestri, JD, Director of Strategic Communications

    When USF senior Joy Pedrow signed up for Tasha RennelsCommunications, Culture, and Community service-learning class last spring, she had no idea that she would unlock a part of herself about which she had previously had difficulty communicating. For the first assignment, Tasha asks her CCC students to reflect about their passions. Joy wrote about her interest in ministry and her involvement with Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru); but she also wrote about her desire to help women.

    Joy Pedrow (left) and Brianna Palumbo (right) who were named NITE's "Unsung Heroes."

    Joy Pedrow (left) and Brianna Palumbo (right) who were named NITE's "Unsung Heroes."

    Based on their journals about their passions, Tasha presciently suggested to Joy and another student Brianna Palumbo, that they complete their service hours with NITE (Network Improve Transform Empower), the USF campus organization focused on consciousness-raising about student safety. NITE organizes two major events on campus each year, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, where men don high heels and march to stop rape, sexual assault, and gender violence, and Take Back the Night, a march followed by a “Speak Out” to combat the prevalence of sexual violence on campus and in the local community.

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    Tasha 2.0: An Inside Look at an Award-Winning Service-Learning Instructor

    “For me, it is such an important part of the class—going out into the community and creating community in the classroom,” reflected Tasha Rennels, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Communication, on her Communication, Culture, and Community class. “Community is both in the service and the learning,” she continued.

    Tasha Rennels

    Tasha Rennels

    Late this summer, Rennels completed the second iteration of her service-learning course (click to read Life is Better Together for Service Learning Students, about the spring 2014 version of the course).

    Rennels was new to the service-learning pedagogy when she embarked on teaching her course earlier this year; and she is now a true believer in its benefits. As a tribute to her efforts, she was recently honored with the 2013-2014 Provost Award for Outstanding Teaching by a Graduate Teaching Assistant for her engaging teaching style, her creativity in developing service-learning opportunities for her students, and her ability to help her students reflect on that service in unique ways.

    When she taught the CCC course over the summer, she looked at what worked and what could be refined, and she scaled some parts of the course back to fit the curriculum into the tighter six-week summer schedule proving that service-learning is a flexible and adaptable educational model.

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    Dr. Roberta Baer has been sowing the seeds of engagement for years

    by Bonnie Silvestri, Director of Strategic Communications

    “I’ve been doing these kinds of classes for years, even before it was called service-learning,” said Anthropology Professor Roberta Baer, who seamlessly weaves service-learning pedagogy and community-based research into her ongoing work with Burmese refugees.

    Baer, who has been with University of South Florida since 1984, said the campus was relatively barren in the early years—devoid of trees and lacking in community-based activities. She slowly and methodically built up connections with the larger community. All the while, she raised two children, who are now teenagers, and managed to continuously find new ways to improve the community through her research.

    Of late, she has added to her list of community-based accomplishments working on the development of a community garden, where Burmese and other refugees can supplement their income and their diets with traditional herbs and vegetables.

    She began by working with a small group of Burmese refugees who were seeking “an indication of the condition of the community and [its] needs” in order to develop an ethnic-based community organization that would meet federal guidelines. Prior to her association with the burgeoning group, she had worked in Mexico and with local migrant farm workers, but had no connection to Burmese refugees. “It was fortuitous,” she added.

    Dr. Roberta Baer (center) and students working at the Burmese garden.

    Dr. Roberta Baer (center) and students working at the Burmese garden.

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    OCEP Publishes New Magazine Featuring USF-Community Engagement

    We are delighted to announce the publication of the OCEP magazine, which is designed to help readers better understand the work we do through stories of our faculty and community partners.  You will read about service-learning opportunities and the wide-ranging research and projects in community engagement.

    rp_ocep-magazine-cover1-231x300.png

    OCEP's new magazine is hot off the presses!

    Click here to download a pdf of the magazine.  We are happy to furnish you with copies of the magazine to share with constituents, colleagues, and co-workers who want to know more about the work of OCEP.

     

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    Professor David Himmelgreen Featured with Feeding America Tampa Bay on Channel 8 News

    david-himmelgreen-at-feeding-america-tampa-bayUSF Professor David Himmelgreen (Anthropology) was recently featured on Channel 8 News with Feeding America Tampa Bay (FATB), which redistributes food to those in need throughout a 10-county span of west Central Florida . The story discussed the prevalence and severity of hunger and food insecurity in the Tampa Bay region. Himmelgreen, a national research expert on these topics, was interviewed on site at FATB'S main warehouse along with Thomas Mantz, director of FATB. Click here to view Channel 8's report.

     

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    No Filter: a Visually Arresting Campus–Community partnership

    By Bonnie Beth Silvestri, JD, Director of Strategic Communications

    “I am still trying to negotiate and work out the experience and how it has affected me,” said Elizabeth Plakidas, a Graduate Community Scholars Fellowship recipient regarding her summer project funded through the Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships. The culmination of Plakidas’s summer collaboration was an exhibition entitled No Filter at the William and Nancy Oliver Gallery in the USF Fine Arts Building.

    Beth and Angela with their collaborative work Debothesat.

    Beth and Angela with their collaborative work Debothesat.

    Plakidas, a graduate student in the Master’s of Fine Arts program, spent the summer working twice a week onsite at Pyramid, Inc., a community-based arts center for people with severe disabilities. The Tampa-based Pyramid is one of six throughout Florida focused on working with adults to create art in all forms.

    Following a visit to a Pyramid show, Shane Hoffman, Visual Arts Coordinator at Pyramid, said, Plakidas became “enthralled by the work,” because the artists work like she wish she worked—free of critique and painting for pleasure. Plakidas left the event with a work of art by one of the Pyramid artists, Marquis L. in tow.

    “Nothing holds them back, they make what they want and seem to have no self censor. Whatever comes out comes out. Masterpieces are produced on a daily basis,” said Hoffman, who is also an alumnus of the USF MFA program.

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    Pepin Students Come for the Fun and Stay for the Learning with USF Pre-Service Teachers

    by Bonnie Beth Silvestri, JD, Director of Strategic Communications

    Pepin Academy and the USF College of Education have a unique partnership that is both a model for a reciprocal educational relationship and a boon for our local community. Three USF College of Education faculty, Dr. Stacy Hahn, Dr. David Allsopp, and Dr. David Hoppey have worked with Pepin to build up a strong year-round connection culminating in a free, four-week summer institute for interested Pepin students.

    Crisha Scolaro, David Hoppey, Stacy Hahn, and David Allsopp

    Crisha Scolaro, David Hoppey, Stacy Hahn, and David Allsopp

    The summer institute program allows special education pre-service teachers from the USF College of Education the unique opportunity to develop and implement, with the guidance of their professors, an academic summer school curriculum. As Allsopp emphasizes, “It’s not a camp, it’s school.”

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    Welcome Dr. Harold Keller!

    Dr. Harold Keller, Faculty on Assignment

    Dr. Harold Keller, Faculty on Assignment

    Dr. Harold Keller has been involved with the Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships since it was merely a gleam in the eye of the founders, and now he has joined OCEP as the first Faculty on Assignment for the next two years.

    Keller was co-chair of the Provost’s Task Force on Community Engagement, when USF decided it was time to determine, as he said, “how the university could be committed to really doing this.”

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    Faculty Fellow Dr. Iraida Carrion Engages the Community Locally and Overseas

    by Bonnie Beth Silvestri, JD, Director of Strategic Communications

    Upon entering the Bangla Saheb Sikh temple in Delhi, India, Dr. Iraida Carrion, watched as people from all walks of life sat together on the floor sharing a meal, which is provided daily for free to anyone who wishes to join. “I felt a pang in my stomach—I need to add a service component to this course,” Carrion, Associate Professor of Social Work, said of her study abroad course, which she co-taught earlier this summer with Dr. Manisha Joshi, Assistant Professor of Social Work.

    Dr. Iraida Carrion, Associate Professor of Social Work

    Dr. Iraida Carrion, Associate Professor of Social Work

    Following this epiphany, Carrion and Joshi with RIWATCH and other community partners in Arunachal Pradesh coordinated a day of tree planting at a local school and cleaned the maternity ward at a local hospital alongside members of Enjalu Menda Women’s Empowerment Forum.

    Joshi, a native of India, whose two-month old daughter accompanied the fifteen students on the trip (and, as the students joked, earned her six credits), said that the partners in India found the chance to host the visiting students to be remarkable for them as well. Joshi said of her and Carrion’s study abroad class, “Oh my God, it was a big deal!”

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    "No Filter" - a USF/community collaboration opens on campus

    By Bonnie Beth Silvestri, JD, Director of Strategic Communications

    “I am still trying to negotiate and work out the experience and how it has affected me,” said Elizabeth Plakidas, a Graduate Community Scholars Fellowship recipient regarding her summer project funded through the Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships. The culmination of Plakidas’s summer collaboration is an exhibition opening this Friday, August 1st at the William and Nancy Oliver Gallery in the USF Fine Arts Building.

    MFA candidate Beth Plakidas in her studio.

    MFA candidate Beth Plakidas in her studio.

    Plakidas, a graduate student in the Master’s of Fine Arts program, spent the summer working twice a week onsite at Pyramid, Inc., a community-based arts center for people with severe disabilities. The Tampa-based Pyramid is one of six throughout Florida focused on working with adults to create art in all forms.

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    USF Students Help Older Adults Age in Place

    Dr. Brianne Stanback (left) and Dr. Sheila Bosch (fourth from right) with Aging in Space and Place students.

    Dr. Brianne Stanback (left) and Dr. Sheila Bosch (fourth from right) with Aging in Space and Place students.

    by Bonnie Beth Silvestri, Director of Strategic Communications

    We all love having a place to call home that feels special and reflects our identity; but as we age, our homes may someday become a hazard. A second floor may become inaccessible or a seemingly innocuous lower cabinet may become a threat to our health and safety. Nonetheless, the vast majority of adults approaching late-life wish to remain in their homes for as long as possible.

    Dr. Brianne Stanback, Instructor and Internship Director in the School of Aging Studies, has taken the next step by creating a service-learning course called Aging in Space and Place in partnership with Florida Presbyterian Homes, a continuing care retirement community that offers a variety of choices for independent living and assisted living. She received a mini-grant from the Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships to support the implementation of the course.

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    Dr. Sarina Ergas and her students help make our local water supply safe and healthy

    By Bonnie Beth Silvestri, Director of Strategic Communications

    When asked about her lifetime of work enhancing the communities in which she lives, Dr. Sarina Ergas, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the USF Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering said with a lilt in her tone, “Liz says I’m the poster child for community engagement,” referring to the Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships Director Dr. Elizabeth Strom.

    Dr. Sarina Ergas

    Dr. Sarina Ergas

    Ergas’s capstone engineering design course, which she teaches every spring, is a hallmark of community engagement, because the students are involved in local projects that have a lasting impact on various aspects of the Tampa Bay region’s environment. She co-teaches the course with Tom Cross, a local professional engineer with McKim & Creed, who she said is “plugged into a lot of the different projects in the local community” related to environmental and water resources engineering.

    Each year, the capstone design class has a different local partner agency; past partners have included the City of Tampa, the City of Clearwater, Hillsborough County, and the City of St. Petersburg, each of which is that semester’s “client” for the project. Senior level and graduate civil engineering students begin the course by meeting the client and taking a tour of the facility. They then sketch out a plan and develop a scope of work, which Ergas said is essentially a “bid” for the project.

    In the past, students have worked on resolving issues such as “beaches that are closed down because of fecal bacteria,” an excess of “algal blooms in storm water,” as well as methods to improve wastewater and drinking water treatment processes. Ergas described these as “interactive” projects. “It’s not just a small part of the class, it is the class.”

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    Dream becomes a Reality for Immigrant Students in Florida

     

    United We Dream students hoping to attend USF.

    United We Dream students hoping to attend USF.

     

    by Bonnie Beth Silvestri, JD, Director of Strategic Communications

    Dr. Elizabeth Aranda, Associate Professor and Department Chair of Sociology, and her research assistant, Isabel Sousa-Rodriguez, are deeply involved in community-based research about the lives of immigrants and undocumented young people. Aranda regularly shares her research findings to help guide the political discussion of immigration reform.

    Most recently, during the week the Florida Senate was debating legislation that would permit undocumented young people, commonly referred to as “dreamers,” who attended high school in Florida, to access in-state tuition rates for their college education, Aranda published an informative and forceful opinion piece, one of several she has written on the topic.

    She said, “You don’t know what impact it [the op-ed] has” on public opinion and lawmakers. She shared her research on the devastating effect that denying young people access to in-state tuition has on them, their families, and the country as a whole because of what she referred to as “wasted talent,” (also the title of her opinion piece). She said her editorial is “not just an opinion that I have, [it’s] rooted in my research. Research that can benefit the community.”

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    From “the Projects” to Gray’s Project: A Profile of Louis Gray

    By Bonnie Beth Silvestri, JD, Director of Strategic Communications

    “Just call Louis.”

    Louis GrayLouis Gray is the Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships “go-to” person in USF Registrar’s Office, helping OCEP fulfill its mission to support the service-learning curriculum on campus. Gray, the Registrar’s Office’s Academic Services Administrator, has been working behind the scenes, under the leadership of his supervisor Tony Embry and USF Registrar Angela Debose, coding each service-learning class offered on campus in Banner, the university’s administrative information system.

    Once the courses are coded, students are able to easily find service-learning offerings in OASIS; and OCEP can calculate the number of service-learning course sections and students enrolled. During the last academic school year, there were 188 sections of service-learning courses coded in the system, and over 4,000 students enrolled in these courses, which is a significant increase thanks to outreach efforts by OCEP and the Registrar’s Office.

    And, it is no surprise that OCEP can count on Gray to help with these efforts, because he “gets it,” and he lives it. A natural connector, Gray said, “I’m the type to bring the community together.”

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    Service-Learning Champion Dr. Kelly Page Werder Puts Research into Practice

    By Bonnie Silvestri, JD, Director of Strategic Communications

    Dr. Kelly Page Werder, Associate Professor of Mass Communications, has fully integrated service-learning into her coursework. She firmly believes it is crucial for students in her courses to gain real-world experience and to feel a sense of civic responsibility for the Tampa Bay community. Over the past several years, her students have developed strategic communications plans for over eighty local and campus organizations.

    Dr. Kelly Page Werder

    Dr. Kelly Page Werder

    Werder realized early on in her teaching career that her field, an applied discipline, which prepares students to become public relations and advertising professionals, is ideally suited to the service-learning pedagogy. Rather than assigning students hypothetical case studies of organizations, she gets them involved in examining real, current issues faced by local organizations in our community.

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    Featured Student: LaDonna Gleason on Field Experiences, Service-Learning, and Undergraduate Research

    ladonna2 by Julia Poholek, Humanities Internship Program

    In the grand scope of experiential learning, it seems that most courses are tailored to intrigue the student and teach them valuable lessons through on-site projects and interactions. However, the results of such courses prove to be all the more profound when they end up shaping the student’s entire field of study. Such is the case with LaDonna Gleason, a recent graduate with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. LaDonna participated in the 2014 USF Undergraduate Research and Arts Colloquium, where I sat down with her to hear her thoughts on experiential learning courses and their potential impacts on students.

    “I didn’t set out as an undergrad saying I really wanted to research suicide, mental illness, and the problems inherent in those subjects. I realized, ‘Hey, I really love psychology. Let me learn more about that,’” LaDonna recalls fondly. “I met a TA who said they needed a research assistant for their lab. Within six months, I was hooked.” Through this new, unexpected interest, she encountered a hands-on opportunity to delve deeper into the practice of helping those in need.

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    "Uncommon Practice" exhibition at the Tampa Museum of Art was a community-engaged triumph

    by Bonnie Silvestri, JD, Director of Strategic Communications

    The USF Institute for Research in Art is an umbrella entity on campus that includes the Contemporary Art Museum (“USFCAM”), Graphicstudio, and the Public Art program, each of which engages in important work connecting USF with the community, which we will be highlighting in an ongoing Art and Society series.

    USFCAM recently collaborated with the Tampa Museum of Art to form a unique partnership to exhibit the outstanding work that has come out of this very special, research-based atelier located right on USF campus. The partnership for the exhibition entitled “Uncommon Practice: Graphicstudio at USF” was unprecedented, and was an important acknowledgement of the significance of the work of Graphicstudio, taking place right here in Tampa Bay.Brushstroke Chair B

    Graphicstudio began in 1968 as the brainchild of Donald Saff, who developed what Peter Foe, Curator of the Collection of the USF Contemporary Art Museum, calls the “premiere house for experimentation in printmaking.” Because it is located on the campus, Graphicstudio offers artists easy access to interdisciplinary research facilities throughout the campus as well as some of the finest facilities and master printmakers in the world.

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    Opportunities to intern in the nation's capital, the state's capital, or here at home are easily accessible and available to USF students

    Dr. Joan Pynes, Professor in the School of Public Affairs, is the faculty liaison to three major internship programs. She strongly believes every student should seriously consider applying for at least one during his or her time at USF.

    The Washington Center Internship Program

    The Washington Center is a marquee program enabling college students to live and work in the nation’s capital during the fall, spring, or summer semester. Pynes emphasizes that The Washington Center is a wrap-around program, giving students an opportunity to take unique classes with Center faculty, live onsite, develop a self-selected civic engagement project, and work in a professional internship in any one of 1,000 sites in the DC area.

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    Facts and Data Carry the Day in the Fight Against Poverty

    More than fifty attendees piled into the conference room eager to continue working collectively on alleviating poverty as a follow-up to the January The Poverty of Poverty Intervention: Doing More with Less meeting sponsored by the USF Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships.

    “It is wonderful to see gathered here so many people who are so passionate about something so depressing,” said Dr. Lance Arney, OCEP Associate Director.

    Arney announced that the Reporting Back to the Community report released on April 22nd was the direct result of feedback from the community; and he stated that among the strongest recommendations was the need to create action groups. He said that participants reiterated, “Let’s actually do something” outside the scope of convened meetings.

    A Poverty Action Working Group focusing on Program Evaluation and Asset Mapping.

    A Poverty Action Working Group focusing on Asset Management and Evaluation.

    The Poverty Action Groups represent an opportunity for faculty and community members to think on a larger scale about the structural inequities leading to widespread poverty experienced in our community. The time has come to consider how we might coalesce around major issues to make changes in legislation and policy.

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    Convening Internship Directors

    Faculty and staff who are responsible for helping to connect students with internship opportunities gathered to discuss best practices on April 30, 2014. As was noted at the event, internship opportunities differ across disciplines with variables ranging from whether or not the internship is credit-bearing to whether it is paid or unpaid. What all internships have in common is that they are an important part of a student’s education.

    Diane Mellon, a career counselor who coordinates the Co-Operative Education Program in Career Services, gave a presentation on Risk Management and Legal Concerns. Among her suggestions was that internship directors and coordinators focus on “matching” students with opportunities rather than “placing” them. The greater the university’s involvement in determining where a student will intern, the greater the risk should the opportunity be less than fruitful for the student and/or the organization with which the student is placed. However, internship directors should feel free to do their best to help shape the most optimal internship opportunities that they can for their students and vet the organizations to ensure they are an appropriate place for students to intern.

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    Life is Better Together for Service-Learning Students

    “None of you look like you are on the verge of a panic attack,” communications professor Tasha Rennels wryly declared, as her Communication, Culture, and Community students prepared to present to their classmates and community partners the results of their semester-long service projects. She kept the proceedings light as each group shared their experiences working with local not-for-profit organizations, which in many cases clearly had a transformative effect on these students.

    Professor Tasha Rennels teaches a service-learning course, Communication, Culture, and Community.

    Professor Tasha Rennels teaches a service-learning course, Communication, Culture, and Community.

    Collectively, the class served 425 hours in ten local community groups ranging from Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful to Kids Charity of Tampa Bay to Support our Troops. Early in the semester, the students wrote in their service journals about their passions, career goals, and personal interests; and Rennels paired them in small groups to work with organizations that suited their objectives. This was Rennels’ first service-learning class, and by all accounts, it was a huge success. In fact, she is already offering the course again in the 2014 Summer B session beginning in late June.

    “I am incredibly proud of the work they have done and grateful to the community partners who are here,” said Rennels. “This is an opportunity to share what the students have done, and not keep it to themselves.

    In fact, end of the semester presentations are a central part of a service-learning course. It is important to celebrate the work of the students as well as to help spread awareness about the often-unsung services provided by our not-for-profit sector. It also, as Rennels said, gives students a chance “to reflect on what they’ve gained” and may impact their career or the kinds of service to the community they choose to provide in the future. End of semester presentations, with community partners in attendance, can help elevate the importance of service-learning as well as the quality of work service-learning students can provide.

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    OCEP Graduate Community Scholars Fellowship Program, summer 2014 awardees

    Congratulations to the following graduate students, whose community engaged research proposals were awarded funding through our Graduate Community Scholars Fellowship Program!

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    Poverty, Inequality & Community Engagement Action Groups Meeting

    (Follow-up to the Poverty of Poverty Intervention event. To read our Reporting Back to the Community report, click here. To read the executive summary of the report, click here.)

    We would like to remind everyone that our first Poverty, Inequality & Community Engagement Action Groups Meeting is this Thursday, May 8th. If you plan to participate, please RSVP at your earliest convenience (to RSVP, click here). We will be providing light refreshments and will need a close estimate of the number of participants when we place our food order.

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    Telling Our Stories: Exploring Fanni Green’s Community Engaged Production of “the road weeps”

    USF Theatre professor Fanni Green may have thought that a production of Marcus Gardley’s the road weeps, the well runs dry would be impossible to stage on campus, but she “fell in love with his words” and didn’t let the impossible stand in her way. On a bit of a lark, she applied for a grant from the Lark Play Development Center, and she got it.

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    Featured Student: Melissa Ortiz on Service-Learning

    by Julia Poholek, Humanities Internship Program

    Ever wondered what it would be like serve your community while earning college credit at the same time? Just ask Melissa Ortiz, a senior here at USF. She’s no stranger to service-learning courses, having been in two of them during her time as an undergrad. I sat down with Melissa to get a fresh take on the world of experiential learning outside the classroom and gain a better understanding of this high-impact* method of education.

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    Featured Student: Erika Kozak on Internships

    by Julia Poholek, Humanities Internship Program

    Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be involved with preserving some of the most powerful stories in history? What about doing such important work and getting academic credit at the same time? Erika Kozak is more than familiar with the experience. As an undergraduate student here at the USF, she’s scheduled to graduate this Spring with her BA in Humanities and Cultural Studies and a certificate in Film Studies. For the past two semesters, she’s been an intern at the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg. While a position at the Florida Holocaust Museum holds a variety of unique opportunities for learning about museum and curator work, it’s not all about the academics for Erika.

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    Featured Student: Daniel Ross on Field Experiences

    by Julia Poholek, Humanities Internship Program

    When you think of Elementary Education, you might assume that the most effective learning method for student teachers would be to actually go to a school and see how things work from a firsthand perspective. After all, a classroom is where they’ll presumably end up in the future, given their chosen major. The benefits of such an opportunity are inarguable – an impact that Daniel Ross, a sophomore at USF, can still feel after having taken a field experience course in the Spring 2013 semester.

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    “Semesterly” Service-Learning Workshop for Community Organizations and USF Faculty (April 7, 2014)

    You spoke and we listened. In an effort to help facilitate partnership building at a grassroots level, the Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships (“OCEP”) responded to feedback from current and potential community partners and inaugurated a new program called a “Semesterly” Service-Learning Workshop for Community Organizations and USF Faculty.

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    Careers in Aging: “An event that serves so many purposes”

    The School of Aging Studies is among the many departments on our campus with demonstrated highly effective community-engagement programming.  Perhaps because the school itself is interdisciplinary with faculty specializing in a range of disciplines, year after year, they seem to outdo themselves in their efforts to engage faculty and students with the local community.

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    Public Sociology: What Role Should Sociology Play in Justice?

    Dr. Jim Cavendish with Dr. Susan Greenbaum and Dr. Stephen Turner, the guest speakers for the event.

    Dr. Jim Cavendish with Dr. Susan Greenbaum and Dr. Stephen Turner, the guest speakers for the event.

    What role should sociology play in justice? This question and the concept of “public sociology” were the topics of discussion in a recent gathering convened by the Sociology Department on November 12 as part of its colloquium series. The event was hosted by Dr. Jim Cavendish, Associate Professor of Sociology, and featured guest speakers Dr. Stephen Turner, Distinguished University Professor in the Philosophy Department, and Dr. Susan Greenbaum, Professor Emerita in the Anthropology Department. The event was held in the stately Grace Allen Room in the USF Library. Close to fifty faculty and students were in attendance.

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    Latino Communities in Old and New Destinations: Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives to Assessing the Impact of Legal Reforms

    Latino Communities in Old and New Destinations, at the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort Golf Club

    Latino Communities in Old and New Destinations, at the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort Golf Club

    On Friday, November 8, students, faculty, and community activists gathered at the Vinoy Renaissance Saint Petersburg Resort & Golf Club for the Latino Communities in Old and New Destinations: Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives to Assessing the Impact of Legal Reforms conference. Dr. Elizabeth Aranda from the Sociology Department at USF hosted the event. Faculty from all over the country gathered to discuss and share their presentations on the inequalities Latin American citizens face in America and the growing need for immigration reform.

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    Service-Learning Day, March 6, 2014

    Sponsored by the Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships (OCEP), the Academy for Teaching and Learning Excellence (ATLE), and the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement (CLCE).

     Second Annual Service-Learning Day

    Join us on Thursday, March 6, from 8:45am-1:00pm!

    Marshall Center, Room 3711

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    Poverty and Inequality: A Forum on Research, Action, and Community Engagement

    What are the challenges involved in poverty research and activism? How do we counter misinformation and misleading stereotypes about poverty? How can the university engage with the community in constructive dialogue about the causes, consequences, and best ways to alleviate poverty?

    Two panels of USF researchers and educators pondered these questions in the context of their own work studying poverty, inequality, and related problems in the areas of health, housing, employment, criminal justice, and education—the last with a focus on disparities in educational access by low-income children in poorly resourced schools. Poverty and Inequality: A Forum on Research, Action, and Community Engagement succeeded in bringing together close to 50 USF faculty, staff, and students, in addition to 12 panelists and moderators. They discussed ways to begin a multidisciplinary research-to-action program at USF that engages non-profits, elected officials, public agencies, and community residents, as well as to establish resources for teaching, research, and community partnerships that are evidence-based and reflective of local history and circumstances.

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    The University Experience course: Cultivating engagement in first-year students

    The most valuable aspect of this class was learning about different service opportunities in the community and doing the service-learning project. It felt really good to do something for someone else.

    The service project was really fun and connected me to my class.

    To me, the most valuable learning exercise was when we had to do a service project.

    The course is titled University Experience (UE), and these are but a few examples of positive feedback UE students gave about the service component of the course. UE is a two-credit elective course designed specifically for first-year students to welcome them to USF, and it helps them explore the overall building blocks needed for success in college and in life.

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    Research that Matters: Community Engaged Research Poster Session and Contest

    A pdf of the following instructions and guidelines can be downloaded by clicking here.

    Tuesday, October 22, 2013, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Patel Center for Global Solutions, Auditorium (Room 131), 1st Floor

    Competition open to all degree-seeking USF graduate

    The Office of Community Engagement has initiated an annual conference series entitled “Research that Matters.” This year the theme is Social Enterprise, Social Entrepreneurship, and the Economic Impacts of University–Community Engagement. The conference will take place on Tuesday, October 22, from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm, in the Patel Center for Global Solutions. Posters need to be put on display between 8:30-9:00 am. The graduate student poster session and contest will be held from 11:30 to 12:30. The contest is open to all graduate students, and winners will receive awards. It is not necessary for the posters to be about the specific theme of the conference, but they do need to be about community engaged research, on any topic, being done by USF graduate students. We hope that the poster session will further strengthen our community engaged network of graduate students and faculty.

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    Research that Matters: Social Enterprise, Social Entrepreneurship, and the Economic Impacts of University–Community Engagement

    A pdf of the following instructions and guidelines can be downloaded by clicking here.

    Request for Roundtable Proposals

    Tuesday, October 22, 2013, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Patel Center for Global Solutions, Auditorium (Room 131), 1st Floor

    Research that Matters (RtM) is the research initiative of the University of South Florida’s Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships. We seek to support and spotlight academically rigorous research that addresses the causes and consequences of real world problems, that seeks solutions to these problems, and that is carried out in partnership with community stakeholders. Our Research that Matters annual conference series brings together university researchers and Tampa Bay area practitioners to discuss pressing regional concerns, focusing on how research can support practice in a variety of fields.

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    Poverty and Inequality

    A Forum on Research, Action, and Community Engagement

    Thursday, September 26, 2013

    9:00 am to 12:00 pm

    BSN 225 (Multipurpose Room)

    What are the challenges involved in poverty research and activism?

    How do we counter misinformation and misleading stereotypes about poverty?

    What are the best ways to engage with residents, funders, and service providers?

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    USDA makes site visit to Sulphur Springs community initiative

    On July 15th, the Sulphur Springs community was honored by a visit from Kevin Concannon, the Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Under Secretary Concannon’s office became aware of Creating a Healthier Sulphur Springs for Kids (CHSSK) through information found on the internet and was interested in learning more about CHSSK and efforts to improve food security in Sulphur Springs. CHSSK is a coalition of service providers that formed after the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA was awarded an Embrace a Healthy Florida grant in 2010 from the Florida Blue Foundation to promote healthy living in Sulphur Springs through programming that addresses childhood obesity.

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    New library will feature African American research archives and cultural arts

    The Robert W. Saunders, Sr. Public Library, located at 1505 North Nebraska Avenue, adjacent to Booker T. Washington Elementary School, will be torn down this fall and replaced with a larger, two-story facility that will house an African American Research Library and an African American Cultural Arts Center. Four public meetings have already been held in order to allow the community to provide input into the design of the building. Construction on the new library will begin in early 2014; it is scheduled to open in December 2014. A grand opening, with a nationally renowned guest speaker, is being planned for March 2015.

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