Thomas Ehrlich- The Interview by Maggie Stevens
At the core of his life’s work, Tom Ehrlich has been an engaged scholar and teacher, pushing higher education to educate citizens. While currently a Visiting Professor at Stanford University, over his career Tom has served as the president of Indiana University, provost of the University of Pennsylvania, and dean of the Stanford Law School. It was in his role at Indiana University, that he helped start Indiana Campus Compact, the 11th Campus Compact state affiliate office, in 1993.
My Time at Connecting Campuses with Communities: The Service Learning Institute and Research Academy
Cynthia Kumfer, Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education
Time is such a valuable commodity in our lives. The thought of “spending” or “investing” a week of time was a significant decision for me in May of 2012. I had just finished a very intense semester, with extra administrative responsibilities, a full load of practicum students and a post-graduate course in curriculum design. I was ready for a break . . . but I realized I was presented with the chance to focus some uninterrupted time on the re-design of one of our Early Childhood Education courses into a service learning course, something I had wanted to do for a few years.
Here was my opportunity!
The variety of resources shared by practitioners, as well as, the time spent reading and reflecting gave me the opportunity to review course objectives and begin to build a service piece into our Family-Teacher Partnership course with professional assistance. This is such a good fit for student involvement in a real sense, not just in a lecture/lab setting.
The speakers gave very practical, ready to implement suggestions, guidance, and wisdom. Integrated into the day were times of discussion and brainstorming with good feedback from colleagues involved in the same process. I felt a sense of camaraderie as the days passed.
Much of the information centered around the aspect of assessing student outcomes and helping students to share and own what they experienced and gained in their service learning projects. The assigned readings and “homework” focused my thought on examining how the objectives of the course could be measured and implemented with families and teachers in a real way, rather than in the usual “mock” situation presented in traditional courses. I know we have something valuable to offer our community partners related to this course.
Connecting Campuses with Communities offered much information around methods of evaluating effectiveness of the approach of the course design. I found this to be an introduction to research in the topic of service learning and civic engagement, something I had not previously spent much time thinking about.
So as you are planning your professional development opportunities for the summer, think about giving yourself time to question, reflect and plan around designing or improving a course. Your time will be multiplied in the service and learning your students experience.
The 5th Annual Connecting Campuses with Communities: The Service Learning Institute and Research Academy will be held in Indianapolis May 13-17, 2013. Deadline to apply to be a participant is March 15, 2013. For more information, please visit http://www.tinyurl.com/SLIRA2013/
When Students Mentor Fellow Students, Everyone Benefits-Emily Sellers
The Student Success Mentor program is a collaborative effort between Indiana Campus Compact (ICC) and the Indiana Youth Institute. The program is a peer mentoring initiative that engages college student leaders in a year-long commitment to peer mentoring, service engagement, leadership development, and student retention and success.
As Program Director for Student Development, I have the privilege of getting to know the amazing students in our mentoring program. I had the chance to interview Catherine Carver, a junior at the University of Southern Indiana majoring in History and earning a minor in Anthropology.
Emily Sellers: Could you tell me a little about your role as an SSM Mentor?
Catherine Carver: As an SSM Mentor, I meet with 3 freshmen students each week. During the 4 hours I spend with each student, I provide academic advisement, answers to questions about campus resources, and I also provide plenty of moral support, both as an encouragement to them, and also for those times throughout the semester when they find themselves overwhelmed. USI’s SSS Program provides the aforementioned services and they do an excellent job. The SSS Program is designed for 1st Generation, low income, and/or academically struggling students, who need a little bit more help than most. For first generation students, it can often be difficult for them to navigate through financial aid, signing up for classes, college life in general, and being on their own because their parents aren’t able to draw on their own experiences to help them. SSS provides help with all of those aspects of being a college student through workshops, activities, events, etc. For low income students, SSS can be a great resource for locating and utilizing financial aid, and they definitely do their best to make sure that all of their students can continue their education. For academically struggling students, SSS provides individualized tutoring services, so that students can get one on one help with any classes they are struggling with.
ES: What inspired you to become an SSM Mentor?
CC: My desire to pursue a career as a college professor. I love working with students and sharing any and all knowledge I have, as well providing support, and letting them know that oftentimes, I have been in their shoes and I understand what they are going through. Being an SSM Mentor seemed like the perfect way to fulfill my love of working with students now, as well an excellent way to gain further experience working with and learning how to talk to students and help them with any issues they may have.
ES: What is your favorite aspect of being a mentor?
CC: Those times when I get to see exactly how much I’ve helped my students. It’s extremely rewarding to know how much I am able to help, even though I am just a student myself.
ES: What has been the most valuable or rewarding experience/aspect of your SSM participation?
CC: There have been several, but my favorite has to be from Fall 2012, when one of my mentees came into the program, both pregnant and married at 18. At first, her attitude toward having been kind of coaxed into the program was rather negative. When I would meet with her, there was a general feeling that she didn’t really care to be there and would rather be anywhere else. One day, I had a conversation with her about why she was in school, and what she hoped to achieve by being here. I asked about her professional goals, and why she had decided upon those specific goals. At the end of the conversation, there was a noticeable change in her air/attitude. From then on, she showed up to every meeting and was more than happy to share her grades, assignments, etc. with me. She went from being so far behind in one class that she was close to failing, and doing not so well in the rest of her classes, to a 3.0+ GPA by the end of the semester. I was extremely proud of her, for not only catching up and getting back on track, but also for doing all of this whilst pregnant and married.
ES: Anything else you would like to share.
CC: I truly enjoy working as an SSM Mentor, and my students really enjoy meeting with me and having me there to talk to any time they need to. I so appreciate this opportunity and I hope this continues to be something I can do in the coming year.
Member Spotlight: Amy Boren, Purdue University North Central
AmyBoren is a junior at Purdue University North Central (PNC) and one of 135 students from accross the nation selected to be a Newman Civic Fellow. The Newman Civic Fellows Award recognize inspiring college student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. Boren, of Chesterton, IN, is an Early Childhood Education major.
We asked Amy for her thoughts on service and why she does what she does.1. What does service mean to you?
To me, service is doing something freely in hopes that it will make a difference in the lives of other people, all the while expecting nothing in return. It is taking the time to help those who cannot help themselves or providing support for those who just need a little boost. It is also helping out individuals or groups of people who are trying to reach a common goal. Serving is becoming a part of something bigger than oneself and lending a helping hand to make it better.
2. Why do you serve?
I am very fortunate in that I have had a very blessed life. I feel in today’s world, there is a lot of emphasis put on money, career, and status. People can become self-absorbed and unwilling to help those in need. I feel serving helps keep me humble, informed about local issues, and a way for me to give back to the campus and community the many blessings I have received. I also serve because it allows me to meet new people and build relationships. I not only learn about them and their circumstances, but I also learn what I am capable of beyond my perceived limits. I serve because I want to make a difference and provide hope and encouragement for those who otherwise have little.
3. What service and leadership activities are you part of?
• President of PLAYCE (Purdue Learning About Young Children in Education). This is the Early Childhood Education club and we are volunteering at local schools and charitable organizations that provide services for young children.
• Peer Mentor – I am a peer mentor for incoming freshman at PNC; providing for them a ‘go to’ person to ask and answer questions and concerns that they may encounter, as well as encourage them and promote involvement in campus activities.
• Deans Leadership Group – I am a member of a group of students who provide activities for students on campus.
• Chancellor’s Leadership Seminar – I am attending weekly professional development classes that are building my knowledge base on how to be a better leader. Topics such as civility, service learning/civic engagement, ethics, and financial management have been discussed.
• Service Learning – I am currently in a class that is teaching Education majors how to instruct English Language Learning students. I have been working weekly with a kindergartener who has limited English ability at a local elementary school. This has allowed me to apply what I am learning in the classroom to real life situations.
• KIDS HOPE – I am a mentor for a local at-risk third grade student. I meet with him weekly to not only focus on school work but also to build a trusting relationship and build his self-esteem.
4. What have you found to be the greatest benefit of service?
The greatest benefit of serving has been the life changing lessons I’ve received from helping individuals, the community, and campus. It has taught me to put others first, to find ways to help those in need (no matter how small), and to realize that we are all the same no matter what our circumstances. All it takes is a small amount of time to show someone that you care and make a difference in their life.
Member Spotlight: Elizabeth Coley, Indiana State University
Fall Donaghy Day
In August 2011 incoming first-year students at Indiana State University participated in a large-scale day of service in Vigo County. The annual event, Fall Donaghy Day, is named after Fred Donaghy, a 1912 graduate and former professor of life sciences at ISU. This year 515 volunteers served at 60 non-profit organizations and contributed a collective 1,287 hours of service to the greater Terre Haute community. The event was organized by the Center for Community Engagement in conjunction with the office of New Student Transition Programs, which provided student orientation leaders for each group of volunteers.
As part of her involvement in the planning of Donaghy Day, graduate student Elizabeth Coley secured a Community Service Mini Grant from Indiana Campus Compact to offset costs of the service day. Funds were used to purchase yard identification signs for the various service sites. The signs allowed the bus drivers, Center Community Engagement staff members, and all volunteers to easily identify each of the community sites. The signs served as a visual reminder of Indiana State University's history of service to the community.
For more information about Community Service Mini Grants - click here
For Student service project resources - click here
For more information about Donaghy Day - click here