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   Service-Learners in Action

Spartan Service-Learners in Action (2009-10)

The Department of Nursing
The Department of Nursing service-learning courses allowed students to develop and deliver mental wellness workshops. Though the workshops, students educate the community and faith-based organizations about the well documented disparity in recognition and treatment of mental illness in the African American community. One of the best received workshops educated the community about Bi-Polar disease.

The School of Education
The School of Education coordinated graduate student’s participation in the Challenge program sponsored by Norfolk City Public schools. Graduate candidates facilitated small group discussions between students, and helped students review safety for urban school settings while discussing bullying solutions, gang involvement and awareness, self esteem and appropriate decision making for life skills development.

The College of Science Engineering and Technology, and School of Social Work
Using an interdisciplinary approach, the School of Science and Technology, Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Program and School of Social Work were able to engage the surrounding community through its civic league, schools and museums in the form of meetings and events hosted at the Brambleton Community Outreach Center. These meetings and events included civic leaders, teachers, professors, undergraduate, and graduate students, along with other community leaders.

The goal was to create pathways to connect civic purpose with teaching, learning and research, while simultaneously empowering the community by deploying resources and developing and sustaining a long-term relationship for continuity. The Central Brambleton Community engulfs NSU’s campus in a 1.5 mile radius. The total population is 1,065, and is predominantly African American and the average income is $10,000 per year. Therefore, it served as a perfect location to access minority participants for the P.R.O.M.I.S.E pilot study through a regularly scheduled five-week summer camp.

Throughout the 5-week summer camp, the participants were engaged in a plethora of activities reflective of the biology, technology, nanotechnology and chemistry disciplines. Events, such as, “NanoDays” and “Get Your Hands on Some Science” served as vehicles to promote science literacy, civic engagement and social awareness. This diverse partnership to foster civic engagement and science literacy has impacted the impoverished local community.

The College of Liberal Arts
Interdisciplinary Studies developed our first thesis based service-learning project which includes 70 hours of community interaction. Doris Harper, a reclamation (returning student) did her service-learning at H.E.R. (Help and Emergency Response) shelter during last semester and in the context of our current economic climate, she was privy to see the effects of budget cuts on this program. She focused on fundraising as that is a primary source of funds/revenue for them and did a lollipop drive, sold lollipops for $1 each, attached a H.E.R’s card to it and went all over Norfolk. She raised a significant amount of money to help the shelter as well as raised persons' awareness of H.E.R, and domestic violence! Students from the Humanities Studies held in class forums about natural disasters and did a fundraiser, and clothing/food drive for the Haitian disaster titles “Hearts for Haiti”. They raised several hundred dollars, and joined with the University-wide relief efforts which generated a truckload of supplies, participated in the blood drive and donated the funds to the American Red Cross for Haiti. Students from The Department of Clinical psychology spent 50 hours each in the community and some were placed at the Norfolk Health Care Center a rehabilitation facility).

Civic Engagement Activities

The School of Business
The School of Business was civically engaged in several mediums, especially, the South Hampton Roads Earned Income Tax Coalition where our students are trained through the IRS to prepare online taxes for low income families. Students also hold Financial Management planning workshops in the community.

Voter Registration Drive
The Political Science Student Association annually partner with the Pre-Law and Thurgood Marshall Association, and participate in the University-wide U.S. Constitution Day weeklong celebrations. During this annual event, faculty and students engage in Healthcare debates, Forums on the U.S. Supreme Court, and conduct Voters Registration drives. Civic leaders and government officials participate as Guest Speakers to discuss the framing of the U.S. Constitution. This final program involves the entire university/community, Army ROTC, as well as the President and her Cabinet, and it is aired on the University’s radio station to the community.