AfterÂ beingÂ involved in engaged scholarship in the field of environmental studies, I thought I would start thinking more seriouslyÂ on what kind of environmental justice frame I am working on.Â Although I environmental justice may not necessarilyÂ my initial entry in my work,Â my environmental-related work has brought me to the issues of power across race, ethnicity, and class. So I have some knowledge and experience relevant toÂ theÂ conversations.
From my most recent conversation, I was asked what to do inÂ encouraging engineeringÂ studentsÂ to participate in a service learning (SL)Â program?
I have learned that in a research universityÂ institution,Â “recruiting” engineering students–who tend to have “busy” schedule and perceive less direct learning/practice in SL program–has been a challenge.
From the “busy” perspective, I could respond immediately that in my SL course, I always have one sentence in my course description that says “Flexible schedules are expected as likely we will have project tasks that require students to go to meetings outside of regular class times.”Â How one understands the word busy is relative to one’s Â socio cultural context. In my SL case, I always try to see it from a community’s perspective, that their schedule is not as straight-forward as us academics. And that we have more resources than community groups, we should beÂ more flexible to meet their schedule.
SL is to serve the needs ofÂ the community. We are the ones who should fit our schedule to theirs.
This post builds on myÂ previous post on PhD for what?
What can academics really do for/with community?
One of the students offered her thoughtsÂ during my teaching demo (4192087430) Â thatÂ academics (students included) use most of their skills to doÂ research, while many organizations outside campus (including where they do internships, volunteering works, and others) do very little research. This is absolutely true.
It is about the splitÂ that in theÂ field of philosophy often discussed: “the mind-body split.” In the ideal world, the two would need to be balance.Â The higher educationÂ institution serves more on the mind element of the split.
As someone who is preparing his finish line in the pursuit of PhD,Â I have been thinking about many different things about how to use all these experiences,Â skills, and networks, for my next career. During this moment of contemplation, I came across the following:
You find yourself better placed to help others do the research than doing the research yourself. – (925) 406-8551.
I haveÂ enjoyed very much facilitating a service learning course, implementing its philosophy, and embracing its opportunities. I was first exposed to the practice service learning back in 2006 whenÂ I was a member of a community-based research team, and published a book documenting a total of 67 in-depth interviews withÂ local community organizations; please read this interview about the book.
I do not plan to masterÂ a role as a graduating PhD. But it is true that asÂ I have beenÂ working iteratively in job documents,Â engaging diverse people literally and figuratively, andÂ navigating to be myÂ own self, IÂ can only get better. I am obviouslyÂ still far from the idealÂ point. But my recent campus visit with aÂ private college liberal arts was definitely a humbling experience.
IÂ could be perceived asÂ someone whoÂ isÂ not as optimistic or determined when revealing how my popular educationÂ or civic engagement approach is unpopular among my environmental studies’ colleague.Â But considering how radical it is, I feel that the approach isÂ an important element of my identity. I welcome anyone to work with me, and I would open myself as best I can so that anyoneÂ could have an informedÂ decision toÂ collaborateÂ with me.
Despite potentially a questionable determination,Â it is also important to note that (707) 324-6544Â demonstrates how I walk the talk. Â IÂ certainly continue to improve my practice. The past initiatives were not perfect. But still some values can be learned along the way, some of them are amazing, some of them are less amazing.
Yesterday was a major event organized by the Morgridge Center for Public Service, UW-Madison. Also attended by the Morgridges who have been all along from the beginning strengthening UW-Madison’s public service initiatives.
I would like to address one of the questions asked by a faculty member during the students’ lightning presentations. The question was something like what a faculty member should do if a graduate student quits finishing up an action-research dissertation research.
A few months ago a potential student wasÂ suggested toÂ talk to me. Most of our discussion was about howÂ community-based research (CBR) efforts could fit in a relatively shortÂ graduate study program. Her last question was what would be my one suggestion to start/navigate a successfulÂ CBR,Â and I responded by saying “be a good friend, build a genuine friendship with your community partners.”
That was my first occasions suggesting that.Â Lately, IÂ have reflected on that comment, and connecting with my current partnership.
Community -university partnership is ultimately a way to connect both parties in a meaningful collaborative initiative that would benefitÂ them. BothÂ partners need toÂ come to an understanding about the goals of their initiative. The disconnect of their ideas could lead to partners who would see theÂ partnership as a mere work together (note I don’t use the word collaborative) for the sake of partnership, something they could talk about to their peersÂ but not care enough to deliver a successful project.