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University of Iowa

May 23, 2005

Institute To Help UI Faculty Develop More Service-Learning Courses

Beginning today, University of Iowa faculty members representing a variety of disciplines will take part in a unique, weeklong institute to help them craft new courses where students can learn while providing valuable community services and taking part in civic engagement.

The Service Learning Faculty Institute, organized by the UI Center for Teaching with support from UI Provost Michael Hogan, will be taught by Edward Zlotkowski, senior faculty fellow with Campus Compact, a national, nonprofit organization that is dedicated to promoting community service, civic engagement and service-learning in higher education. The UI became a member of the compact earlier this year, joining more than 905 colleges and universities across the country.

Each faculty member who attends the institute will use the knowledge gained there to design service-learning courses that they will teach over the next three years, beginning this fall.

Some UI courses already involve a service-learning component. In the Introduction to Museology course, for instance, students have worked with local museums -- including the Iowa Children's Museum and the UI Museum of Natural History -- to design, plan and implement exhibits and programs.

But Tom Rocklin, associate provost for faculty development, said the institute is part of an effort to encourage, coordinate and provide support for service-learning endeavors on a greater scale.

"It's a lot like the use of learning technologies in the early years," Rocklin said. "A number of people were using the technology, but they were scattered, they didn't talk with one another and there was no overall strategy or support."

Rocklin said that service-learning is about more than providing volunteer help in the community, important and necessary as that is.

"It's not just for extra credit or to allow a student to feel good," he said. "It's an opportunity to learn something in an environment where they can apply what they learn while benefiting the organization with which they're working."

The institute participants -- representing eight UI colleges, the Pentacrest Museum and the Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center - are:

* J. Tarrell Portman, the UI College of Education's Department of Counseling, Rehabilitation and Student Services

* Susan Lehmann, College of Nursing

* Ann Broderick, Department of Internal Medicine in the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine

* Teresa Mangum, Department of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS)

* Kenneth Brown, Management & Organizations in the Henry B. Tippie College of Business

* Rex Honey, Geography (CLAS)

* David Redlawsk, Political Science (CLAS)

* Patrick Dolan, Rhetoric (CLAS)

* Tom Rice, Political Science (CLAS)

* Mary Aquilino, Community and Behavioral Health, College of Public Health

* Michelle McQuistan, College of Dentistry

* Pamela Noel, Department of Social Work (CLAS)

* Lon Moeller, Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center

* Judith Liskin-Gasparro, Spanish & Portuguese (CLAS)

* Pamela Trimpe, Pentacrest Museums

While in town, the Campus Compact's Zlotkowski will also consult with university administrators and students, as well as business and civic leaders in Johnson County.

The Service Learning Faculty Institute is a part of the university's goal to make public engagement a central tenet of UI's mission. More information is available online at http://www.uiowa.edu/~centeach/service/slfi.html

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Media: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007, stephen-pradarelli@uiowa.edu.