For my Distinguished Teacher/Scholar project, this semester I am organizing Community-Campus Summits.
Val Werpetinski and I have invited community leaders from Champaign-Urbana and Chicago to come to campus and talk to faculty about the communities that they represent. So far, this is what has happened:
Summit 1 focused on leadership and was held on October 8. Panelists were (from left to right) Hattie Paulk from the Champaign Unit 4 Family Information Center, Guadalupe Abreu from the East Central Illinois Refuguee Mutual Assistance Center, and Ben Barbieri from ISS, Inc. We spent the first hour listening to the panelists talk about leadership issues in our community, then we split into small groups for the second hour to delve deeper into how we can best engage students in learning through community-campus connections. Other representatives of community organizations in the audience included Cristina Medrano of Hope Community Health Center and Lynn Peisker, Volunteer Connections Coordinator, United Way. (See more pictures from the Summit throughout this post; click here to see a graphic recording of Summit 1.)
Follow-up Workshop focused on ways to take what we learned at the summit and incorporate it into our teaching. (Power Point slides and specific teaching examples to come.)
Our next meeting will be tomorrow (Wednesday, October 22) from 3-5 at 428 Armory. We will meet with students who have taken courses that engage them with the community so that we can find out their perspectives on if and how that enhances their learning.
Come join us tomorrow!