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Service Learning Throughout UConn

This page is a work in progress that began Spring of 2017. We will be continually adding to it to represent the full depth and breadth of Service Learning at the University. Service Learning happens throughout UConn.

Each individual story is meant to celebrate the effort our faculty, students, staff  and community partners put into into innovative service learning that impacts our communities. 

If you would like to have your service learning captured, please provide your information in the link below:

http://sl.engagement.uconn.edu/do-you-use-service-learning/

On the Storrs Campus

 School of Engineering, Senior Design Project

Mobile Power Units

Dr. Ali Bazzi, Fall 2016-Spring 2017

The Hartford Marathon Foundation (HMF) owns a fleet of “landscaping” trailers that transport operational supplies to each of their races. Among these regularly used supplies are four gas powered generators. These units are used to provide power to a variety of different components; ranging from inflatables to sounds systems, credit card machines to computers. These units are compact, and extremely efficient, but lack the level of carbon emissions that align with our sustainable standards. Through this senior design project, HMF hopes to transformed their fleet of trailers into mobile power units, by installing solar arrays atop the trailers. The senior design team was expected to help HMF identify suitable and cost-effective panels, electronics, and necessary equipment to completely replace gas generators through solar arrays. The team provided HMF with layouts of these installations, and help identify necessary components for purchase by HMF. The team will also install these systems. 

Under the direction of Ali Bazzi, Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering and Service Learning Faculty Fellow, students Justin Hubbard, Edwin Matute, Rayhaan Kasiwala, and Bryan Davis accomplished designing a mobile clean energy power system. Solar panels were installed on the roof the the HMF trailer and the energy collected will be stored in batteries inside, ready for use on race days. 

  • Husky Reads Student with Children
  • Husky Reads Student with Children
  • Husky Reads Student with Children
  • Husky Reads Student with Children
  • Husky Reads Student with Children
  • Husky Reads Student with Children
  • Husky Reads Student with Children
  • Husky Reads Student with Children
  • Global Cafe Lecture Event
  • Husky Reads Student with Children
  • Husky Reads Student with Children
  • Husky Reads Student with Children
  • Husky Reads Student with Children
  • Husky Reads Student with Children
  • Husky Reads Student with Children
  • Husky Reads Student with Children
  • Husky Reads Student with Children
  • Husky Reads Student with Children
  • Husky Reads Student Preparing food
  • Husky Reads Student with Children
  • Husky Reads Student with Children

Husky Reads: Introducing Food and Nutrition to Children Through Literacy

With Susan Coleman

9/1/2005-5/5/2017

Husky Reads is a one-credit service learning course based on promoting literacy, health, and nutrition to preschool-aged children in Connecticut's underserved communities. Students From the Storrs Campus worked with children at more than twenty-five early childhood education centers in Hartford, Tolland, Windham, and New London Counties. Students are trained and given curriculum materials and then devote four hours a week delivering lessons in multiples classrooms before finally reflecting on their community experience. Students not only learn about human development and classroom management skills, they are also exposed to cultural and economic diversity and become role models for the individuals they teach--with the goal that the UConn students become more well-rounded citizens. Husky Reads students learn that they can make an impact on the literacy, health, and nutrition of others and ultimately have a positive impact on a child's future health outcomes and community. 

For more information concerning the project or its outcomes, contact Susan Coleman via email at Susan.Coleman@uconn.edu

To see the syllabus for this course, click here.

Science Writing for Non-Scientific Audiences – EEB 3895

Dr. Michael Willig gives a lecture at Oak Hall on Tuesday, November 29, about the various dimensions of biodiversity and how factors affect it, and how climate change may change the abundance and distribution of certain species. Dr. Willig is a professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UConn and is also the Director for the Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering.  (Akshara Thejawsi/The Daily Campus)

The University of Connecticut will offer a new science writing course designed to instruct undergraduate students of all majors on how to clearly communicate the contents of scientific papers to broad audiences.

“We’re just starting enrollment for [Science Writing for Non-Scientific Audiences EEB 3895],” ecology and evolutionary biology professor Dr. Margaret Rubega said. “Our intent is for the course to be as interdisciplinary as possible.”

According to Rubega, the course, which is taking place during the spring semester, is to teach undergraduate students how to analyze and write about scientific papers for general audiences.

“We want students to learn how to take very technical information and write about it in a clear, concise and maybe even a lively way,” Rubega said.

Another one of the course’s goals is to provide STEM majors with a way to apply and get a product from the information they learn in their STEM courses, according to physiology and neurobiology assistant professor in residence John Redden.

“Both Dr. Rubega and I had an interest in teaching a STEM W class, but looking at these courses for STEM undergrads, we saw they were all technical writing,” Redden said. “The majority of science undergrads won’t be doing technical writing on a daily basis. They’ll need to explain what they know to their mom, their dad [or] their patient.”

Rubega and Redden said in the future they hope to connect Science Writing for Non-Scientific Audiences EEB 3895 with a service learning course Redden is now teaching.

“We want them to be linked together somehow,” Redden said. “We’re still working out the details.”

Graduate-level science writing courses may become affiliated with Science Writing for Non-Scientific Audiences EEB 3895 over time, Rubega said.

“With my colleagues in [ecology and evolutionary biology] and journalism, we received a grant to teach grad students in science communication,” Rubega said. “The grant allows for alumni of the grad program to be TAs for the undergrads.”

According to Redden, making scientific research more accessible to wider audiences will allow scientists and non-scientists to better communicate with one another.

“There’s a huge disconnect between what’s generally accepted as true in the science community and the general population,” Redden said. “Bridging this gap is the responsibility in part of people who understand science. [Scientists] have to put blame on ourselves for being poor teachers and communicators.”

“This new course is great for someone skeptical about key aspects of science. Scientists talk and convince each other about things…I would love to have some folks who feel skeptical about things,” Rubega added.

Further information about Science Writing for Non-Scientific Audiences EEB 3895 may be found in the course catalogue.


Alexandra Retter is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email atalexandra.retter@uconn.edu.

On the Avery Point Campus

  • Global Cafe Lecture Event
  • Student Taking notes at Global Cafe Event
  • Students at Global Cafe
  • Student participating in Global Cafe discussion

The Avery Point Global Café

2009-present

The Avery Point Global Café is a predominantly adjunct faculty-driven, student-focused interdisciplinary learning community engaged in critical dialogues on topics related to local environments and global citizenship. Since its founding in 2009, the Global Café has grown into a campus-wide initiative committed to bridging disciplinary perspectives, providing students opportunities to make connections across courses, and enriching our campus culture through panel discussions, film events, poster sessions, and collaborations with regional organizations.

The Global Café Faculty Learning Community (FLC) serves as the “think tank” for the program and develops thematic content for each semester. The FLC also serves as a faculty forum to discuss pedagogy, engage in interdisciplinary discussions, and facilitate professional development through activities both on and off campus. Global Café faculty also integrate each semester’s theme into their courses through assigned readings, films, discussions, service-learning, and poster projects, and by incentivizing their students to participate in formal Global Café events. The following is an overview of the program’s recent themes and events.

During the Fall 2016 semester the Avery Point Global Café explored the work of groundbreaking scientist, conservationist, and visionary Rachel Carson (1907-1964), who served as one of the first full-time female fisheries scientists hired by a US federal agency. This theme offered course connections and discussions relating to the environment, the development of the modern environmental movement, the role of gender in science, education, and politics, and the impacts of biocides on soil and water, wildlife, and human health.

During the Spring 2017 semester, the Global Café focused on “Civic Responsibility, Discourse, and Action” with the intent of providing effective tools and dialogical spaces for faculty and students to further develop skills to mediate social justice and environmental topics and concerns.

Avery Point Sports Teams, UConn Makes a Difference Students, and Husky Ambassadors

For several semesters, the sports teams at the Avery Point campus of UConn have volunteered their time at Beech Brook Farm Equine Rescue. They regularly help with major projects at the farm, and most recently assisted in preparing and assisting in the farm’s move from Mystic to North Stonington. Students helped install electric fencing and stall mats as well as clear decades of debris from the new facility in preparation for 11 Horses and 2 Donkeys to take up residence there. The continuing relationship between the Avery Point clubs and athletic teams helps to keep the farm running. Most of the volunteers at the farm have full time jobs and contribute their weekends to service; the work that the Avery Point students do accomplishes what would take the regular volunteers many weekends to finish. In return, The students enjoy the opportunity to learn to work together and to connect with the greater community as well as working with the horses and other animals on the farm and learning about issues related to the neglect, abuse, and slaughter of horses in the US.

Roger Bidwell Headshot

Jeanne Martin HeadshotFor more information concerning this project and all the Avery Point Student Athletes do at Beech Brook Farm, contact Director of Athletics and Head Baseball Coach Roger Bidwell at 860-405-9183 or via email at r.bidwell@uconn.edu. You may also contact Jeanne Martin, director of Registration Services and volunteer at Beech Brook farm, at Jeanne.martin@uconn.edu or by phone at 860-405-9017.

  • AP Baseball Team at Beech Brook
  • AP Baseball Team at Beech Brook
  • AP Baseball Team at Beech Brook
  • AP Women's Basketball Team at Beech Brook
  • AP Baseball Team at Beech Brook
  • AP Baseball Team at Beech Brook
  • AP Women's Basketball Team at Beech Brook
  • AP Baseball Team at Beech Brook
  • Students and guests at 2017 Wellness Fair
  • UNIV 1820 Class Activity
  • UNIV 1820 guest speaker
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  • UNIV 1820 Class Activity
  • Students and guests at 2017 Wellness Fair
  • Students and guests at 2017 Wellness Fair
  • UNIV 1820 Class Activity
  • Students and guests at 2017 Wellness Fair
  • UNIV 1820 Class Activity
  • UNIV 1820 Class Activity
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  • UNIV 1820 Class Activity
  • Avery Point Wellness Fair Flier
  • UNIV 1820 Class Activity
  • Students and guests at 2017 Wellness Fair
  • UNIV 1820 Class Activity
  • UNIV 1820 Class Activity
  • Students and guests at 2017 Wellness Fair
  • UNIV 1820 Class Activity
  • Students and guests at 2017 Wellness Fair
  • UNIV 1820 Class Activity
  • UNIV 1820 Class Activity
  • UNIV

UNIV 1820: Stressed out? Wish you could turn back time?

With Laurie Wolfley

1/18/2017-4/26/2017

This service learning course introduced students to a number of experts who offered them demonstrations and instruction of a variety of strategies for dealing with anxiety and stress that are so commonly experienced as university students. Students learned about vital skills for students such as time management, study skills, and critical and creative thinking. Students were also introduced to relaxation techniques including yoga, meditation, tai chi, and health rhythms. Finally, students learned to practice reflecting on their own experiences. Many of the lessons taught were demonstrated, presented, and facilitated by proprietors of local businesses and community members such as UConn faculty and staff, Michelle Flowers of the Center for Healing Therapies, Charlie Coiro of the U.S. Coast Guard Leadersip Development Center, Rachel Swanson of Stonington Behavioral Health, Amy Dechen of Mystic Yoga Shala, and David Chandler of Eagle’s Quest Tai Chi Center.

For the central project of this course, students designed and coordinated a wellness fair for the Avery Point Campus. This gave the students an opportunity to learn business, leadership, and particularly teamwork skills because organizing the wellness fair required them to work with one another, other members of the student body, faculty and staff, and individuals in the greater community. And those members of the grater community were able to showcase their businesses and share their trades; providing them visibility, advertising, and an opportunity to connect with future clients and customers through the class and by participating in the wellness fair. 

Husky Wellness Fair logo

 

For more information concerning the project or any of the businesses involved, contact Laurie Wolfley at 860-405-9008 or by email at laurie.wolfley@uconn.edu.  

To see the abbreviated syllabus for this course, click here

MARN 1001

With Syma Ebbin

1/17/2017-4/28/2017

The projects for this Service Learning course are aimed at making connections between the marine and coastal environment and our individual actions. Following from the Avery Point Learning Community’s (Global Cafe) theme of “Civic Responsibility, Discourse, and Action,” in the context of local environments, each student will engage in a service learning project of at least two hours that in some way improves the local coastal or marine environment or informs others about the environment. Students were assigned to find and approach their own community partners to volunteer their time or skills. some of the ideas were presenting coastal and marine science material to an elementary school classroom and Volunteering for a coastal cleanup at a local beach or watershed area

For more information concerning the project or any of the locations involved, contact Syma Ebin via email at Syma.Ebin@uconn.edu

To see the syllabus for this course, click here

ARE 3235

With Syma Ebbin

1/17/2017-4/29/2017

Students researched the governance and policies associated with the regulation of various human uses of Long Island Sound, ultimately creating a series of Map Journals (or Story Maps) using ESRI mapping software. The work in this course is part of two different on-going efforts. The UConn Maritime Studies Program is engaged in an effort to develop a Maritime Heritage Corridor with associated content for a website/app. The Map Journals that the students create will become part of this project and uploaded to its website. The state of Connecticut has recently committed to developing a marine spatial plan for Long Island Sound, called the Blue Plan. The Map Journals created will be sent to the Blue Plan Committee for their potential use.

For more information concerning the project or any of the locations involved, contact Syma Ebin via email at Syma.Ebin@uconn.edu

To see the syllabus for this course, click here

  • PHYS 1020 Activities
    George Blahun (TAAS) and Professor Moshe Gai setting up Blahun refractor telescope.
  • PHYS 1020 Activities
    As the sun is setting in the west, the night observation commences.
  • Jupiter and its moons
    Jupiter and its moons, picture taken by a student using an iPhone.
  • PHYS 1020 telescope photo
    A chance transit of a jetliner across the moon, caught by John Landreneau (TAAS)
  • PHYS 1020 telescope photo
    A picture of the M17 nebula captured over a long exposure by John Landreneau (TAAS)
  • Moon photograph
    Moon Observation night, picture taken using an iPhone by the student Ashley Elizabeth Gotham, November 2015.
  • PHYS 1020 Activities
    John Landreneau setting up his astro-phtography telescope by the Fisher Sound.
  • PHYS 1020 Activities
    George Blahun (TAAS) discusses with spectators and Professor Moshe Gai his telescope.

PHYS 1020

With Moshe Gai

1/17/2017-4/29/2017

The Astronomy Class (PHYS 1020) at Avery Point together with the Avery Point student Sky-Club and in conjunction with the Thames Amateur Astronomical Society (TAAS) hold Astronomical Observation on the South Lawn at Avery Point during the Fall Semester when the Astronomy class is taught by Professor Moshe Gai who is an Astro Physicist by trade. The location of the Southern Lawn at the Avery Point campus is particularly suitable for observing the night sky due to the lack of light pollution over the Long Island Sound. The dry Fall season helps in reducing the fog/smog over the water. Indeed, the southern skies are well recognized by Astronomers as the richest part of the heaven that includes the center of our Milky Way Galaxy, the Sagitarius A*, and a black hole as massive as a million suns. During a typical observation night we gather approximately a dozen telescopes including our own 9.25" Celestron and the very telescope used by the legendary late Don Treworgy, the former director of the Mystic Planetarium, that was donated to Conn. In addition a variety telescopes of members of the TAAS are set up on the south lawn of our campus. The observation nights are open to the public, a typical night would have 50 - 100 people, students and members of the UConn community mingling with private citizens from the southeastern part of Connecticut that huddle over the various telescopes each pointing to a different exciting object in the night sky. An astro-photographer of the TAAS, John Landreneau, takes long exposure that reveal some of the most imaginative objects in the sky, while students use their iPhones to take pictures through the eye piece of the telescopes. After each session the best iPhone picture captured by students is uploaded to our website to celebrate the student's accomplishments during the observation night.

Husky Reads: Introducing Food and Nutrition to Children Through Literacy

With Susan Coleman

9/1/2014-5/1/2017

Husky Reads is a one-credit service learning course based on promoting literacy, health, and nutrition to preschool-aged children in Connecticut's underserved communities. Students From the Avery Point campus worked with children at Groton's Riverfront Children's Center and Early Childhood Development Center as well as  the New London Day Nursery/Smith-Bent Family Center. Students are trained and given curriculum materials and then devote four hours a week delivering lessons in multiples classrooms before finally reflecting on their community experience. Students not only learn about human development and classroom management skills, they are also exposed to cultural and economic diversity and become role models for the individuals they teach--with the goal that the UConn students become more well-rounded citizens. Husky Reads students learn that they can make an impact on the literacy, health, and nutrition of others and ultimately have a positive impact on a child's future health outcomes and community. 

 

For more information concerning the project or its outcomes, contact Susan Coleman via email at Susan.Coleman@uconn.edu

To see the syllabus for this course, click here.

  • Husky Reads Students with Kids
  • Husky Reads Students with Kids
  • Husky Reads Students with Kids
  • Husky Reads Students with Kids
  • Husky Reads Students with Kids
  • Husky Reads Student preparing food

NRE 1000

With Syma Ebbin

8/29/2016-12/9/2016

NRE1000 Class at Sheep FarmStudents from this class worked with the Groton Open Space Association to develop environmental education materials related to their properties in Groton which are open to the public for passive recreation. The locations involved included the Avery Farm, Candlewood Ridge, and the Merritt Family Forest. The class divided into teams, each tackling separate aspects of the project including the creation of indoor and outdoor activity packages and informational posters concerning location history as well as native, non-native, and invasive plants as well as native wildlife. Students in this course learned to work together for the benefit of the local communities and were able to engage with them through the public recreation areas  that they may not have visited or known about before the project. Patrons of these locations then benefit from the educational materials teaching important aspects of the local environment.

Click the following links for examples of the products from this course:

For more information concerning the project or any of the locations involved, contact Syma Ebin via email at Syma.Ebin@uconn.edu

To see the syllabus for this course, click here