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Rice Bell Tower at Taylor University
The Rice Bell Tower at the center of Taylor University in Upland, Indiana  

Stories of student, faculty, community, and campus civic engagement

 

{ February 2012 } 

Greetings! 

Amy Smitter, Director of Institutional Development
Amy Smitter
Director, Campus Compact Institutional Development

 

When you give to Campus Compact you are believing in a better future, one where students graduate ready and willing to make positive change in their communities on more issues than you can imagine. It's a future where, as new problems emerge for our communities, the citizens have the skills it will take to address those needs. It's a future where campuses produce the best of our democracy that will have lasting impacts in both our local communities and also around the world. Really, it's like being an optimist who believes in the power of education to be an exciting force to make the world a better place.

In this issue of Profiles, we "profile" two optimistic faculty who believe that the power of their teaching and their students extends beyond four walls. Dr. Laura Goldin at Brandeis University connects her students to help with local housing issues in Waltham, MA, and Dr. Michael Guebert of Taylor University in Indiana has impacted local as well as international safe water issues.  Congratulations to these outstanding faculty and many others making positive changes in student learning and in communities.

Our 2012 annual campaign is in full swing and we are pleased to report that we are ahead of our goal for this time of year, compared to last year. But we still need help to reach our goal. If you have already donated -- Thank You! If you have not yet donated, please visit our website at www.compact.org and make your donation or pledge.

 

In service,   

Amy Smitter, Director of Institutional Development, Campus Compact

E: asmitter@compact.org    T: 517-231-7981 

{ Wins Brian Hiltunen Award  

Taylor University Environmental Sciences Professor Michael Guebert Honored by
Indiana Campus Compact
This article comes to us courtesy of Taylor University, Upland, IN 

 

GueberttopofstoryDr. Michael Guebert, Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana is the 2011 winner of the Indiana Campus Compact Brian Douglas Hiltunen Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Scholarship of Engagement. Guebert credits Indiana Campus Compact (ICC) with his and Taylor University's success in engaged learning. 

 

Through community-engaged scholarship, Guebert and his students have developed the Upland Wellhead Protection Plan, studied water quality of the Mississinewa River watershed, and traveled to Guatemala to drill water wells in remote villages and Professor Michael Guebertimplement appropriate technologies of water filters, latrines, and hygiene education. 

 

 

 

Taylor University   

Professor Mike Guebert  

 

GuebertjumpCLICK HERE to read more 

TopofWatchHousingstory

WATCH Housing Advocacy Clinic Benefits from Partnership With Brandeis University

Credit for the majority of this article goes to "Civic Engagement: Public Service, Personal Responsibility" from Rutgers University School of Public Affairs and Administration.

 

TopMaria sits in the waiting room of the WATCH Housing Advocacy Clinic, her energetic toddler sitting restlessly on her lap. It's frigid for early November and freezing rain is pouring down the exterior of the windows in torrents. Maria didn't want to venture out into this weather tonight, but she feels she had no other choice; conditions are worsening in her apartment and the cold weather is coming. She's had no heat for over two weeks, the roaches infesting her apartment scamper away whenever she turns on a light, the lock on her front door is broken, and lately the landlorGolden in consultationd has been entering unannounced to "check on things."  

 

She has complained and objected to him about all of these issues repeatedly but is afraid to push too hard; she's undocumented and fearful of the consequences. She's already struggling to pay rent, and is at the end of her rope -- overwhelmed but has heard from friends that the Advocacy Clinic might be able to help.  

 

Brandeis' Laura Goldin   

in consultation.  

 

Jump

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE>>>  

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Guebertjumptocontinuation
Taylor University Professor Michael Guebert Wins
Brian Hiltunen Award...story continues...                
 
"I felt honored to be selected for the 2011 Hiltunen Faculty Award. I thank the selection committee for choosing me and also my service-engagement colleagues at Taylor University for supporting me. This recognition may have come to me from Indiana Campus Compact, but it is possible only because of their encouragement, development, and support for me and for Taylor over the last decade. Any success that Taylor and I have enjoyed in community-engaged scholarship is a direct reflection on their continued and excellent support through funding and professional development opportunities," says Guebert.
 Guebert went on to say, "I've attended many ICC events and trainings in the past and I consistently come away from them refreshed and invigorated to continue the pursuit of engaged scholarship both at the personal and at the institutional level."

Maggie Stevens, Executive Director, Indiana Campus Compact, praised Guebert for his, "...active decision to engage his classes in service-learning and to assist fellow faculty members in adding service-learning to their courses across the disciplines."  

 

 

The Brian Douglas Hiltunen Award for the Outstanding Contribution to the Scholarship of Engagement is presented annually to recognize faculty at ICC member campuses who are exemplars of the scholarship of engagement. The Hiltunen Award was established in 2000 to honor the memory of Brian Hiltunen and his work with faculty who are practicing the scholarship of engagement. With this award Indiana Campus Compact celebrates Brian's life and commitment to the concerns of Ernest Boyer and others who promote the transforming power of the scholarship of engagement. Full-time faculty members on ICC campuses are eligible and encouraged to apply for this award.
ReturntotopofstoryCLICK HERE to return to top of story 
WATCHadvocacystorycontinuesWATCH Advocacy Clinic Story continues > > >

 

Maria is an all-too-typical client of the WATCH Housing Advocacy Clinic, a free drop-in service in a storefront along the busy downtown of Waltham, MA. The Advocacy Clinic assists clients with fair and safe housing issues, including addressing lead, asbestos and other environmental exposure risks often present in low-income housing, and preventing evictions and homelessness. A wide variety of clients seek help at the clinic; advocates assist single mothers and fathers, teenagers, the elderly, the mentally and physically disabled.  

 

The Housing Advocacy Clinic also often provides the first critical point of contact for many in the low-income, often immigrant community for referral to other needed services such as food and fuel assistance, medical care, domestic abuse prevention and job training. In addition, the clinic serves as a link for clients to become involved with WATCH's advocacy and organizing efforts for affordable housing, and connect them to weatherization programs, English and financial literacy classes, and free vouchers for the local community farms organic outreach market.   

 

The clinic began in 2007 with Laura Goldin's Brandeis University undergraduate Environmental Law class as a novel partnership with WATCH, the local affordable housing and community development organization, in collaboration with the Boston College Law School Legal Assistance Bureau. The goal was to meet a real community need for tenant advocacy by leveraging the learning and energy of college students. The clinic has operated continuously since that time, with 250+ students assisting at least twice that number of individuals and families in the local area.  

 

The "staff": trained students and student leaders from Goldin's further community-engaged learning classes, along with assistance from the undergraduate Martin Luther King Scholars and Friends club and others who assist as translators for the many Hispanic, Haitian-Creole, and other non-English speakers.  

 

Dr. Goldin is committed to this type of teaching because, "This is how I think students can learn in perhaps one of the best ways possible: tackling real-word, complex, multidisciplinary issues directly. They also can contribute significantly as they learn, building relationships and working together with the individuals and communities affected. This is the kind of learning that affects them deeply, requires development of understanding and skills to meet the real challenges, and remains with them as they continue to learn, graduate, pursue careers, and participate in their own communities as caring citizens."  

 

She is personally inspired "...to see students benefit from what I hope will be a profoundly meaningful and transformative experience, and overjoyed as they go on to contribute in their own right. If designed properly, it is also a wonderfully effective way to help local organizations meet identified, sometimes critical, needs of the community by leveraging the talents, creativity, and energy of students." 

 

Each semester and summGoldin and her studentser, two or three experienced student leaders serve as directed interns to supervise, organize, train, and direct the clinic's day-to-day  

 

 

Goldin (center in white t-shirt) and her students  

 

operation. These leaders are key to the Advocacy Clinic's successful and sustaining operation. Some have initiated significant improvements and additions, including creating and raising money for an emergency fund to provide small amounts of financial aid to clients at imminent risk of homelessness or other dire needs. Other students have helped to target issues of concern brought to light by the clinic, including patterns of discrimination in rentals and multifamily buildings with lead contamination. The Boston College Legal Assistance Bureau has been an essential partner for referral of cases requiring legal assistance beyond the Clinic's purview.

 

The Advocacy Clinic has become a bustling place in serving community needs in its 4 years of operation. On any night it's not uncommon for both narrow Clinic rooms to be overflowing into even narrower hallways with a procession of 6-8 families. This need is no surprise; the densely-populated South Side of Waltham bordered by Brandeis and WATCH is home to more than half the city's population and the majority of the city's low-income immigrant families. According to the 2000 Census, nearly a third of those earn less than $25,000 per year (most who come to the clinic earn far less) and nearly 23% of South Side adults do not have high school diplomas. Twenty-five percent of South Side households with children are headed by single women, who historically face the highest levels of poverty.

 

The free clinic offers to that population and others a welcoming environment with caring student staff eager to educate and assist. To the students, it offers an opportunity to apply their learning and develop hands-on skills in housing law and legal research, interviewing and counseling, advocacy and more. It also enables them to become deeply engaged in the array of environmental and social justice issues faced by the richly diverse community surrounding the campus, and challenge themselves, often beyond their usual "comfort zone" to learn and grow as individuals.

-------

 

Maria walks out of the Advocacy Clinic office after her hour-long visit with the students, knowing much more and feeling hopeful. She has learned that she has real rights as a tenant despite her lack of documentation, and avenues for immediate assistance to fix the critical problems in her apartment. She also has begun the application process for food stamps to ease her strained budget, connected with the utility company to restore the heat at reduced rates, applied for English classes, and learned about the many other resources available to her in the area. Most importantly perhaps, she has learned that she can solve many of her problems by asserting her rights, and that she herself can play an active role in joining with others to create a more just and empowered community.

<<< CLICK HERE to return to top of story 

 ReturntotopofWATCHadvocacy   

About Campus Compact

Campus Compact is a coalition of nearly 1,200 college and university presidents--representing some 6 million students-- who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education.

 

As the only national association dedicated solely to this mission, Campus Compact is  

a leader in building  

civic engagement into campus and academic life.

 

 Through our national office and network of 35 state offices, members receive the training, resources, and advocacy they need to build  

strong surrounding communities and  

teach the skills and  

values of democracy.

 

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Contact Information

 { To learn more about Campus Compact programs and initiatives contact:

Amy Smitter, Director of Institutional Development 

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E: asmitter@compact.org    T: 517-231-7901  

 

Or visit us on the web at:

www.compact.org