2012-2013 Grantees

The Service-Learning Course Grants Program works to support new and developing service-learning courses that address community needs and have the potential for a long-term, sustainable impact on their communities. Courses supported by these grants are selected by experienced service-learning faculty and exemplify innovative ways to make service an essential part of an academic curriculum. We are pleased to share that through the support of the Office of Outreach and Engagement and the Office of Undergraduate Education, we have been able to leverage over $38,000 into 13 service-learning offerings for the 2013-2014 school year.


LeFevre Fellows (Jennifer Anthony, Ohio State Newark)

LeFevre Fellows (ASC 1102H) offers 15 students a $1500 academic-year fellowship for participating in two sequential one-credit-hour courses in service learning. The course offers students an opportunity to become knowledgeable about service-learning best practices and to build teamwork skills before embarking on their spring projects. The grant will fund an opportunity to incorporate three programs already in place into the course, all of which work to improve college access and retention.

The three programs:

  • SparkPE, an exercise program targeted at but not limited to schoolchildren with ADHD or executive function disorders. Students will be educated on the nature of ADHD and related difficulties and on ADHD coaching methods as well.
  • Next Step Mentoring and Tutoring, in which Newark campus students tutor schoolchildren involved in the juvenile court system.
  • Explore College, an intensive three-week college planning program, which provides 20-30 Newark families with 3 three-hour workshops each spring. This will give students an opportunity to research Licking County college graduation rates and develop skills in leadership, administration, and publicity.

Organizing these three programs into one class will give the students involved in each a chance to form a sense of community and allow them all to receive sustained instruction in service-learning principles. While the class will be divided into teams of five, each assigned to one project, the class as a whole will read, discuss, and practice exercises to help them understand the power of service learning and to avoid its pitfalls (such as seeing it as charity work). The class will also research and present information relevant to the content (such as college access issues or ADHD rates in Ohio), consider the challenges and rewards of crosscultural communication, and consider ways to ensure that the community partners are fully collaborative partners.


Honors Biology 1113H and the Multiple Myeloma Opportunities for Research and Education (Kelsie Bernot and Amy Kulesza, Center for Life Sciences Education)

This proposal supports an expanded service learning partnership between the Center for Life Sciences Education Bio1113H Biology course and Multiple Myeloma Opportunities for Research and Education (MMMORE). Inspiration for this partnership came from a continual request from students who wanted a better understanding of how Biology had relevance to their future lives beyond the classroom. Students will be involved in the design and execution of both a community educational event and a fundraising event for MMORE each semester. As a learning activity separate from the gala and educational symposia, students will tour a research laboratory at OSU to learn details of specific research projects, view equipment and resources that were purchased with MMORE funds, and meet with a patient to discuss the reality of a MM diagnosis / treatment / survivorship plan. All of these activities will help students meet learning goals for the application of technology to the community, awareness of science as a human endeavor with social consequences and responsibilities and with a great potential for meeting present and future challenges, and understanding of the scientific process from hypothesis to experimental design and interpretation. This service learning project provides an opportunity for students to participate in the full circle of meeting a cancer patient, learning about research to provide better treatment, contributing to an educational event for either patients or clinicians, and participating in a service activity to fund that research that will eventually help future cancer patients.


Eyes on Community Health (Jacqueline Davis, School of Optometry)

“Eyes on Community Health” is a service-learning course created to offer students a broadened understanding of the impact that factors such as culture, economics, religion, logistics and gender have on the United States healthcare system. The primary community partner will be the National Optometric Student Association (NOSA), which has established a community glaucoma screening program within the OSU College of Optometry over the past 5 years. The secondary partner will be Partners Achieving Community Transformation (PACT), which is a historic redevelopment initiative on Columbus’ Near East Side working to create a healthy, financially and environmentally sustainable community where residents have access to safe and affordable housing, quality healthcare and education, and employment opportunities on the Near East Side of Columbus, Ohio. Students will be trained to administer community glaucoma screenings and participate in Health Improvization to Educate (HITE) events with community members. Engaging college students in the active learning process of providing direct healthcare to those with limited resources will provide a framework for a better understanding of factors that impact health outcomes as well as an opportunity for students to understand the importance and benefits of community service.


Interprofessional Teamwork Grant

This course will provide students in Social Work, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy, an opportunity to collaborate in a real-life practice setting by working together to serve patients in need of free health care-related services. The Columbus Free Clinic (CFC) serves as the program’s community partner. The mission of the CFC is to provide free health care services to those in need. Students would be placed at the CFC during free clinic hours on Thursday evenings throughout the semester, and will also have interactive classroom time to discuss and reflect on their work. In this context, students would learn not only about how their chosen profession serves the public, but also become acclimated to different professional competencies and scopes of practice. Ideally, at the end of the course, students will have sharpened their skills to better work in an interprofessional team, as well as have gained an enhanced understanding of how their profession delivers services in a health care context.

DarcyEconomics of Immigration (Darcy Hartman, School of Economics)

The purpose of this course is to study the economic aspects of immigration. This course is being planned as a May term course to be taught in four weeks. Three weeks will be in the classroom. One week (planned as week three) will be devoted to a service-learning program which will allow students to work within an immigrant community to have a better understanding of the impact of immigration. We will be partnering with Esperanza International in La Gloria, Mexico located outside of Tijuana. The mission of this organization is to cultivate global citizenship through international service experiences in working toward a better world. During their week of service learning, students will work as a group with various households and communities on the outskirts of Tijuana to help build new homes or improve existing homes. They will be able to experience firsthand the economics of production and cost as they work alongside our community partners. They will be able to witness a community in development, dealing with a lack of municipal services as a result of a rapid population growth rate due to the influx of new immigrants. They will be able to use their economics background to help the members of the community understand how to maximize their own particular goals.

Intersection of American Sign Language, Deaf Culture, and the Deaf Community (Tia Jones and Kristin Saxon, The Ohio State American Sign Language Program)

This is a course that will increase student awareness of agencies and organizations that serve the central Ohio deaf community. Students will have the opportunity to use American Sign Language with fluent users and apply their understanding of cultural norms and expectations through providing needed services and support at those organizations.  Since Columbus has the largest deaf and hard of hearing population in Ohio, there are several potential work sites for students.  Students will rotate between two worksites throughout the course of the semester, culminating in a community presentation that synthesizes and celebrates their service experiences with agencies and organizations.


Columbus International High School Online Newspaper (Nicole Kraft, School of Journalism)

This proposal will support a course where journalism and world language Ohio State students apply the skills they have learned in their coursework to create an online newspaper featuring four different languages with students at a public foreign language-based high school.

The Columbus International School is focused on creating a global learning community that helps prepare its students for real world goals and careers. The creation of a news enterprise helps accomplish both of those goals by building a stronger community through better published communication, and by teaching them journalism and language skills and responsibilities that will be translatable to a real world environment.

Ohio State student journalists will guide and teach the high schoolers to write, edit, design and create a journalism product for their school population. Ohio State Foreign language students will then use their skill and experiences to help students immersed in core foreign languages create original foreign language content and article transcriptions from English into core languages.

This service project will provide an avenue for communication throughout the school, outside to parents and stakeholders, and beyond to the community at large to better inform and involve them in the school activities. This project will provide that service across all those invested in this high school, while at the same time connecting students to a world beyond their own borders through foreign language incorporation.


Business Honors Contract Program (Judith Tansky, Fisher College of Business)

The Pay it Forward Student Philanthropy model provides service-learning courses with the opportunity to experience philanthropy by distributing real money to local nonprofits. This model will be used by The Fisher College of Business Honors Contract Program through our grants program this year. This course allows students to understand the theory of social enterprise and how it relates to non-profits by developing a business plan for a non-profit or social enterprise project. The non-profits or social ventures will send representatives to present information about the opportunity or problem they want the students to address and the deliverables they expect, and students will work in teams to create a project proposal. At the conclusion of the course, student teams will present out to the class on their proposals. The projects will be judged by a panel of four professionals in the area including Tony Wells (The Tony Wells Family Foundation) and a representative from The Columbus Foundation. The non-profits themselves will also evaluate the presentations and projects and give feedback. The money will be awarded by the panel of professionals to the non-profit or non-profits that they determine can benefit from the money because they can actually implement what the students have proposed.


Early Childhood Pedagogy (Christian Winterbottom, Ohio State Mansfield)

The premise of this early childhood pedagogy course is to prepare Ohio State University-Mansfield students to work in the classroom, and to be able to use different developmentally appropriate pedgagogies. The service-learning components of this course will introduce the concept of service-learning as a pedagogy that students can use in the classroom. Students will work with the Richland Community Development Group, which works to further develop Mansfield and Richland County, as well as the United Way. Students will work together to determine a service-learning project they’d like to work on, and will then have the opportunity to identify area nonprofits to collaborate with. This course will contribute to Ohio State University- Mansfield’s third year of implementing service-learning in their community, and continuing to grow the presence of service-learning on their campus.

Chinese Service-Learning Practicum (Sunny Zong, Chinese Flagship Program)

The Chinese Flagship program Service-Learning Practicum provides students with the opportunity to practically apply what he or she has learned about Chinese culture to real world situations. Using the “learning by doing” method students will be providing valuable services to the Chinese-American community. For 2 units of credit, students will spend approximately 3- 4 hours per week off campus in a field setting in which cultural integration services are being provided to various populations (Chinese school children, Chinese senior citizens, etc.) and 1-2 hours per week developing instructional materials or organizing activities. There are two aspects that the student is expected to observe. One is problems faced by Chinese in America and how the student can help them to bridge cultural and communication gaps. The other is problems faced by Americans integrating Chinese into US society and how the student can facilitate communication between the two sides. Students will get one-on-one experience with aiding cultural integration, mediation, and translation as well as the opportunity to learn a great deal about Central Ohio’s cultural Chinese communities.