2015 Honor Roll

This page recognizes outstanding service-learning and community service by Ohio State students, faculty, and staff. The following stories were gathered as part of Ohio State’s application for the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Service in Academic Year 2013-2014*

By University Area

Curriculum

ES HESA 2571S: Leadership in Community Service

For 17 years, Leadership in Community Service has been an undergraduate leadership course offered through the Educational Studies department with a service-learning focus.  This popular course averages 200 students, enrolled in 10 to 12 sections, completing 500 to 600 hours of service each year.  Each semester, instructors and students partner with 12 community partners or agencies working in the areas of homelessness, hunger, poverty, and access to education.  These include after-school and tutoring programs, food pantries, neighborhood resource centers, and social service agencies.  Each partner organization hosts 5 to 10 students who each devote 2 to 3 hours of service every week.  Community partners act as co-educators, orienting students to their missions, explaining potential duties, and working to provide a seamless learning environment that connects in and out-of-class experiences.  In-class content focuses on privilege, power, structural causes for need, intercultural leadership, and creating social change.  Ultimately, the goal is to provide students with a meaningful service experience coupled with many opportunities for reflection and new paradigms for viewing issues that affect our local community.  Instructors and community partners are in constant contact throughout the semester to ensure students are developing a responsible and positive relationship with the partners and engaging in meaningful work that ties course readings and topics to the work of their partner agency.  The partners also benefit from the work of the students, with many commenting that they find the service of these OSU students to be invaluable to their continued success.  Partners are invited to attend the first and last class session to listen to student presentations and provide feedback.  Community partners return year after year to work with the course, and several of the partnerships have existed for 15 years or more.  The longevity and popularity of this course speak to its impact and quality, with both partner organizations and students realizing impactful benefits.  The university’s commitment to this sort of mutually beneficial service-learning is also seen as the course has continued to grow and improve.  It is now a general education option and a required course for a university-wide leadership studies minor for undergraduates.

Soc 2211S: Corrections: An Inside-Out Course

For five years, faculty in the Sociology Department have partnered with the Southeastern Correctional Complex (SCC) to offer Corrections: An Inside-Out Course, an experiential learning class that includes Ohio State and incarcerated individuals in classes at SCC.  By bringing these students together, the course seeks to transform their thinking about crime and justice and empower them as agents of social change.  Topics include the criminal justice system, punishment and rehabilitation, restorative justice, and the relationship between crime and social justice.  Students consider the causes and consequences of mass incarceration and explore the impact of crime, imprisonment, and related policies on victims and communities.  At each semester’s end, students present a project that includes recommendations for change.  For example, students have presented their proposals on parole reform to prison and parole board officials as well as victims’ rights advocates.  The course enriches students’ academic and personal lives, deepening their knowledge of their communities as well as of their own abilities and capacity.  The course is also specifically structured to benefit the incarcerated students, Southeastern Correctional Complex, and related organizations.  Since it began, the course has been extended, and now similar courses are offered from three Ohio State campuses.  One example of the real world impact the students in the course have made is the influence of their recommendations on re-entry programs as the prison administrators developed a “reintegration dorm.”  Students have presented papers at local and national conferences, been invited guest lecturers at universities across Ohio, and published journal articles about their experiences.  Previous “inside” students have become co-facilitators for the course, holding weekly office hours at the prison and helping identify fellow inmates as potential students.  Students have also helped develop didactic workshops with state officials to discuss the changes needed in the state of Ohio.  This unique course exemplifies the university’s mission to extend the work of the institution to the entire state of Ohio and advance the well-being of the people of Ohio.

Public Health in Action

The field of public health seeks to extend the potential benefits of the physical and behavioral sciences to all groups in society, especially when the burden of disease and ill health is unequally distributed. Public Health in Action is a field-based graduate course taught by faculty in the College of Public Health to prepare future practitioners for the realities of addressing conditions that negatively affect the health status of the most vulnerable populations. The course is intended to provide graduate students with real world experience in public health research and practice. Each year, the course starts with grounding in the research associated with the health issue. After meeting with community partners, students develop an action plan. The focus of the course varies from year to year depending on partnerships and community needs. Over the years, partners have included Columbus Public Health, United Way, Broad St. United Methodist Church, Healthy Mothers and Babies Coalition, Neighborhood Services Inc., Amethyst Inc., Faith Mission, St. Vincent DePaul, YWCA Family Center, Physicians Free Clinic and others. In 2010, students assessed the availability and affordability of healthy food sold in corner stores in disenfranchised areas of Columbus. Findings from the course served as a community assessment for United Way’s ‘Fresh Food Here’ project which resulted in increased availability of fresh foods in low income areas of the city. In another iteration of the course, students examined the healthcare provided to post-partum women struggling with substance abuse, identifying gaps in the continuum of care and leading to more efficient service delivery. More recently, students researched the dynamics of poverty as a determinant for social health, and volunteered with a community partner to improve health care for their clients. With each student enrolled in the class providing at least 42 hours of volunteer work for community partners serving residents in poverty, the course’s collective contribution each year is over 1,000 hours of service. The impact on students is profound. One student who volunteered with Faith Mission and Broad St. UMC wrote, ‘In classes we often think of people in poverty as a number. It was hard for me to wrap my head around the idea of Columbus having thousands of homeless people. I am more empathetic by not quickly judging and dismissing people I may see on the street, sides of the roads, or on the bus.’ Many students have continued to volunteer with their community partners after the class, and one student was even employed by the food bank she worked with after graduation. Community partners have also shared the benefit of participating in the course. One recently stated, “The students from your Public Health in Action class have been crucial to the development and implementation of our feeding 9,312 individuals a seven day supply of food in 2013 […] One of the many strengths of your class is that it meshes classroom and the day to day operation of serving our neighbors. Your class is a win/win for the both students and our neighbors. We always look forward to working with you and your class.” Public Health in Action is an example of a service-learning course that relies on mutually beneficial community partnerships to make an impact on our community.  Based on the success of this course, the course instructor recently received a grant to develop a similar course for undergraduate students which will be offered each semester next year.

Research/Practicum

Training Culturally Sensitive Students for Community-Based Research with Vulnerable Populations

University-community partnerships have the intellectual and technical capacity to conduct quality research with underserved populations.  One critical component to the success of such endeavors involves students.  Often serving as the face of the university at the front lines of data collection and education, students remain paramount to the university’s reputation and success.  To ensure quality outcomes for the partners in a recent community-based pilot, a team of professors worked with community partners to design, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive evidence-based education and training module for multidisciplinary students in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.  Facilitated by interdisciplinary experts and community partners, students were exposed to topics including cultural sensitivity, health literacy, disparities, ethics, survey methods, and community-based research specific to vulnerable and underserved populations.  Traditional classroom training was combined with research simulations, community-actor role-modeling, field observations, and supervised practice.  The results of this novel and targeted training have led to impactful outcomes based upon programmatic evaluations, community feedback, student adherence, and quality data collection.  Students functioned on a cooperative team that built relationships with community partners and food pantry clients, learning about the roles of nonprofit organizations in community change and responsible practices in a disparate community.  After the training module, students logged 774 hours of onsite research, community service, outreach, and engagement over 10 weeks.  130 pantry clients received health screenings, and 85% were in need of healthcare referrals.  Students engaged with staff and pantry clients on multiple levels, from data collection to re-stocking pantry shelves, taking out the trash, and assisting in the soup kitchen.  The food pantry clients also cooperated and engaged with students, with many clients encouraging friends and family members to complete a health assessment based on their positive experience.  The community partners have requested further collaborative experiences and invited the team to contribute to leadership meetings.  Many of the students have continued to volunteer in the community setting and with further data analyses and publication.  Prior to the training module, students were apprehensive about engaging with a community in which they had little to no previous experience.  The community-based training modules were critical to alleviating students’ reservations and addressing potential barriers prior to directly engaging with the community.  Open discussions and classroom activities corrected many misconceptions about food insecure individuals and their circumstances.  Students were consistently encouraged to empathize with clients and consider the value of assessing individual circumstances and availability of resources in their decision-making and recommendations.  This sort of advance preparation and continuous reflection with students helps ensure a high quality experience for both students and community organizations, advancing the university as a responsible and impactful community partner.

UResearch: Undergraduate Research Laboratory in Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology

The Undergraduate Research Laboratory, UResearch, in the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology is dedicated to promoting undergraduate research in the Natural Sciences and strives to provide research opportunities for aspiring young scientists, future doctors, and teachers who would like to take their academic studies beyond the classroom.  UResearch students teach biodiversity, conservation, and basic science to local grade schools, visiting several schools each year to engage students in hands-on activities with live arthropods.  Four distinct programs (Amazing Bugs, Termite Trail, Beetles under the Stars, and Science with Beetles) teach how working with live arthropods can help scientists understand the interactions between animals and their environment, while also covering a range of topics from global warming to insights into human behavior.  Student-instructors also emphasize the role of serendipity in discovery, deductive and inductive reasoning, and the scientific method.  The program began with single day school visits, which student-instructors are still encouraged to arrange, but UResearch has also worked closely with teachers to build structured, longer-lasting programs after receiving positive feedback.  These programs are developed to match and be incorporated into the curriculum at partner elementary and middle schools.  The program has also expanded to include partnerships with the OSU Planetarium and Columbus MetroParks.  Evaluations of students in the target schools show that participants see a scientific career as more interesting and attainable after the program.  As field trips become increasingly difficult for teachers to organize and fund, these sorts of outreach education programs become ever more important, especially in STEM education where experiential education is very valuable.  Over 1,800 children have been able to explore basic science and animal diversity through these UResearch outreach activities.

Inter-professional Teamwork in Underserved Patient Care

The Columbus Free Clinic (CFC) is a clinic maintained and staffed by volunteer students, faculty, and medical professionals from the Wexner Medical Center that serves the uninsured in Columbus. CFC was founded on two main pillars: 1) service of the community and 2) education of its volunteers. By leveraging grants from OSU, the Ohio Association of Free Clinics, and the Association of American Medical Colleges, as well as annual fundraising events, last year the CFC served over 1,500 patients and provided over 500 richly rewarding volunteer experiences through year-round evening clinic hours. Since its inception, the clinic has evolved and a third pillar has arisen: the importance of inter-professional collaboration. In order to deliver the best comprehensive care, the CFC uses a diverse team of medical, pharmacy, nursing, and social work students and professionals.  This environment not only brings about the highest levels of care, but also fosters a nurturing learning opportunity where students can learn and grow along with one another. In an effort to further integrate students, a new service-learning course has been created in partnership with the College of Pharmacy, College of Nursing and College of Social Work. The service experiences in the clinic differ for each of the health professions. The nursing students are working primarily in the lab providing crucial tests to patients in need. The pharmacy students work with physicians to provide patients with the appropriate medications and screen patients with multiple medications for drug interactions and/or redundancies. The social work students provide assistance with all-around patient health as they are able to offer an array of support services ranging from counseling to connection with community resources. This collaborative environment allows students to practice their procedural skills and fosters an environment where students teach one another, all while making a marked difference in a patient’s life. The service-learning aspect includes discussing experiences at the CFC and a bi-monthly seminar that helps to both enrich the educational process and improve patient care. This course builds upon the students’ previous knowledge and experiences to expand understanding of inter-professional teams and the provision of care to culturally-diverse uninsured, underinsured, and underserved populations, which is especially important for the clinic’s predominantly immigrant or unemployed clients. The knowledge and understanding gained from workshops can then directly be applied to the service component at CFC. All faculty are also involved with CFC beyond this course, either coordinating student volunteers or volunteering themselves. A research project to assess the students’ achievement of Inter-professional Education Collaborative competencies has shown that this service-learning experience is an effective pedagogical platform. This course benefits the students, the clinic, and most importantly, the patient community they serve.

Student Life

Social Change

The Department of Social Change, also known as Buckeye Civic Engagement Connection (BCEC), was launched in 2012 to train students and alumni to collaborate in developing innovative poverty solutions that address one or more key areas of focus: community development, education, elderly citizens/health, and design in urban and rural communities.  BCEC works to connect Ohio State with its surrounding communities, focusing specifically on programming for individuals, families, and entire communities facing poverty and its consequences.  Seeking to address the problems of persistent and concentrated urban and rural poverty and provide a pathway out of poverty, BCEC uses local human capital to increase educational opportunities for vulnerable youth that include learning beyond the classroom.  With respect to student engagement, the program emphasizes place-based initiatives to minimize poverty tourism.  Through sustainable, community-driven, place-based, multi-disciplinary projects BCEC aims to bring together the Ohio State and central Ohio communities to empower individuals and improve the quality of life for the citizens of central Ohio.  Comprehensive projects of civic engagement create opportunities for Ohio State students to develop into informed students while also providing a valuable service experience.  Through BCEC over a thousand students devote time every week to understanding the needs of the greater Columbus area community and providing support, resources, and volunteer time to those communities.  This immersive engagement includes deep-rooted dialogue on learning outcomes, reflection, and expansive goal-setting.  While the program has many initiatives, one example of the impact BCEC has comes from the tutoring initiative.  Ohio State students are permanent fixtures at the after-school programs of many local elementary and middle schools.  Students in the Social Change program devoted to elementary school engagement celebrated alongside their students when 100% of the 3rd grade classes they supported passed the 3rd Grade Reading Guarantee test in 2014.  Many of the Ohio State students in BCEC have been transformed by this engaging form of service, channeling their experiences into their chosen career paths.  BCEC has created a cohort of strong, informed, motivated, and empowered young leaders who will be the community’s future educators, non-profit volunteers, community organizers, social workers, and engaged citizens.

College Mentors for Kids

College Mentors for Kids at The Ohio State University is a student run organization that brings local “at-risk” 1st through 4th graders to Ohio State’s campus for one on one mentoring. The program currently serves 200 students from 4 schools, with over 230 OSU students as mentors, making it one of the largest student organizations on campus. The schools that are served are primarily economically disadvantaged, just a few miles from one of the largest universities in the country, but whose students have never seen the campus and its opportunities themselves. Each school comes to campus once each week for 2 hours, and the same students attend the whole year. While on campus, the elementary students and their mentors participate in activities focused on higher education and careers, culture and diversity, and community service. The students who attend the program are all potential first generation college students who are recommended for the program by their teachers. This program is free to the families and schools involved. One of the program’s goals is to increase educational engagement among youth participants to encourage educational achievement and future economic self-sufficiency.  This program exists to empower children and show that learning doesn’t have to happen only behind a desk in a classroom. By forming long-lasting mentoring relationships, these children gain confidence and resources to be successful. The relationships formed through the program impact the lives of both the elementary student mentees and their OSU student mentors.  For the mentors involved in the program, the goal is to increase community engagement to develop community leaders and life-long civil servants.  Because of the size and effort involved in this program, it also produces strong student leaders with experience coordinating over 400 people. End-of-year surveys measure success in achieving desired goals for the children. To measure outcomes related to college student engagement, the volunteers are also surveyed. 89.7% of mentees said they wanted to attend college, and 100% of mentors responded that they had developed new skills by being a mentor. After surveying teachers engaged in the program, student leaders plan to host a community-centered event in the fall, as well as directly seeking sponsorship and involvement from one or more Columbus-based corporations. By inviting outside businesses to help facilitate an activity for the elementary school students in the program, these students gain exposure to even more opportunities in Columbus.

By Honor Roll Section

General

Soc 2211S: Corrections: An Inside-Out Course

For five years, faculty in the Sociology Department have partnered with the Southeastern Correctional Complex (SCC) to offer Corrections: An Inside-Out Course, an experiential learning class that includes Ohio State and incarcerated individuals in classes at SCC.  By bringing these students together, the course seeks to transform their thinking about crime and justice and empower them as agents of social change.  Topics include the criminal justice system, punishment and rehabilitation, restorative justice, and the relationship between crime and social justice.  Students consider the causes and consequences of mass incarceration and explore the impact of crime, imprisonment, and related policies on victims and communities.  At each semester’s end, students present a project that includes recommendations for change.  For example, students have presented their proposals on parole reform to prison and parole board officials as well as victims’ rights advocates.  The course enriches students’ academic and personal lives, deepening their knowledge of their communities as well as of their own abilities and capacity.  The course is also specifically structured to benefit the incarcerated students, Southeastern Correctional Complex, and related organizations.  Since it began, the course has been extended, and now similar courses are offered from three Ohio State campuses.  One example of the real world impact the students in the course have made is the influence of their recommendations on re-entry programs as the prison administrators developed a “reintegration dorm.”  Students have presented papers at local and national conferences, been invited guest lecturers at universities across Ohio, and published journal articles about their experiences.  Previous “inside” students have become co-facilitators for the course, holding weekly office hours at the prison and helping identify fellow inmates as potential students.  Students have also helped develop didactic workshops with state officials to discuss the changes needed in the state of Ohio.  This unique course exemplifies the university’s mission to extend the work of the institution to the entire state of Ohio and advance the well-being of the people of Ohio.

Training Culturally Sensitive Students for Community-Based Research with Vulnerable Populations

University-community partnerships have the intellectual and technical capacity to conduct quality research with underserved populations.  One critical component to the success of such endeavors involves students.  Often serving as the face of the university at the front lines of data collection and education, students remain paramount to the university’s reputation and success.  To ensure quality outcomes for the partners in a recent community-based pilot, a team of professors worked with community partners to design, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive evidence-based education and training module for multidisciplinary students in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.  Facilitated by interdisciplinary experts and community partners, students were exposed to topics including cultural sensitivity, health literacy, disparities, ethics, survey methods, and community-based research specific to vulnerable and underserved populations.  Traditional classroom training was combined with research simulations, community-actor role-modeling, field observations, and supervised practice.  The results of this novel and targeted training have led to impactful outcomes based upon programmatic evaluations, community feedback, student adherence, and quality data collection.  Students functioned on a cooperative team that built relationships with community partners and food pantry clients, learning about the roles of nonprofit organizations in community change and responsible practices in a disparate community.  After the training module, students logged 774 hours of onsite research, community service, outreach, and engagement over 10 weeks.  130 pantry clients received health screenings, and 85% were in need of healthcare referrals.  Students engaged with staff and pantry clients on multiple levels, from data collection to re-stocking pantry shelves, taking out the trash, and assisting in the soup kitchen.  The food pantry clients also cooperated and engaged with students, with many clients encouraging friends and family members to complete a health assessment based on their positive experience.  The community partners have requested further collaborative experiences and invited the team to contribute to leadership meetings.  Many of the students have continued to volunteer in the community setting and with further data analyses and publication.  Prior to the training module, students were apprehensive about engaging with a community in which they had little to no previous experience.  The community-based training modules were critical to alleviating students’ reservations and addressing potential barriers prior to directly engaging with the community.  Open discussions and classroom activities corrected many misconceptions about food insecure individuals and their circumstances.  Students were consistently encouraged to empathize with clients and consider the value of assessing individual circumstances and availability of resources in their decision-making and recommendations.  This sort of advance preparation and continuous reflection with students helps ensure a high quality experience for both students and community organizations, advancing the university as a responsible and impactful community partner.

ES HESA 2571S: Leadership in Community Service

For 17 years, Leadership in Community Service has been an undergraduate leadership course offered through the Educational Studies department with a service-learning focus.  This popular course averages 200 students, enrolled in 10 to 12 sections, completing 500 to 600 hours of service each year.  Each semester, instructors and students partner with 12 community partners or agencies working in the areas of homelessness, hunger, poverty, and access to education.  These include after-school and tutoring programs, food pantries, neighborhood resource centers, and social service agencies.  Each partner organization hosts 5 to 10 students who each devote 2 to 3 hours of service every week.  Community partners act as co-educators, orienting students to their missions, explaining potential duties, and working to provide a seamless learning environment that connects in and out-of-class experiences.  In-class content focuses on privilege, power, structural causes for need, intercultural leadership, and creating social change.  Ultimately, the goal is to provide students with a meaningful service experience coupled with many opportunities for reflection and new paradigms for viewing issues that affect our local community.  Instructors and community partners are in constant contact throughout the semester to ensure students are developing a responsible and positive relationship with the partners and engaging in meaningful work that ties course readings and topics to the work of their partner agency.  The partners also benefit from the work of the students, with many commenting that they find the service of these OSU students to be invaluable to their continued success.  Partners are invited to attend the first and last class session to listen to student presentations and provide feedback.  Community partners return year after year to work with the course, and several of the partnerships have existed for 15 years or more.  The longevity and popularity of this course speak to its impact and quality, with both partner organizations and students realizing impactful benefits.  The university’s commitment to this sort of mutually beneficial service-learning is also seen as the course has continued to grow and improve.  It is now a general education option and a required course for a university-wide leadership studies minor for undergraduates.

Education

Soc 2211S: Corrections: An Inside-Out Course

For five years, faculty in the Sociology Department have partnered with the Southeastern Correctional Complex (SCC) to offer Corrections: An Inside-Out Course, an experiential learning class that includes Ohio State and incarcerated individuals in classes at SCC.  By bringing these students together, the course seeks to transform their thinking about crime and justice and empower them as agents of social change.  Topics include the criminal justice system, punishment and rehabilitation, restorative justice, and the relationship between crime and social justice.  Students consider the causes and consequences of mass incarceration and explore the impact of crime, imprisonment, and related policies on victims and communities.  At each semester’s end, students present a project that includes recommendations for change.  For example, students have presented their proposals on parole reform to prison and parole board officials as well as victims’ rights advocates.  The course enriches students’ academic and personal lives, deepening their knowledge of their communities as well as of their own abilities and capacity.  The course is also specifically structured to benefit the incarcerated students, Southeastern Correctional Complex, and related organizations.  Since it began, the course has been extended, and now similar courses are offered from three Ohio State campuses.  One example of the real world impact the students in the course have made is the influence of their recommendations on re-entry programs as the prison administrators developed a “reintegration dorm.”  Students have presented papers at local and national conferences, been invited guest lecturers at universities across Ohio, and published journal articles about their experiences.  Previous “inside” students have become co-facilitators for the course, holding weekly office hours at the prison and helping identify fellow inmates as potential students.  Students have also helped develop didactic workshops with state officials to discuss the changes needed in the state of Ohio.  This unique course exemplifies the university’s mission to extend the work of the institution to the entire state of Ohio and advance the well-being of the people of Ohio.

UResearch: Undergraduate Research Laboratory in Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology

The Undergraduate Research Laboratory, UResearch, in the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology is dedicated to promoting undergraduate research in the Natural Sciences and strives to provide research opportunities for aspiring young scientists, future doctors, and teachers who would like to take their academic studies beyond the classroom.  UResearch students teach biodiversity, conservation, and basic science to local grade schools, visiting several schools each year to engage students in hands-on activities with live arthropods.  Four distinct programs (Amazing Bugs, Termite Trail, Beetles under the Stars, and Science with Beetles) teach how working with live arthropods can help scientists understand the interactions between animals and their environment, while also covering a range of topics from global warming to insights into human behavior.  Student-instructors also emphasize the role of serendipity in discovery, deductive and inductive reasoning, and the scientific method.  The program began with single day school visits, which student-instructors are still encouraged to arrange, but UResearch has also worked closely with teachers to build structured, longer-lasting programs after receiving positive feedback.  These programs are developed to match and be incorporated into the curriculum at partner elementary and middle schools.  The program has also expanded to include partnerships with the OSU Planetarium and Columbus MetroParks.  Evaluations of students in the target schools show that participants see a scientific career as more interesting and attainable after the program.  As field trips become increasingly difficult for teachers to organize and fund, these sorts of outreach education programs become ever more important, especially in STEM education where experiential education is very valuable.  Since 2012, over 1,500 children have been able to explore basic science and animal diversity through these UResearch outreach activities.

College Mentors for Kids

College Mentors for Kids at The Ohio State University is a student run organization that brings local “at-risk” 1st through 4th graders to Ohio State’s campus for one on one mentoring. The program currently serves 200 students from 4 schools, with over 230 OSU students as mentors, making it one of the largest student organizations on campus. The schools that are served are primarily economically disadvantaged, just a few miles from one of the largest universities in the country, but whose students have never seen the campus and its opportunities themselves. Each school comes to campus once each week for 2 hours, and the same students attend the whole year. While on campus, the elementary students and their mentors participate in activities focused on higher education and careers, culture and diversity, and community service. The students who attend the program are all potential first generation college students who are recommended for the program by their teachers. This program is free to the families and schools involved. One of the program’s goals is to increase educational engagement among youth participants to encourage educational achievement and future economic self-sufficiency.  This program exists to empower children and show that learning doesn’t have to happen only behind a desk in a classroom. By forming long-lasting mentoring relationships, these children gain confidence and resources to be successful. The relationships formed through the program impact the lives of both the elementary student mentees and their OSU student mentors.  For the mentors involved in the program, the goal is to increase community engagement to develop community leaders and life-long civil servants.  Because of the size and effort involved in this program, it also produces strong student leaders with experience coordinating over 400 people. End-of-year surveys measure success in achieving desired goals for the children. To measure outcomes related to college student engagement, the volunteers are also surveyed. 89.7% of mentees said they wanted to attend college, and 100% of mentors responded that they had developed new skills by being a mentor. After surveying teachers engaged in the program, student leaders plan to host a community-centered event in the fall, as well as directly seeking sponsorship and involvement from one or more Columbus-based corporations. By inviting outside businesses to help facilitate an activity for the elementary school students in the program, these students gain exposure to even more opportunities in Columbus.

Economic

Inter-professional Teamwork in Underserved Patient Care

The Columbus Free Clinic (CFC) is a clinic maintained and staffed by volunteer students, faculty, and medical professionals from the Wexner Medical Center that serves the uninsured in Columbus. CFC was founded on two main pillars: 1) service of the community and 2) education of its volunteers. By leveraging grants from OSU, the Ohio Association of Free Clinics, and the Association of American Medical Colleges, as well as annual fundraising events, last year the CFC served over 1,500 patients and provided over 500 richly rewarding volunteer experiences through year-round evening clinic hours. Since its inception, the clinic has evolved and a third pillar has arisen: the importance of inter-professional collaboration. In order to deliver the best comprehensive care, the CFC uses a diverse team of medical, pharmacy, nursing, and social work students and professionals.  This environment not only brings about the highest levels of care, but also fosters a nurturing learning opportunity where students can learn and grow along with one another. In an effort to further integrate students, a new service-learning course has been created in partnership with the College of Pharmacy, College of Nursing and College of Social Work. The service experiences in the clinic differ for each of the health professions. The nursing students are working primarily in the lab providing crucial tests to patients in need. The pharmacy students work with physicians to provide patients with the appropriate medications and screen patients with multiple medications for drug interactions and/or redundancies. The social work students provide assistance with all-around patient health as they are able to offer an array of support services ranging from counseling to connection with community resources. This collaborative environment allows students to practice their procedural skills and fosters an environment where students teach one another, all while making a marked difference in a patient’s life. The service-learning aspect includes discussing experiences at the CFC and a bi-monthly seminar that helps to both enrich the educational process and improve patient care. This course builds upon the students’ previous knowledge and experiences to expand understanding of inter-professional teams and the provision of care to culturally-diverse uninsured, underinsured, and underserved populations, which is especially important for the clinic’s predominantly immigrant or unemployed clients. The knowledge and understanding gained from workshops can then directly be applied to the service component at CFC. All faculty are also involved with CFC beyond this course, either coordinating student volunteers or volunteering themselves. A research project to assess the students’ achievement of Inter-professional Education Collaborative competencies has shown that this service-learning experience is an effective pedagogical platform. This course benefits the students, the clinic, and most importantly, the patient community they serve.

Public Health in Action

The field of public health seeks to extend the potential benefits of the physical and behavioral sciences to all groups in society, especially when the burden of disease and ill health is unequally distributed. Public Health in Action is a field-based graduate course taught by faculty in the College of Public Health to prepare future practitioners for the realities of addressing conditions that negatively affect the health status of the most vulnerable populations. The course is intended to provide graduate students with real world experience in public health research and practice. Each year, the course starts with grounding in the research associated with the health issue. After meeting with community partners, students develop an action plan. The focus of the course varies from year to year depending on partnerships and community needs. Over the years, partners have included Columbus Public Health, United Way, Broad St. United Methodist Church, Healthy Mothers and Babies Coalition, Neighborhood Services Inc., Amethyst Inc., Faith Mission, St. Vincent DePaul, YWCA Family Center, Physicians Free Clinic and others. In 2010, students assessed the availability and affordability of healthy food sold in corner stores in disenfranchised areas of Columbus. Findings from the course served as a community assessment for United Way’s ‘Fresh Food Here’ project which resulted in increased availability of fresh foods in low income areas of the city. In another iteration of the course, students examined the healthcare provided to post-partum women struggling with substance abuse, identifying gaps in the continuum of care and leading to more efficient service delivery. More recently, students researched the dynamics of poverty as a determinant for social health, and volunteered with a community partner to improve health care for their clients. With each student enrolled in the class providing at least 42 hours of volunteer work for community partners serving residents in poverty, the course’s collective contribution each year is over 1,000 hours of service. The impact on students is profound. One student who volunteered with Faith Mission and Broad St. UMC wrote, ‘In classes we often think of people in poverty as a number. It was hard for me to wrap my head around the idea of Columbus having thousands of homeless people. I am more empathetic by not quickly judging and dismissing people I may see on the street, sides of the roads, or on the bus.’ Many students have continued to volunteer with their community partners after the class, and one student was even employed by the food bank she worked with after graduation. Community partners have also shared the benefit of participating in the course. One recently stated, “The students from your Public Health in Action class have been crucial to the development and implementation of our feeding 9,312 individuals a seven day supply of food in 2013 […] One of the many strengths of your class is that it meshes classroom and the day to day operation of serving our neighbors. Your class is a win/win for the both students and our neighbors. We always look forward to working with you and your class.” Public Health in Action is an example of a service-learning course that relies on mutually beneficial community partnerships to make an impact on our community.  Based on the success of this course, the course instructor recently received a grant to develop a similar course for undergraduate students which will be offered each semester next year.