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Inaugural Community-Based Learning Symposium

Center for Community Engagement & Service

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 from 10:30 AM to 3:00 PM (EST)

Inaugural Community-Based Learning Symposium

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The Community-Based Learning Symposium draws together students, faculty, alumni, and community partners to share their stories around academic service-learning and the impact of these collaborations on their educational and professional lives as well as on the community.


The Center for Community Engagement & Service, Career Center, and AU Alumni Association invite you to join in for this celebratory event.


Schedule of the Day:


10:30           Registration and Opening Welcome, MGC 4-5

11:15           Morning Service-Learning Sessions, MGC 245/203

12:15           Lunch & Alumni Panel: Careers in the Nonprofit Sector, MGC 4-5

1:30             Afternoon Service-Learning Sessions, MGC 245/203

2:30             Closing Networking Session and Poster Presentations, MGC 4-5


Detailed Service-Learning Sessions:



     MGC 245

Crossing Borders: Deepening Global Understanding through CBL with the Latino Community

Marcy Campos, Director, Center for Community Engagement & Service and Adjunct Professor (Department of Anthropology); Rachel Gittiger, CARECEN; Jimmy Hoover, Student; Jenn Johnson, Student

Nonprofit staff, students, and faculty will offer their perspectives on the challenges and benefits of community-based learning, drawing from an interdisciplinary course focused on the DC area’s Latino community.  Examples and reflection related to involvement with the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) and Next Step Public Charter School will demonstrate how students can deepen their understanding of issues like the high school dropout rate and immigration, while building global and cultural competencies.

The Community Service-Learning Program: Experiences with CLASE 

Vanessa Moyonero, Student; Kathy Kim, Student and CLASE Co-Chair

Come learn about the Community Service-Learning Program, an add-on credit option that can be earned through a SIS, CAS, Kogod, or SPA course by completing 40 hours of service-learning with a partnering organization and a culminating project. Then learn from AU-based organization, CLASE which works to connect AU students with Aramark workers for language exchange and citizenship preparation.

       MGC 203/205

A Tale of Two Cities: HIV/AIDS at Home and Abroad

Bette Dickerson, Professor (Department of Sociology); Daniel Marks, Student; Harrison Tarter, Student

American University's community-based learning program to Cape Town, South Africa engages with communities affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic and teaches students how cross-culturally communicate. Through sociologist Dr. Bette Dickerson, students spread non-profit Grandmother's Against Poverty & AIDS’ message to D.C. communities as a central part of post trip activism. By focusing on post trip activism, students use their international perspectives to advocate for HIV/AIDS issues that affect people in Washington, D.C.

Whose Downtown? Thinking about the Future of the CCNV Shelter by Exploring its Past

Daniel Kerr, Professor (Department of History); Claire Davis, Graduate MA Student (SIS); Anna Kaplan, Graduate PhD Student (History); Beth Geglia, Graduate PhD Student (Anthropology)

In the spring of 2013 students in AU’s Local and Community History course collaborated with members of Shelter Housing and Respectful Change (SHARC) – an organized group of homeless activists. SHARC members and the students met regularly at the downtown branch of the D.C. public library to conduct research, discuss findings, and develop themes that shaped the development of a web site Whose Downtown? Development, Resistance, and the Future of the CCNV Shelter in Washington, DC.



     MGC 245

CBL in Action: Connecting Theory and Practice

Amanda Choutka, Professor (Department of Literature); Ana Perret-Gentil, Student; Yasara Perera, Student

Community-Based Learning is growing in popularity at AU, but what does it look like in reality for students and teachers? Two students and a College Writing Professor share their experiences of taking and planning a CBL course. The students will share the service project they researched, created, and implemented for their community partner, D.C. Reads.   

Leaving a Legacy:  How a PR Class Continues to Help the Community after Graduation

Gemma Puglisi, Professor; Alex Ramdin, Alumna

Hear how students in a public relations course leave a lasting impact on the community through their semester-long campaigns. Professor Puglisi and alumna Alex Ramdin will discuss the incredible success of the "Food for Others" campaign and continued work with Nepali by TDM Designs


     MGC 203/205

Bridging the Social Divide

Nina Shapiro-Perl, Filmmaker in Residence (School of Communication)

 This presentation looks at the opportunities and challenges for students and faculty to cross the social, economic and geographic divides that separate AU from Greater Washington--especially the poorer communities and neighborhoods in our midst. By screening one or two examples of the more than 30 films and 30 digital stories that students have made for community organizations in Washington-- through the Community Voice Project (www.american.edu/soc/community voice), we'll take a hard but hopeful look at the challenges and rewards that are possible when bridging the social divide.


Class Beyond Grade

Sarah Menke-Fish, Director: University College and Learning Communities and Professor (School of Communication); Angela Pinaglia, Adjunct Professor (School of Communication); Joanna Sobieski, Student and Program Associate; Meriem Khadraoui, Student; Alex Kreinces, Student; Clay Parker, Student

What happens when first year students are asked to apply the knowledge they are learning beyond the classroom and what is the lasting impact?  Experiences, challenges and logistics will be discussed from the student, teaching assistant, client and professor perspectives.

Have questions about Inaugural Community-Based Learning Symposium? Contact Center for Community Engagement & Service

When & Where

American University
Mary Graydon Center
4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20011

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 from 10:30 AM to 3:00 PM (EST)

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Center for Community Engagement & Service

The Center for Community Engagement & Service works to create opportunities for American University students, staff, and faculty to engage responsibly with communities by cultivating mutually beneficial community partnerships to promote learning, leadership and social change. 


AU Career Center

AU Alumni Association


  Contact the Organizer
Inaugural Community-Based Learning Symposium
Washington, DC Events Conference

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