Faculty Development Grant Recipients
The Service Learning Program is excited to announce the following faculty and courses that have been approved by the Service Learning Committee to receive a Silvershein/Gutenstein Family Faculty Development Grant. The winning applications expand the reach of the Service Learning Program into the School of Communication, the School of Art & Design, the School of Business, and six majors in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The second round of grants, like the first round, are underwritten by the Robert G. and Ellen S. Gutenstein Foundation, which remains committed to preparing faculty to offer exceptional student learning experiences that engage students in the community to form their ethical thinking and leadership abilities.
Applied Research in Strategic Communication” with Dr. Virginia McDermott, Director of the Masters in Strategic Communication and Assoc. Prof. of Strategic Communication
This course introduces students to concepts and practices commonly used to better understand clients, audiences, messages, and the media. Students will experience research through both traditional classroom lectures and discussions and working with a real client on a service learning project. Students will use surveys, interviews, and focus groups to analyze the clients’ target audience and/or assess the effectiveness of promotional efforts. Ethical issues of conducting research and working with clients will be explored.
Documenting the Community through Photography” with Prof. Benita VanWinkle, Instructor of Art
Documenting the Community through Photography will expose the student to the principles of research and historical references to past photographers and photo projects that have paved the way for creating images of a fast moving world. Through an in depth look at the local community, and specifically the artisans and workers that have supported the furniture industry, the students will use a photojournalistic approach to creating an archive of imagery that will serve as reference materials for future researchers.
Feminist Thought in Action” with Dr. Jenn Brandt, Director of Women’s and Gender Studies and Asst. Prof. of English
This course will examine feminist theory and practice as they relate to activist movements for positive social change. The underlying assumption is that feminist activist agendas are linked to feminist theories that inspire and direct the need and desire for individual, community, and political action. Over the course of the semester we will look at a variety of feminist movements and organizations while attempting to understand the persistent need for political and social activism related to current events and political concerns. The class will be conducted in a seminar/discussion format that stresses active participation, and students will engage in a semester-long research project that involves experiential learning. This project is designed to both meet learning objectives and enhance students’ understanding of course material. It also provides opportunities for hand-on experience and professional development.
Business Ethics” with Dr. Matthew Brophy, Asst. Prof. of Philosophy
This course is an interdisciplinary study of some major moral issues involved in contemporary business policies and practices. Emphasis is placed upon the development of moral awareness and the use of moral principles and theories in decision-making. Students will help area businesses apply for the Piedmont Business Ethics Award, and to better understand the businesses they are helping, they will volunteer with some of the non-profit and governmental stakeholders of their business partner. Students will aid the common good through their volunteer work and through their educational work in the business community on the importance of social responsibility. This will be an honors and service learning course.
Literature and Community: Social Networks” with Dr. Charmaine Cadeau, Asst. Prof. of English
In the 1980s, network theory emerged as a central concern in literature and continental philosophy, and continues to dominate English studies today. Just as network theory began to respond to increasing attention on postcolonial circumstances, globalization, and diaspora, the onset of the digital age provided a further metaphor for thinking about how we relate to each other. World-renowned critics as diverse as Jacques Derrida, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Gilles Deleuze connect network theory to contemporary issues relating to democracy and technology, thinking through how communities are formed, maintained, and circumvented through our textual practices. Organized around the theme of networks, students will study these philosophies (in particular, Derrida’s differential network, Nancy’s “being as tying,” and Deleuze’s rhizomatic theory) in conjunction with literature that interrogates how various networks overlap, interact, and compete. To discuss how networks are theorized in our literature and embodied in the praxis, students will learn close reading analysis and critical writing. In the process students will volunteer with area literacy initiatives and reflect on the role of social networks on the construction of literacy.
Introduction of Modern Economics” with Dr. Daniel Hall, Asst. Prof. of Economics
The class is a survey of macroeconomic and microeconomic issues, emphasizing policy implications. Economic issues such as public goods, common pool resource, externalities, market structure, growth and development, unemployment, inflation, poverty, and income inequality are discussed. Through a service-learning pedagogy and a partnership with Civitan, students will experience the civic responsibility approach to these economic issues, reflecting critically on the intertwining ethical and economic questions that arise. Civic responsibility will also be compared with market-based and government-based approaches, determining whether these approaches are complimentary or in competition for resources.
Family Ethics” with Dr. Elizabeth Lee, Instructor of Religion
This course is an introduction to historical and contemporary ethical perspectives on the family and its relation to the broader social, religious, and political order. We examine a number of ethical issues that can arise in familial relationships (parent-child, marital, and other relationships), as well as the role that cultures and governments can play in supporting and defining the family as an institution. Alongside the course’s theoretical work, students will be volunteering with local organizations that specialize in supporting families and reflecting on the work the agencies do as well as their normative views of the family.
Life Skills for Inmates” with Dr. Heather Ahn-Redding, Asst. Prof. of Criminal Justice
This service learning criminal justice elective provides students with an opportunity to integrate a wide-body of correctional literature into their own personal interactions with jail inmates. In partnership with the High Point Jail Ministries, students will deliver life skills classes to inmates who are incarcerated at the High Point Detention Center.
Social Psychology” with Dr. Sadie Leder, Asst. Director of the Survey Research Center and Asst. Prof. of Psychology
Social psychology examines how our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by various aspects of our social contexts, including the people and situations that we encounter in our environments. In this section of the course, students will gain both an applied and theoretical understanding of social psychological concepts, including altruism, social influence, aggression, prejudice, perception, attitudes, interpersonal attraction, and group decision-making. Students will consider the role that social context plays in the motivation of both pro-social and negative behavior, the treatment of stigmatized vs. privileged group members, as well as grapple with the moral question of how they are not only influenced by their environments, but shape them in return. Students will immerse themselves in service that asks them to step outside their typical surroundings. Through observation and interaction with individuals who may be of different political, racial, socioeconomic, or regional affiliation, they should develop a deeper understanding of the course material and character development that extends far beyond the scope of this semester-long experience.