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Faculty and staff invited to service learning events

by Jeanne Baron

Sept. 15, 2011 | WMU News

KALAMAZOO--Faculty and staff members at Western Michigan University are invited to attend a two upcoming events focusing on service-learning.

First up is a free campus and community partners breakfast a 8 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, in Room 208 of the Bernhard Center. Those interested must register by Monday, Sept. 19, at or (269) 387-2141.

The breakfast is a networking and brainstorming event for prospective as well as existing service-learning partners, including representatives of community agencies and WMU faculty and staff members.

Some 100 people are expected to attend the breakfast, which will feature a welcome address by WMU Provost Tim Greene. Attendees will be able to meet with one another and discuss existing collaborations, in addition to exploring additional opportunities for participating in service-learning projects.

Also planned is a lecture and discussion at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14, for all members of WMU's teaching staff who are interested in discussing strategies for writing articles on service learning for publication in peer-reviewed journals. Seating is limited, so registrations are due by Oct. 7 at or (269) 387-2141. Registrants will receive an email confirming participation as well as the lecture location.

Both events are sponsored by the University's Office of Service-Learning, which develops mutually beneficial service-learning partnerships between community-based organizations and WMU. Such partnerships foster engaged student citizenship and learning, while affording students the privilege of serving as active participants in the greater community.

Service learning projects differ from volunteer service projects primarily in that they promote student reflection and learning and are incorporated into course curricula. Projects are designed to meet a community-identified need and the educational objectives of instructors, and they must be an equal exchange or benefit for the participating students and community partners.

For more information about WMU's upcoming service learning events, contact Shawn Tenney, coordinator of service learning, at or (269) 387-2139.