More than 30 Years of Engagement for Ohio's Public Good

2018 David Hoch Memorial Award for Service in Excellence Recipients Announced

The David Hoch Memorial Award for Excellence in Service was designed to recognize and honor the outstanding work in service-learning and/or civic engagement done by a faculty or staff member at an Ohio Campus Compact member institution.  This award is named for the late David Hoch, the Dean of Honors at The University of Toledo, who served as the Director of Service Learning from 1999 – 2005.  Hoch was instrumental in initiating and nurturing the role of civic engagement at The University of Toledo, not only in the Honors Program, but in residence life and other departments as well. His guidance helped grow academic service-learning, student-led community service, and the presidential emphasis on broader civic engagement.

This award is given annually to one or two faculty or staff members from an Ohio Campus Compact member institution. To be considered, the nominee must demonstrate outstanding leadership in furthering the civic mission of the institution.  The president of the college or university must nominate each candidate.

OCC is excited to announce the 2018 Hoch Award Recipients!

Dr. Lisa Green, Professor of Psychology, Baldwin Wallace University

I am both humbled by and grateful for the encouragement to apply for the David Hoch Memorial Faculty Award for Excellence in Service.  As a full time faculty member for the past 27 years, I have strived to find my niche in our university. I recall at my tenure meeting, the Academic Dean told me he thought I had the potential to be a leader on our campus.  I hope to have fulfilled his vision, especially with my work in civic engagement and service learning.   Recognition in spring 2017 with our inaugural award for Excellence in Community Engagement indicates that perhaps I have.

I have incorporated service learning into my courses since 2003.  My first foray was in my Child Psychopathology course where I wanted students to have the opportunity to engage with children at risk for developing disorders as well as to give back to the community.  In order to increase their awareness of the risks children faced, I had the students read such books as Alex Kotlowitz’ There are no Children Here and Jonathon Kozol’s Rachel and Her Children.  These books coincided nicely with the students’ work in the homeless shelters and in the inner city schools.  Around that same time, I began utilizing service learning in my Child Development course, where students were connected with community partners and served with children.  In both of these courses, I was thrilled with how the students’ experiences in the community organizations brought the course material to life.  The community partners were appreciative of the service provided, and I continue to work with many of the same organizations to this day.

When I developed a course on Child Maltreatment, I immediately incorporated service learning.  The first year that I taught the course, students served in community organizations who dealt with child abuse issues, and we faced many challenges.  The following year (2010), we successfully applied to be a part of the Pay it Forward program through Ohio Campus Compact and Learn and Serve America.   Thus, was the birth of the Jacket Philanthropy Program (JPP).  We developed our own model for incorporating philanthropy into our curriculum, which was both innovative and exciting.  None of the other schools who received OCC money conducted their program as we did.  In one OCC conference, we were asked to share our model because it was unique and also worked so well.  We presented our model at several OCC meetings, as well as at other universities.  In the third year of our original funding, when OCC had its budget cut and they could only fund a few programs, they continued to fund ours.  This was a clear indication of the success of the JPP.  I am happy to report that we are now in the 9th year of the Jacket Philanthropy Program.  Each year, we have worked hard to secure funding from outside organizations to allow our students to work with community nonprofits, learn grant writing and reviewing, and give away actual money.  This program and course take an incredible amount of time and energy, but as I watch the students engage with their community partners at the awards banquet, as I listen to the student presentations and read their reflections, as I hear from community partners about their experiences with our students, as I see students get hired to work for the community partners, as I watch students go on to serve as Americorps VISTAs… I know that all of the time and energy has been well spent.

In addition to implementing service-learning in my courses, I have also engaged in community based research, including supervising a project conducted for the City of Fairview Park.  We worked with their Youth Advisory Committee in 2006 evaluating the needs of the community for educational and leisure activities for adolescents and presented our findings at a City Council Committee meeting, later receiving a Resolution Commending our work from the Fairview Park City Council.  I had never received a resolution from a city before!

Also in collaboration with students, I conducted a study evaluating the JPP and presented our findings at a national conference.  We just began a follow up study of BW graduates who participated in JPP courses and will compare their attitudes and behaviors related to civic engagement with a matched sample of non JPP graduates.

While not technically service learning, but certainly community engagement, I have served as a faculty advisor for two Alternative Break experiences.  In fall, 2016, we worked with the Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk.  Just last week, we returned from an Alternative Break trip to Florida where we worked with Give Kids the World (part of the Make a Wish program for terminally ill children) and the Life of Freedom Center addressing issues of human trafficking.  The students, myself, and our community partners were all mutually impacted by these experiences.

The final area I will touch on is my work to promote community engagement on campus and in the community. If you ask people on campus what I am passionate about, early in the conversation will be comments related to either service learning or community engagement.  I have been on the Service Learning Advisory Council since its inception and have served as chair since 2014.  I spearheaded multiple curricular models/initiatives for service learning, including a recently approved Service Learning Collaborative.  I have attended and led many meetings in which we educated faculty about service learning and encouraged them to get involved.  We even created a “promotional” video that was shown at trainings in which we recruited faculty.  I have attended multiple breakfasts and meetings with community partners, and always attempt to positively represent BW and the role of faculty in our work.  I also assist with our Service Learning Faculty Fellows training for BW faculty as well as faculty from other institutions, and serve as a mentor to many faculty.  In sum, I am a better professor, a better psychologist, and a better citizen because of my work in civic engagement.

Dr. Nancy Pine, Assistant Professor, Columbus State Community College Delaware Campus

“I most of all did not expect that through the course I would discover my purpose—my inspiration. . .I truly wish to do what [Being Mortal author Atul Gawande] wanted and help make the last years, no matter how long, of the people’s lives residing in nursing homes/assisted centers better and more fulfilling, and I owe my newfound purpose to the writing to serve experience this semester,” writes a student in her final essay of my English Composition II course, which incorporates service-learning.  To be honest, as a former professional writer, I was probably drawn to service-learning pedagogy as a graduate student in Rhetoric and Composition for the opportunities it affords students to experience “real-world” audiences for their research and writing.  It is difficult for students to locate their voices as writers composing the constrained rhetorical situation of school-based writing, and I believe that a writer’s voice is strongest through both their immersion in the subject and knowledge of their audience, specifically to whom they are writing.  However, over the last fifteen years I have spent teaching, researching, and administering community outreach and engagement in college, I have come to realize that I pursue this work with a greater purpose of connecting students personally with local communities in shared listening at a time when we all especially need to take time to listen one another.  In my service-learning sections of composition, my student-authors compose texts entering into relationships with a variety of authentic audiences, experiencing the rhetorical effects of their writing on others, seeking to affect change.

I joined the faculty at Columbus State Community College in 2010, helping to open the new Delaware Campus, and I began incorporating service-learning my first term, introducing myself on behalf of the College to the Delaware community meeting with various organizations.  I had the opportunity to help institutionalize service-learning at Columbus State by serving as a co-chair to the new college faculty service-learning committee, through which I helped develop and administer the “S”-designated service-learning course program.  I served in this role for four years and developed some of my own “S” classes, and I continue to conduct workshops and mentor faculty on service-learning pedagogy.  At my final event for the committee, the “Power of Partnering” in which fifteen local organizations met with campus faculty and staff, I was honored to receive a “faculty pioneer” award for service-learning at Columbus State.  Most recently, I have written about both my experiences with the “S” program and studying one of my “S” classes in Teaching English in the Two-Year College.

I have incorporated service-learning in all of the courses I teach, from basic writing to first-year composition to intermediate composition, through a range of projects.  For example, I have helped secure funds for and taught Pay It Forward student philanthropy; my third PIF class at Columbus State is this term.  I have also worked with various public schools in a letter-exchange and school-campus mentoring project I have termed Writing Partners.  For another class, I was also able to partner with the Delaware Hunger Alliance, and my students and I served Alliance organizations for the Empty Plate Campaign, and we extended this work to the entire campus.  My longest-running service-learning project has been the Life Stories project in partnership with Willow Brook, a service-learning project I began prior to coming to Columbus State; through it students interview and visit with residents to research, write, and share their life stories.  Most recently, I have begun partnering with the Delaware County Historical Society as well for an oral history project, for which I have been nominated for this award.

We piloted the project in Autumn 2016 and decided to have a theme for each term.  In Spring 2017 the students interviewed the Lucy Depp community, an African-American settlement in Delaware County.  In a class visit, preparing students for their off-campus interviewing, a representative of this community persuaded students “why you should care,” as he repeated, about communities other than your own and how public discussion of issues such as race change when individuals come together to talk and share their stories in fellowship.  The students from the Spring 2017 term exceeded my expectations.  For example, the students learned in the oral history assignment to provide a first-hand account from the interview subject’s perspective accurately and respectfully (a number far exceeded the minimum word requirement and spent extra time editing to, as they put it, “do my partner justice”).  For the academic research projects of the course, most students chose topics that have affected the community residents’ lives (positively or negatively), and the students engaged in genuine, immersive inquiry. Many students appreciated the opportunity to meet and talk with people from a community with which they were unfamiliar and then preserve and share their stories. Tears were exchanged among some students and community residents at the celebration event in empathy and gratitude as one student concluded his oral history and his celebration event presentation.

Most recently, Autumn 2017 my students interviewed World War II veterans and those who served on the home front for DCHS.  Additionally, we collaborated with a composition class in Queensborough Community College in New York which worked with Holocaust survivors, and the students viewed each other’s work while learning about each other’s communities.  Many of my students drew comparisons between injustices then to those of today, examining the legacy of these injustices as manifested today from multiple perspectives through people’s lived experiences.  The students seemed determined not to be complicit.  In Autumn 2018 we plan to interview residents who lived through the Vietnam and Civil Rights era.

Each service-learning class I am in awe of what can happen when I partner with an organization to develop a project and then step aside to facilitate and witness.  By no accident the right students find themselves in the right partnership, finding purpose in writing to serve for that class and beyond.

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