March 19, 2012

Service learning expert to hold faculty workshop

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The new Center for Service Learning and Volunteerism at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is launching the enhanced effort to coordinate service learning by bringing an expert in the field to campus.

Robert G. Bringle, executive director of the Center for Service and Learning at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis will be at SIU Carbondale in early April.  In addition to meeting with campus administrators, he will meet with all faculty interested in service learning for a luncheon and workshop on April 3.

“Service Learning:  What, How and Why” begins with a catered lunch from 11:30 a.m. to noon and the workshop will follow until 1:30 p.m. in the Student Center’s Ballroom A.   Any faculty member who wants to learn more about service learning, how to implement it in their classes, the benefits for students and the community or what’s involved is welcome to attend.

Participants should RSVP no later than March 27 by sending an email to Roudy Hildredth, political science assistant professor and co-director of the University’s Center for Service Learning and Volunteerism, at  Mythili Rundblad is co-director of the center and also oversees AmeriCorps and Saluki Volunteer Corps.

Bringle took his current position in 1994 and since that time, the IUPUI Center for Service and Learning has vastly expanded the number of service learning courses and its faulty development curriculum.  The center has a Community Service Scholars program, an America Reads tutoring program and a HUD Community Outreach Partnership Center.  In 2002, it earned recognition as the eighth best service-learning program in the country.  It also earned a Presidential Award in 2006 through the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Rolls.

Bringle has also worked extensively in developing, implementing and evaluating educational programs geared toward first-year students, and toward talented undergraduate psychology majors, high school psychology teachers and students in introductory psychology courses.  His scholarly interests include service learning, community service, and civic engagement, and his work involves student and faculty attitudes and motives, educational outcomes and other related aspects. 

The recipient of a number of service and teaching awards, he is the author of published works about service and has consulted with Universities around the world about community service and civic engagement.  The University of the Free State in South Africa presented Bringle with an honorary doctorate in 2004 for his civic engagement and service learning scholarly work. Hanover College, his alma mater, named him one of the most prominent alumni scientists in 2008, and he was the 2001 Volunteer of the Year for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Indianapolis.

Bringle completed his doctorate in 1974 at the University of Massachusetts and is also the Chancellor’s Professor of Psychology and Philanthropic Studies at UIPUI.

Bringle will spend the rest of the afternoon April 3 meeting with staff from Student Life and Intercultural Relations.

The new SIU Carbondale Center for Service Learning and Volunteerism is on the third floor of the Student Center.  For more information about the programs housed in the Center, contact Rundblad at 618/453-5714.