The Center for Community Engagement & Learning offers many ways for faculty to become involved with community engaged learning and research at UAA. To encourage your exploration in these areas, we also offer several different funding opportunities specifically related to the programs we offer.
Hear what some faculty members have said about why they got involved in community-engaged teaching and research projects:
“Service learning enabled me as a teacher to transition with students from ‘the world’s problems are too many and depressing’ to ‘the world’s problems are solvable!”
Professor Dorn Van Dommelen teaches GEOG/INTL 101 and partnered with Heifer International using case studies. He’s exploring other partnerships now and requires students to reach out to a community and present the problems and possible solutions suggested from the case studies to combat hunger. “It’s giving them something to do that’s more about changing the world . . . and my teaching too!” Van Dommelen has a group of CESAs that assist in his multi-class project each year, and he has built a model to encourage student leadership.
“I try to be very strategic and open up to communities things like the free seminar series for Filipino History Month, to create opportunities for students and faculty to participate too. I try to work with organizations that satisfy my research interests but also meet a community need.”
Assistant Professor Gabe Garcia has worked either himself or by mentoring graduate students with Anchorage United for Youth and The Urban League, in addition to the Copper River Health Center and several Asian Pacific Islander organizations. Garcia was nominated for the 2011 Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement for Early Career Faculty.
"By accident, I got handed this service-learning course, and I just started. At first I tried some things that didn’t work out the way I had envisioned. Now it is much smoother, and my students work with the Food Bank and do Food Stamp Outreach every semester, and I’ve added a Food Stamp Challenge on campus.”
Associate Professor Tracey Burke participated in research for the 2005 Hunger Study and received the 2011 Selkregg Award to complete a qualitative research project on “a day in the life of” people in Anchorage who experience hunger. A Community-Engaged Student Assistant (CESA) from CCEL helps Burke to implement and monitor her class project each semester.