Service-Learning Students, Faculty, Partners Honored
Service-learning has become a familiar term on campus, as more and more students enroll in service-learning courses. And on Thursday, April 10, the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement hosted the Civic Engagement Award Ceremony to showcase the service-learning work from this past year and recognize individuals who have gone above and beyond in their work, epitomizing the true meaning of service-learning.
The Student Civic Engagement Award was presented to Cole Lachance-Tofany. The Civic Engagement Award for Community Partners was awarded to Tina Bennett, Manager of Volunteer Services at CP Rochester. And Dr. Jeff Liles, Associate Professor of Education, received the Civic Engagement Award for Faculty.
Lachance-Tofany, a junior History Adolescence and Special Education Major, was honored for his work with his alma mater, Arcadia Middle School. He assisted faculty in producing a student musical of "Give My Regards to Broadway." As the Director of Promotions and Community Relations for Fisher Players, it was a natural fit. And, as he became involved in the project, “he performed well beyond his required 10 hours of service, because of his love for teaching and performing, and because of his desire to see the production through until show time.”
Bennett, who has been employed with CP Rochester for 27 years, was honored for her work over the years with the College as a service-learning partner. This past semester, students in the Social Change through Service course worked with Bennett to provide life skills videos to the organization’s DayHab program adults.
Liles was recognized for his work with the Rochester Early College and International High School and the Red Cross Next Generation Leaders program that was part of his course in adolescent development. In addition, he has been the recipient of a Bank of America grant for the College Ready Service-Learning program which he started with East High School. In 2011, he helped found the Rochester Participatory Educational Research Collaborative (PERC), a group of high school students, East High Faculty, and local college faculty. After a year of research and gathering student opinion, PERC collaboratively planned and filmed a 50-minute documentary called, “College Ready.” The 50-minute documentary compares the differences between students in the city and suburbs when it comes to college readiness. It takes a closer look at common assumptions about college readiness, and frames the critique in an urban, student-centered, research-based cultural and political context.
“The purpose of the event is to recognize and highlight the contributions and positive outcomes of students’ service-learning work as a result of their collaborations with community partners. Service-learning has gained traction and importance at Fisher because of its ability to enhance students’ development of academic knowledge and skills, civic and cultural awareness, and communication and professional skills,” said Dr. Lynn Donahue, Director of the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement.
According to Donahue, during the College’s service-learning pilot year, there were 11 course sections and 166 students. Today, there are 44 course sections and 532 students involved in service-learning.
During the ceremony, several students from a variety of service-learning courses presented posters of their work this semester.
In addition, Donahue recognized Dr. Deb Vanderbilt, Professor of English, and Dr. Jenna Rossi, Associate Professor of American Studies, who serve as co-chairs of the Service-Learning Advisory Board. Matt Cardin, Director of the Career Center, and Sally Vaughan, Director of Community Service, also helped organize the event.
Pictured from L to R: Dr. Jenna Rossi; Cole Lachance-Tofany; Tina Bennett; Dr. Lynn Donahue; Dr. Jeff Liles; and Dr. Deb Vanderbilt.