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Community-Engaged Learning Course Develops “Kids on Campus Day”

April 14, 2020

St. John Fisher College is known for serving the Rochester community. This dedication is often on display through the work of community-engaged learning courses offered each year, including Helping Professions in Action, taught by Dr. Patricia Tweet.

A student from Dr. Tweet's class works with a fourth grade student from School No. 20.

Tweet, assistant professor of sociology, designed the course to bring to light the work of health and human service professionals, and to explore its cultural aspects. Students learn about the beginnings of modern systems and institutions of medicine and social work and assist current organizations through community-engaged learning projects. 

The class breaks into three teams, each working with students in the Rochester City School District. One team meets with fourth grade students from School No. 20 weekly through the Seeds of Success Program, a resiliency and social/emotional education program. Two other teams spend the semester planning a Kid’s Career Day at Fisher and a HealthCare Careers Assembly for these students. 

Fisher faculty and students with fourth-graders from School No. 20.

On Wednesday, March 11, their hard work came to life as the students visited Fisher’s campus. They met with Dr. Nahyr Rovira-Figueroa to learn a science lesson about how UV light can be harmful to skin and what kinds of materials help prevent exposure. The students were also able to see the simulation lab in the Wegmans School of Nursing, tour residence halls, visit classrooms, and enjoy the best of Fisher Dining at the Ward-Haffey Dining Hall. 

Fisher students also received an up-close look at careers in health care with several special guest speakers, including Rashima Harris, a local health care worker who took part in the Health Care Careers Assembly.

“It’s about taking care of somebody in some type of way. It takes a special person to do it. You have to be a people person and love what you do,” she told the students.

Tweet believes in giving Fisher students hands-on experiences and making real-life connections.

“That kind of personal connection is worth a thousand books,” she said. “It is these opportunities that make people better citizens of their community.”