The School of Social Work had 9 BSW students, 3 MSW students and one
Social Work Faculty member presenting at the third annual Civic Matters
symposium of community based research & projects!
THIRD ANNUAL CIVIC MATTERS FRIDAY NOVEMBER 18, 2011
A showcase of how students apply what they are learning in the
classroom to community projects, the third annual USM “Civic Matters,”
will be held from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday, November 18, in USM’s
Wishcamper Center, Bedford Street, Portland. The event is free and open
to the public. USM’s Office of Community Service Learning will host this
year’s “Civic Matters.”
For more information, visit http://usm.maine.edu/community/civic-matters/ or call Alicia Sampson, service-learning coordinator for the Office of Community Service Learning, at 228-8092 or email@example.com.
The focus of the 2011 “Civic Matters” is how service learning and civic
engagement are essential to the transition of a student from the
classroom to the real world. Community service learning is a movement
across higher education that combines learning with community service
work. Last year, nearly 1,000 USM students reported over 17,000 hours of
service. Showcasing a range of topics such as working to end domestic
violence, educating and emphasizing the importance of recycling,
biomonitoring heavy metal in the tidal Kennebec River system, or
administering health education in the Dominican Republic, students who
participate in community service learning activities gain a sense that
they can make a difference. They are not only giving back to their
community, but also developing professional skills.
2011 “Civic Matters” boasts 20 poster presentations and 4 oral
sessions. Benjamin Towne, lecturer and clinical coordinator of USM
Athletic Training Education will offer opening remarks on his experience
running the only athletic training education program in the country to
offer an international service learning course. Mary Tiemann, a faculty
consultant for the Maine Campus Compact, will facilitate a conversation
about service learning and civic engagement.
Some poster presentations are the direct result of in-class projects,
such as “Maine Wood-Burning Homes: A dual purpose informational website
for researchers and citizens.” Four environmental science students
investigated the presence of indoor air pollution caused by wood burning
stoves, the difference between cord wood, wood pellets and Biobricks and
preventative measures families can take to avoid indoor air pollution.
Their research resulted in a presentation at the Maine Indoor Air
Quality Conference and an informational website with proper wood-burning
practices. With future grant funding, the team hopes to take their
research to a residential sampling program and further investigate a
wider variety of wood fuel combustion products.
Another of the many notable presentations this year is “Working to End
Domestic Violence: An Overview of Family Crisis.” This presentation
originates from USM psychology major Stephanie Noyes’ internship at the
Family Crisis Services. In her oral presentation with Stephanie Edwards,
community service coordinator at Family Crisis Services, she will
discuss the people they advocate for, their commitment to community
programs and community members, as well as FCS’s connection to the USM
community. Stephanie will also talk about her role as an intern working
on the hotline, her daily activities at the shelter, aspects of case
management for residents and how her internship relates to her
Organizers report that in and out of the classroom, civic engagement
reinvigorates the public purpose and civic mission of higher education.
“Civic Matters” celebrates community-engaged work across USM that
enriches student learning and addresses community-identified needs.
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