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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 16, 2007

UI to celebrate service-learning Oct. 19

Students, faculty, staff and members of the community are invited to join in a public celebration of service-learning at the University of Iowa from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19 in the Old Capitol Senate Chambers. A reception will follow.

Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates community service with instruction.

The Oct. 19 event, "Teaching Content by Encouraging Commitment: A Celebration of Service-Learning at Iowa," will showcase some of the ways that faculty, students and community members have collaborated to create courses and projects that combine academic study with civic engagement.

Edward Zlotkowski, a professor of English at Bentley College in Waltham, Mass., senior faculty fellow with the National Campus Compact and senior associate at the American Association for Higher Education, will speak from 4 to 4:30 p.m. about Iowa's efforts and how they fit into the larger context of service-learning around the world. Zlotkowski founded the Bentley College Service-Learning Project in 1990 and is author of "Successful Service-Learning Programs," as well as series editor for the American Association for Higher Education's 18-volume series "Service-Learning in the Disciplines."

The UI Center for Teaching invited Zlotkowski to conduct two service-learning institutes to train UI faculty members in the service-learning approach to teaching.

In 2005 and 2006 the UI Center for Teaching hosted service-learning institutes, weeklong workshops to help interested faculty incorporate service-learning into their curricula. A poster session at the Oct. 19 event will highlight some of the outcomes of the institutes, which have resulted in 46 new service-learning courses. During the past two years, nearly 1,300 students completed the courses and in cooperation with community organization partners performed more than 28,000 hours of community service in the state and a community in Mexico.

"This is the culmination of the work we've been doing for the past three years to make civic and community engagement a more visible and central part of academic life," says Norb Pienta, professor of chemistry and director of the Center for Teaching. "It's amazing what these faculty members, students and community partners have been able to accomplish together."

Campus Compact is a national coalition of nearly 1,100 colleges and universities and one of the nation's leading advocates of civic engagement in higher education. The UI joined Campus Compact in 2005.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Jean Florman, Center for Teaching, 319-335-6048,; Charles S. Drum, University News Services, 319-384-0048,