Campus: CSU, Northridge -- December 1, 2000


CSUN to Offer 20 New Service-Learning Classes this Spring

CSUN's Center for Community-Service Learning has awarded $30,000 to faculty members who will teach a total of 20 new service-learning classes during the spring.

Each winning proposal received a $1,500 stipend for course development. The money was available through Cal State Northridge's share, $105,000, of $2.2 million allocated by Governor Gray Davis in this year's state budget to the California State University system to increase student service-learning participation.

"Service-learning classes link meaningful community service to explicit academic objectives, preparation and analysis," said Maureen Rubin, the center's director. "Because of this new grant program, each of the university's eight colleges will offer at least one new service-learning course next semester."

Winners of the grants and the courses they will teach are:

  • Anthropology professor Elizabeth Adams and elementary education professor Hillary Hertzog, for their course "Cultural Ethnography and Elementary School Learning," which will help pre-teachers learn and apply principles of cultural anthropology as they help local teachers better understand and address the needs of multicultural children in urban schools.

  • Music professor Ric Alviso, for "World Music and Culture in the School," which will enrich under-funded music programs in local schools by having music students present a series of programs on world music and culture.

  • Sociology professor Karen Baird-Olson, for "Community-Service Learning in American Indian Communities," in which students will perform policy analysis and direct service at local service agencies serving Native Americans.

  • Health sciences professor Janna Beling, for "Urban Plunge," which will create health promotion and disease prevention and/or injury remediation opportunities for graduate physical therapy students at local senior centers.

  • Marketing professor Oscar DeShields, for "Development of Web Sites and their Promotional Plans," in which students will design a web site and Internet plans for local nonprofit organizations.

  • Health sciences professor Vicki Ebin, for "MPH Biostats and CSUN," in which graduate students will study and improve the health prevention programs at CSUN's Student Health Center.

  • Art professor Samantha Fields, for "After-School Painting Workshops," which will use CSUN students to teach an after-school watercolor class at Community Charter Middle School in San Fernando.

  • Theatre professor Marla Gam-Hudson, for "Performing Adapted Classical Drama to Serve the Modern Youth Audience," in which theatre students will create study guides for students at five to 10 middle and high schools to prepare them for a CSUN touring theatre company.

  • Chicano/a studies professor Carlos Guerrero, for "Canoga Park Literacy Project," in which students will teach English literacy skills to a group of mothers in Canoga Park.

  • English professor Elizabeth Kessler, for "The Mexican-American Women in Literature and Life," which will expose students to real-life problems of women about whom they will be reading through work at a variety of local agencies serving Mexican-American women with such concerns as health, education or abuse.

  • Psychology professor Luciana Lagana, for "Elderly on the Internet," in which gerontology students will teach e-mail and Internet skills to residents of local nursing homes and retirement facilities affiliated with ElderCare in Canoga Park.

  • Women's studies professor Sheena Malhorta, for "Centering the Margins: Sharing Voices in the Valley," in which students will work at a variety of women's organizations.

  • Manufacturing systems engineering professor Ahmad Sarfaraz, for "Facilities Planning in Support of the North East Valley Small Business Development Center," in which advanced engineering students will help small businesses or service organizations with facilities planning problems.

  • Manufacturing systems engineering professor Tarek Shraibati, for "NASA FIRST Robotics Competition," which will team CSUN students with students at Granada Hills High School to prepare for a national robot-building competition.

  • Health sciences professor Debra Sheets, for "Perspectives on Disability and Illness," in which students will help stroke or brain injury victims to cope with the challenges of daily living.

  • Geological sciences professor Gerry Simila, for "Service-Learning Project for Pre-Service Earth Science and Geology Courses," which will send students into local elementary schools to help with their science curriculum, including the creation of science gardens.

  • Communication studies professor Kathryn Sorrells, for "Communicating Common Ground," which will involve students in developing a national model for dealing with ethnic/racial tensions in conjunction with their work at Grant High School in Van Nuys.

  • Geography professor Yifei Sun, for "Mapping Empty Lots in Pacoima: The Potential for Developing Recreational Spaces," in which advanced geography students will locate and map empty lots in Pacoima that can potentially be converted into recreational spaces.

  • Art professor Sylvia Tidwell, for "Art Intervention," during which beginning drawing students will use animal imagery and nature to teach art to students at Darby Avenue Elementary School in Northridge.

  • Special education professor Wendy Weichel, for "Quality Staff Development on Individuals with Exceptionalities," in which graduate students will create "in-service" training programs that address the needs of an increasingly diverse special education population in local elementary schools.

Launched in 1998, the Center for Community-Service Learning aims to inspire, encourage and support students and faculty in their pursuit of academic excellence through involvement in meaningful community service.

California State University, Northridge has more than 27,000 full- and part-time students and offers 48 bachelor's and 39 master's degrees. Founded in 1958, it is the only four-year university in the San Fernando Valley.


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