2012 - 2013 Engaged Faculty Fellows

Dr. Joseph De Santis, School of Nursing and Health Studies 

Dr. Joseph De Santis used the knowledge and strategies he gained as an Engaged Faculty Fellow to incorporate civic engagement and service learning approaches into his undergraduate Pediatric Health course. The course is a combination of didactic and clinical experience that provides the student with knowledge and skills to render care to hospitalized children and their families. Dr. De Santis incorporated a community education experience into the course where students worked to provide parents of hospitalized children with information on health risks of children, including obesity, injury prevention, and school bullying.  

Dr. Scotney Evans, Department of Education and Psychological Studies, School of Education 

Dr. Evans was familiar with civic engagement and service learning when he began working with the Office of Civic and Community Engagement. A strong believer in Dewey’s notion that students are tied to their communities in the same way knowledge is tied to experience and building on his use of community organization case studies in his courses, Dr. Evans worked with CCE to redesign how students interact with and learn from community partners to create a more complete service learning and civic engagement experience. In this effort, a plan was designed to modify two sections of EPS 321: Understanding Human Service Organizations, a required course in the Human and Social Development major in the School of Education and Human Development. The redesigned course focuses on how to link course content and theory from organizational case study projects to include more time in the field experience with structured individual critical reflection and class discussion. 

Dr. Laura Kohn-Wood, Department of Education and Psychological Studies, School of Education 

Dr. Kohn-Wood saw her involvement as an Engaged Faculty Fellow as an opportunity for UM faculty “to utilize our intellect, expertise, educational enterprise, resources, social and human capital to address critical problems that impede the well-being of communities, particularly those traditionally locked out of institutions like [UM].” In support of efforts to create a more engaged campus Dr. Kohn-Wood worked with CCE to redesign her course EPS 361: Community Psychology and Development to become a service-learning course that offers students a more prolonged community engagement, incorporating the Windshield Survey assignment and optional Community Assessment in lieu of the final exam. By adding a service-learning course early in the Human and Social Development major, students will be able to actively connect the concepts, topics and values of Community Psychology to real world social challenges and dilemmas, and offer them a framework for how to understand community issues that is unique from traditional social science approaches.  

Dr. Michelle Maldonado, Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies, College of Arts and Sciences 

Already teaching a service-learning course in which UM students spend their spring break participating in a week-long traveling seminary where students spend time in San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala, working on grassroots projects with the local Mayan community, Dr. Maldonado saw becoming an Engaged Faculty Fellow as an opportunity to grow as a teacher and scholar. Interested in incorporating the broader framework of civic engagement and service-learning into her pedagogical practices, she came to the Office of Civic and Community Engagement seeking assistance in merging course content and service-learning and expanding her methods of student interaction and engagement. Examining the role of global solidarity and concrete social action within religion, Dr. Maldonado incorporated strategies from the Engaged Faculty Fellows workshops to create a structure for her students to be involved with community partners and expand on their understanding of course content through reflection and critical thinking. 

Dr. Subha Xavier, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, College of Arts and Sciences  

Dr. Xavier came to the Engaged Faculty Fellows program proposing a course that focused on the connections made possible through shared linguistic mediums and the relationship between the humanities and humanitarian work. Eager to study and further understand the role that community organizations and leaders, such as the Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance and artist Edouard Duval Carrier, play in inspiring, comforting, and empowering Miami’s Haitian diaspora, Dr. Xavier worked in conjunction with the Office of Civic and Community Engagement to bring the realities of immigration into the classroom. Using literature based in French-speaking parts of the world he is able to highlight the relevance this topic has in a growing number of communities throughout the US, including South Florida. Dr. Xavier’s course allows students to investigate the use of music, literature, and art as mechanisms of coping, healing, and relief while expanding the students’ knowledge, scope and understanding of cultural studies through hands on experiences.