2014 - 2015 Engaged Faculty Fellows

Joshua Diem, Department of Teaching and Learning, School of Education and Human Development  

Joshua Diem became an Engaged Faculty Fellow in order to infuse critical service learning into TAL 101, “Social & Cultural Foundations of Education.” Students in the course worked 20 hours during the semester at the Miami Children's Initiative in Liberty City. The goal of this placement is for future teachers (and others taking the course) to have experience, outside of schools, working with children in communities where they are likely to work when they become teachers. The premise of the service-learning component of the course is that to better reach children in schools we need to have a better idea of who they are as complete people, so we must spend time understanding their lives outside of schools. 

Danielle Houck, Department of English and English Composition, College of Arts and Sciences  

Danielle K. Houck partnered with Empowered Youth Miami for her ENG 230, “Advanced Business Communications” course.  Students met with at-risk teen boys weekly in the "Young Entrepreneur Series" to mentor them in professionalism and business skills. During the multi-year partnership, Empowered Youth, whose mission includes creating jobs, started a successful food truck business, Vibe 305 Café, staffed by teens.  UM students developed and taught relevant curriculum for the teens, including college application skills while strengthening their mastery of business communications. 

Alexis Koskan, School of Nursing and Health Studies  

With the help of the Office of Civic and Community Engagement, Alexis Koskan was able to transform her “Theories of Human Growth and Development” class into a service-learning course.  Students are required to volunteer at a local organization for a total of 20 service hours. Throughout the semester, they completed a total of five reflective journals in order to help students internalize the significance of service, gain experience working with underserved populations, and enhance their understanding of factors that influence human development over the lifespan. 

Joshua Schriftman, Department of English, College of Arts and Sciences  

Joshua Schriftman’s fall 2014 course, ENG306, “Advanced Composition, The Literature of Incarceration,” allowed students from diverse disciplines to talk in a serious way about issues of incarceration and social justice while exchanging letters with writing partners from the Dade Correctional Institution. While the course fostered empathy, advocacy, and a sense of civic duty for UM students, it gave DCI prisoners the chance to forge new identities beyond their crimes. In spring 2015, Schriftman adapted this course for ENG106; the second half the first-year composition sequence. That course partnered 18 UM students with writers incarcerated at the Everglades Correctional Institution. All cross-institution partnerships were anonymous and made possible through the local non-profit Exchange for Change, on whose board Schriftman serves. 

Lien Tran, Department of Cinema and Interactive Media, School of Communication  

Lien Tran joined the Engaged Faculty Fellows program to provide unique and meaningful civic engagement opportunities, which she benefited from as an undergraduate and graduate student. These opportunities shaped Tran’s creative research in social impact games and humanitarian design, and she strives to inspire UM students to use their design skills for social good. As part of the new Interactive Media Program at the School of Communication, Tran proposed and further developed a new class, CIM 471, “Social Impact Games,”, to spread the use of interactive systems as engaging platforms for humanitarian and socially conscious communication. In this class, students learned about designing engaging human experiences through the lens of games while they do service learning with a local community partner. The final semester assignment is to work in small teams, designing a game that communicates issues of concern and/or serves the needs of each group's organization partner.