2016 - 2017 Engaged Faculty Fellows

Ines Basalo, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 

Her work as part of the 2016 Engaged Faculty Fellows involved modifying a final project in Measurements Laboratory, a required, sophomore level course, for mechanical and aerospace engineering students. The project is a team project, is an open-ended project in which teams of 3-4 students select a sensor (temperature, sound, humidity, etc.) and use it to answer a question or problem that is of interest to them. In the Spring of 2016 a community-service aspect was added to the project and students were required to select a topic that relates to a problem/issue on campus that directly affects their life. The last 6 weeks of the semester are now exclusively devoted to this project and students include recommendations and data that can be shared with others in the UM community in their final report. 

Linda Mays, School of Nursing and Health Studies 

Depression and tobacco use are two of the most common health issues affecting college students.  Linda Mays became an engaged faculty fellow to increase depression and tobacco use awareness among University of Miami students.  In conjunction with UM’s Department of Student Affairs and community partners, she adopted two national initiatives into her psychiatric-mental health clinical courses.   Nursing students planned and conducted multi-campus awareness events.  Students encouraged others to get screened during the National Depression Screening Day and staged a silent protest against tobacco use during The Great American Smokeout.  In the students’ reflective journals, they described the transformative influence service learning had on their future nursing practice.  

Claire Oueslati-Porter, Department of Women and Gender Studies 

With the Engaged Faculty Fellowship, Claire Oueslati-Porter developed a new course in Anthropology and Women’s and Gender Studies, entitled “Anthropological Perspectives on Gender, Migrants, and Refugees” which is scheduled for Spring 2018.  This course is focused on gender-related human rights issues for migrants and refugees.  The course explores the local and global forces that produce the gender dynamics of movement and resettlement.  Of key importance is how gender status impacts the migration experience, and how migrants exert agency in the face of adverse circumstances. The civic engagement component of the course compels students to work (20 hours) with refugee and migrant-serving organizations.  Students will work closely with Miami-based organizations so that students will gain knowledge on how migrants and refugees are assisted, and how organizations can impact local and national policy aimed at migrants and refugees.   

Elton Skendaj, Department of Political Science 

As an Engaged Faculty Fellow, Elton has added a civic engagement component to his course on Migrants and Refugees. The course is structured to reflect critically upon reasons why people migrate and the controversies of migration around issues of security, identity and economy. Students in course volunteered with the New Americans Campaign, run by the Catholic Charities Legal Services, where the students helped US permanent residents apply for citizenship through naturalization process. Students reflected on their experience through three brief reflection papers that that illustrated challenges and opportunities for social change. The last reflection paper was digital and incorporated visual storytelling tools, such as photos, videos and infographics. Students presented their digital stories in the last week of the class, and as faculty, he presented selected student stories at the Faculty Showcase 2017. 

Rosina Cianelli, School of Nursing and Health Studies 

Rosina Cianelli applied to be an Engaged Faculty Fellow to build and foster connection between students in the Women’s Health Nursing course and the community. In this course, the civic engagement component consisted of a service learning experience for the students where they had the opportunity to disseminate the content and skills they learned in a breastfeeding training to the community. Students completed 20 hours of service as volunteers, incorporating services and outreach activities that created a civic engagement network related to breastfeeding in which the students had an active role. The service and outreach activities included working with community organizations, participating in health fairs and presenting the experience to community partners, students and health care providers.   

Natalia Villegas, School of Nursing and Health Studies 

As an Engaged Faculty Fellow, Dr. Villegas strengthened the civic engagement component of NUR 318, Women's Health Nursing. In this course, students complete  a 20-hour WHO/UNICEF Breastfeeding Certification program.  With the guidance of the Office of Civic and Community Engagement, this certification was enhanced through the inclusion of a civic engagement component that consist of health fairs where students have the opportunity to teach mothers and families about breastfeeding. Students reflect on their experiences after each fair and share what they learned with other students.  Recognition of this civic engagement component was received during a presentation at the University of Miami Academic Technologies’ 2016 Faculty Showcase, in which the breastfeeding certification program was highlighted.