The 4th annual Conference on Curricular Community Engaged Learning presented by the Service-Learning Program in the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning took place Friday on the campus of Indiana University Bloomington. 2023 marks the first time the conference has been able to take place since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
CITL provides comprehensive services to support teaching and learning at IU Bloomington including the Campus Writing Program, Service-Learning Program, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, course design, and learning communities. The Service-Learning Program consults with faculty and community on utilizing community-engaged learning in classes to connect the community to campus resources and bolster student learning.
The conference included a plenary session, multiple presentations from faculty, students and staff, opportunities to share and discuss ideas, and awards. Michael Valliant, Director of the Service-Learning Program, said the conference had 70 registrants, the most it's ever had.
“The original end of year celebration was simply a symposium where we would invite people to present posters and we would give out the awards,” Valliant said. “But it seemed really clear that there’s a lot of work going on like this and that people really want opportunities to gather and talk and confer and share the work they’re doing in community-based learning.”
Valliant opened the conference with a brief speech and encouraged attendees to interact and learn one another’s backgrounds. Caleb Waugh, a member of IU’s Board of Aeons, whose team studied community engaged learning for campus during the academic year, gave a presentation on the team’s findings shortly after.
Presentations at the conference included sessions from English, Anthropology, the School of Music, Anthropology, Spanish & Portuguese, Informatics, and Eskenazi School on topics of reflection, CEL during the pandemic, fashion design, language education, music pedagogy, and graduate students’ experiences in, and community engaged learning.
Valliant said he hopes that presenters and those who teach community engaged learning see that their work is significant both to campus and the community while forming connections to work together. Additionally, he noted that the motivation to participate in community engaged learning can be personal for those who take part.
“These are very meaningful activities that they get involved with,” Valliant said. “I hope that they come away with a sense of the network of people who are on campus doing this work so they can collaborate together.
The awards given out at the conference included the Community-Engaged Learning Partnership Award, ACE Award for Exceptional Facilitation of Community-Engaged Learning, and the Excellence in Community-Engaged Learning Student Award.
Recipients of the Community-Engaged Learning Partnership Award were:
- Dr. Katie Silvester of the English Department, and Jan Bays of Jill’s House
- Dr. Angie Wong of the School of Public Health and Anna Martin, the Life Enrichment Director at Bell Trace
Recipients of the ACE Award for Exceptional Facilitation of Community-Engaged Learning were:
- Zoe Verteramo, senior
- Daylan Segura, junior
- Emmy Mercer, sophomore
- Caroline Pennington, freshman
Recipients of the Excellence in Community-Engaged Learning Student Award, given to both undergraduate and graduate students, were:
- Mariana Luna, undergraduate
- Megan McCool, graduate
- Marissa Guarriello, graduate