Community Engagement News
Community Engagement News April 10, 2023
EXHIBITING EXEMPLARY WORK
At the Community Engagement Showcase and Awards, Honors College students from Miami-Dade College share information about an initiative that addresses childhood cancer in Ecuador. Their PechaKucha presentation emphasized the impact of the issue-focused project.
The plight of displaced people, children’s battles with cancer, and conditions that may negatively affect young people’s academic or social progress were among the issues that students and faculty addressed recently through community engagement projects.
Students—some with faculty members and community partners—showcased their issue-focused projects through special-format and poster presentations at the Community Engagement Showcase and Awards on March 29.
PechaKucha and poster presentations highlighted support for displaced Ukrainians, care for Ecuadorian children battling cancer, and capacity-building assistance to Miami organizations addressing the needs of young people at risk. PechaKucha is a presentation style that uses 20 slides for 20 seconds each.
Most of the presentations emphasized the impact of projects on the community as well as on the students who participated.
Other issues addressed through community engagement projects included menstrual inequity or “period poverty,” mental health challenges, end-of-life experiences, and textile waste.
A five-member team of Honors College students from Miami-Dade College’s Eduardo J. Padrón Campus—Carlen Arrevalo, Diego Faria, Gabriela Rivas, Maria Home, and Jose Peaguda—summarized their efforts to provide aid to Ecuadorian children with cancer.
As part of an initiative called “Better Together,” the students raised awareness about childhood cancer. In preparation for another visit to Quito, Ecuador, they also made their peers across the Miami-Dade College campuses knowledgeable about therapeutic art, music, and Zen gardening.
In their PechaKucha presentation, the Miami-Dade College quintet shared how they organized various events to raise funds for their trips to and from the South American county.
Student leaders Joseline Bucumi (second from left) and Valentine Thomas (right) present posters featuring special projects completed as part of their Barry Service Corps fellowships.
Barry senior Amanda Gonzalez Garcia (at the microphone) takes her turn during the PechaKucha presentation on the work and achievements of Barry’s Campus Democracy Project (CDP). Others on the team of presenters are, L–R, Dr. Jalane Meloun, Mona Burrows, Monica Bustinza from Engage Miami, Imani McClammy, and Dr. Sean Foreman. Thanks to the CDP, Barry has achieved national recognition as a “Voter Friendly Campus.”
Among students reflecting on exemplary projects were four fellows in the Barry Service Corps: Joseline Bucumi, Jocelyn Flores, Virginia Rivas, and Valentine Thomas. They completed special projects as part of their yearlong fellowships.
A poster titled “Challenging Myths About Refugees in the U.S.—One Story at a Time” featured Joseline Bucumi’s project focused on the refugee experience. Designed to confront stigmas and harmful attitudes about refugees living in the United States, her project involved the creation of an information-rich website.
Social work students Catalina Bustos and Thalia Rabell looked at end-of-life experiences. Their poster was titled “Let’s Talk Deathcare: Developing Resources in South Florida’s Low-Income Communities.”
Based on a narrative ethnographic research project, another Pecha Kucha presentation drew attention to the experiences of Ukrainian refugee community members who came to campus for last summer’s “Seeds of Hope” camp. The presenters were students and faculty from Barry and Florida International University: Orlando Cardozo, Philip Corr, Dr. Laura Monsalvatge, Dr. Ruth Ban, and Dr. Heather Johnson-Desiral.
A poster by Dr. Ruth Ban—a professor in the School of Education, Leadership, and Human Development— illustrated community-based research as pedagogy.
Dr. Victor Romano, vice provost for student success and undergraduate studies, delivers the opening remarks and CCSI Associate Director Courtney Berrien the closing remarks at the Community Engagement Showcase and Awards.
Dr. Victor Romano, vice provost for student success and undergraduate studies, commented on the “collective impact” that results from the efforts of diverse stakeholders working towards a common goal. He said the complex challenges facing our society, such as poverty, inequality, and environmental degradation, require collaboration. No single entity can solve the existing challenges, he added; they require the leveraging of the strengths of diverse partners working together.
“As indicated by our university’s motto, ‘Learn, Reflect, Serve,’ Barry recognizes the importance of community engagement in shaping our students’ education and preparing them to become responsible global citizens,” Dr. Romano said. “Our community partners play a critical role in this endeavor by providing our students with hands-on experiences and real-world challenges that enhance their academic learning and social awareness.”
Dr. Romano thanked Barry students, faculty, and community partners “who have dedicated their time and energy towards making a positive difference in our community.”
Organized by Barry’s Center for Community Service Initiatives (CCSI), the Community Engagement Showcase and Awards was an occasion for “celebrating community-engaged learning, teaching, service, and scholarship.”
Dr. Glenn Bowen, director of the CCSI and Barry’s Quality Enhancement Plan, emceed the event. And Courtney Berrien, associate director of the CCSI, gave the closing remarks.
Students and Faculty Make Conference Presentations on Community Engagement Topics
The TQR Conference, Gulf-South Summit on Service-Learning and Civic Engagement, EERA Annual Conference, and AERA Annual Meeting are on the list of conferences.
Barry graduate students and faculty members have been making presentations on community engagement topics at several conferences this year. The conferences are in regional, national, and international settings.
So far, at least three presentations have drawn on the findings of community-based research with Ukrainian refugee families. The focus of one of those presentations has been the “belongingness” among displaced Ukrainians, as revealed by the research.
On the list of conferences is the 8th International Qualitative Research Conference—VIII Conferencia internacional de investigación cualitativa—in Guanajuato, Mexico, scheduled for late June.
In mid-February, a group from Barry traveled to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where they presented at the EERA Annual Conference. The conference was organized by the Eastern Educational Research Association.
The 14th Annual TQR Conference, which Nova Southeastern University hosted in February, is another of the conferences at which Barry students and faculty made presentations.
A presentation from a Barry graduate student is slated for the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). The meeting will take place in Chicago, Illinois, on April 13–16 and virtually on May 4–5.
Faculty and students will also make presentations at the 2023 Gulf-South Summit on Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Through Higher Education. This conference will be hosted by the University of Georgia on its Athens (Georgia) campus on April 12–14.
Presenters at various conferences include doctoral students Marie Jasmin, Michael Portnoy, Deshanna Brown, Emmanuel Ikpuri, Anette Zayas, Betty Eugene King, Precious Denson, Caroline Gillingham-Varela, Heather Johnson-Desiral, Philip Corr, and Orlando Cardozo.
Dr. Ruth Ban, a professor of education, is listed as a presenter at four of the five conferences. And Dr. Laura Monsalvatge, a Barry alumna and faculty member at Florida International University, has joined Dr. Ban for the presentations.
Dr. Monsalvatge participated in the community-based research project with Ukrainian refugees. It has been “a rewarding experience” for her, she said.
The Center for Community Service Initiatives (CCSI) has supported student and faculty participation in conferences that contribute to the advancement of community-engaged scholarship at Barry University.
All Winners of Community Engagement Awards Recognized at Campus Event
The winners of this year’s awards include Ketty St. Hubert, a nursing student who has demonstrated exemplary civic engagement as a member of the Barry Service Corps, and Dr. Katsiaryna Matusevich, an associate professor of human resource development. Pictured with the award winners are Dr. Jill Farrell, dean of the School of Education, Leadership, and Human Development, and Dr. Glenn Bowen, the CCSI’s director.
Since 2014, there have been more than 80 winners of awards for community engagement presented by Barry University’s Center for Community Service Initiatives (CCSI). All winners were recognized recently during a luncheon, which marked the 10th annual presentation of awards to community engagement achievers.
The primary purpose of the awards is to publicly recognize students, faculty, staff, administrators, and community partners for their participation, contributions, and achievements in various areas of community engagement.
Over the years, the CCSI has presented awards in seven major categories: Community Impact, Community Partnership, Community-Based Research, Community-Engaged Scholarship, Community Engagement Educator, Service-Learning Faculty, and Engaged Department. Additional awards have been presented for service and community engagement support.
This year’s winners of awards in two of the major categories received plaques, and a rousing applause, during the luncheon on March 29.
Dr. Katsiaryna Matusevich, an associate professor of human resource development, and Dr. Dale Hartz, an assistant professor of management, received the Community Engagement Educator Award. The Community Impact Award was presented to Ketty St. Hubert, a member of the Barry Service Corps, and Valentine Thomas, a fellow in the Barry Service Corps. Both students are nursing majors.
Ekaterina Elagina—a graduate student in the School of Education, Leadership, and Human Development—provided “exemplary service” in support of displaced children and families from Ukraine.
In addition, Ekaterina Elagina—a graduate student in the Adrian Dominican School of Education, Leadership, and Human Development—was honored with the Spirit of Service Award.
In all, 22 students and five student organizations previously won the Community Impact Award. Nearly 30 faculty members previously received awards in four categories—Community-Based Research, Community Engagement Educator, Community-Engaged Scholarship, and Service-Learning Faculty.
There have been nine winners of the Engaged Department Award and 24 in the Community Partnership category. Additionally, nine staff members have received awards for service, and there have been three recipients of awards for community engagement support.
The Community Engagement Awards Committee is composed of faculty, students, and community partners. The committee reviews the nominations based on established criteria and selects the nominees to be recommended as the award winners.
Serving on the committee for this academic year were five faculty members: Drs. Stephanie Bingham (chair), Pamela Hall, Kevin Kemerer, Fabio Naranjo, and Lauren Shure. Completing the committee membership were two students, Amanda Gonzalez Garcia and JuanPablo Martin, as well as two community partners, Florence French Fagan (Bread for the World) and Nadie Mondestin (Haitian Youth and Community Center of Florida).
Final Forum in Academic Year’s Deliberative Dialogue Series to Address Climate Change
The academic year’s Deliberative Dialogue Series will end this Thursday with a forum aimed at “building resiliency in the face of climate change.” Participants will “consider creative approaches to building a sustainable future for South Florida’s people and environment.”
Thursday’s forum will be the fourth and final in the series titled “Fostering Resiliency in Times of Uncertainty.”
Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. The United Nations (UN) says these shifts may be natural, such as through variations in the solar cycle. However, according to the UN, “since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas.”
Participants in the deliberative dialogue will “consider creative approaches to building a sustainable future for South Florida’s people and environment,” the Center for Community Service Initiatives (CCSI) said in a statement. “Among the forum participants will be a small panel contributing to the exploration of the topic from the standpoints of public health, diversity and equity, environmental well-being, and economic impacts.”
As part of Barry’s commitment to social justice, university administrators, staff, faculty, and students are expected “to recognize the sacredness of Earth, and to engage in meaningful efforts toward social change.”
The academic year’s Deliberative Dialogue Series is designed to foster “resiliency in times of uncertainty.” This Thursday, participants will “consider creative approaches to building a sustainable future for South Florida’s people and environment.”
The most recent forum in the Deliberative Dialogue Series, which brought stakeholders together on campus, drew attention to race relations in a diverse community experiencing significant political divide.
Two forums in this year’s series took place in the fall semester. One focused on the situation in Haiti; the other addressed “learning losses” in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Organized by the CCSI, each year’s Deliberative Dialogue Series consists of four facilitated forums that elicit “voices and views from campus and community.” Students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community partners take part in each of the 90-minute forums, which are also aimed at generating suggestions for workable public policies and effective action.
Students, as well as faculty and staff, are asked to register for this Thursday’s forum through the Corq app. The forum is free and open to the public.
NEWMAN CIVIC FELLOW: Barry Service Corps Fellow Valentine Thomas has received national recognition as one of Campus Compact’s Newman Civic Fellows for 2023–2024.
SHOWCASE AND AWARDS: The focus of a pictorial report will be last month’s Community Engagement Showcase and Awards hosted by the CCSI.
REFLECTION RESOURCES: The CCSI’s Community Engagement Library has a collection of resources—books, journal articles, and fact sheets—on reflection. An element of experiential learning, reflection is particularly critical to service-learning.
Community Engagement News is a publication of the Center for Community Service Initiatives.
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