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Students in the community engaged course SUST 3003: World on a Plate were treated to an exciting last class when famous chef and activist Jose Andres prepared his famous Paella for them all, which can be read about here 

“The course examined food history, science and industry, and also incorporated current issues in the global food landscape such as immigration and the undocumented food system as well as national security and food-related health issues.”  

The students in this course served with six different community partners: FRESHFARM, Martha’s Table, DC Central Kitchen, Food & Friends, FoodPrints at Francis-Stevens, and DC Greens. The 95 students served for a total of 813 hours throughout the semester.  

We thank Dr. Tara Scully for her community engaged scholarship in this class. Learn more about her work here. If you are interested in taking a Community Engaged Course check out this link here 

We are so proud of GW Alumni and Knapp Fellow Chloe King who has been named a 2020 Marshall Scholar, making her just the fourth GW alumni to receive the scholarship.  

King, who is currently in Indonesia for a Fulbright scholarship research project, will be able to pursue two master’s degrees at two different universities in the United Kingdom over a two-year period at no cost. You can read more about her future plans here 

While at GW, King was a recipient of the Knapp Fellowship. Read more about Chloe's work as a Knapp Fellow here here. We hope you'll consider applying for a Knapp Fellowship as well.  

Molly Sturges is this year’s Corcoran Visiting Professor for Community Engagement. She adapted one of her pieces called “Waking the Oracle,” for the GW community. It is described as “A multi-arts rave focusing on arts, spirituality, and climate justice.”  

The show will run October 31-November 3 in the Black Box theater in Building XX. Buy tickets here 

The Elliot School of International Affairs will be hosting a book launch event in celebration of Reclaiming Patriotism, the newest book of Dr.Amitai Etioni, University Professor and Professor of International Affairs and Director of the Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies.  

The event will be on October 1st, from 12:30pm-2:30pm in the Lindner Family Commons (room 602) of the Elliot School of International Affairs (1957 E St. NW, Washington, DC 20052). The event is free, with books available to purchase and a light lunch provided.  

RSVP for the event here 

Kudos to Dr. Elizabeth Rule and colleagues at the AT&T Center for Indigenous Politics and Policy on the quality of their new app, a guide to local sites of importance to Native Americans. This is a great example of scholarship for the public good. Link to: Guide to Indigenous DC

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Dr. Sean D. Cleary, a member of the Nashman Affiliate Faculty, is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology & Biostatistics at the Milken Institute School of Public Health. His work with young adults with autism for class “The Autism Experience: A Public Health Perspective” has been highlighted in GW Today!

We are excited to see a spotlight on the excellent work that Dr. Cleary and his colleagues are doing! Check out the article here. Check out more of our great Nashman Affiliate Faculty here.

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Professor Gregor D. Squires, a Nashman Affiliate Faculty member and Professor of Sociology and Public Policy & Public Administration, will be teaching the Social Problems in America (SOC 2105) Engaged Scholarship/Service-Learning class in Fall 2019. The Nashman Faculty Update wanted to highlight this class for those who might be interested as registration comes up soon!

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The class aims to integrate students into the city to see first-hand the problems addressed in the readings, lectures, films, and other classroom activities. It includes guest speakers who are actively engaged in addressing critical issues facing the DC community, attendance and analysis of an event in DC (e.g. Congressional hearing, theatrical performance, political demonstration, museum exhibit) and volunteering with a local non-profit advocacy or service delivery organization. The final paper will be an assessment of the causes, consequences, and potential solutions of a critical social problem based on students’ experiences on and off campus.

To read more about the class, check out the page from Fall 2018 on GivePulse here. You can also check out our previous interview with Professor Squires here.

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Dr. Anna Helm GW School of Business Nashman Faculty Spotlight

Bianca Trinidad, a scholar with Community Engaged Scholarship at the Nashman Center sat down with Dr. Anna Helm, a Nashman Affiliate from the GW School of Business (GWSB), to learn more about the possibilities and challenges of performing community-engaged work within GWSB.

Dr. Helm holds multiple roles at GW: as a faculty member in the Department of International Business, as the Director of the Center for International Business Education and Research (GW-CIBER), and as the Principal Investigator of a Teagle Foundation Grant related to the integration of Liberal Arts into the undergraduate business curriculum at GWSB.

Dr. Helm’s primary role is as a faculty member, teaching courses on international business and international marketing in particular, occasionally offering specialty courses like Foreign Market Analysis, Cultural Environment of International Business, and International Perspectives on Green Business, along with short-term study aboard consulting courses. These specialty courses pinpoint Dr. Helm’s passions: consulting, culture and sustainability. In the Green Business course specifically, she teaches sustainability from an international and service-learning perspective, engaging “glocally” with local organizations like Martha’s Table as well as international non-profits. Longer term, her overseas consulting courses focus specifically on intensive consulting projects for international clients – typically in the CleanTech or Healthcare industries – assisting innovative international start-ups in bringing their product solutions into the U.S. marketplace.

As a long-standing committee member for CoreFac, which helps develop programming for undergraduate students at GWSB, Dr. Helm strives to embody the focus of the Teagle Foundation by bringing liberal arts learning into the undergraduate business curriculum within GWSB. Dr. Helm explains that as a part of the Teagle Foundation Grant, professors from the Columbian College have developed and taught modules in their specialty areas – Arabic, German, and Korean language and culture - within her Cultural Environment of International Business course.

With a bigger global picture in mind, Dr. Helm also is the Director of GW-CIBER, a center derived from a federal Title VI Grant from the Department of Education to promote U.S. competitiveness abroad. GW-CIBER promotes the nation’s capacity for international understanding and economic enterprise by  supporting research and educational programming related to international business and by conducting outreach to the corporate community.

Dr. Helm shared what she likes about her community engaged work with us and why it is important:

“I really enjoy the interaction with students and especially to see them apply their theoretical knowledge in the real world and then bring back practical insights to the classroom.  The community engagement in the Business School looks a bit different from what is done in other disciplines. We tend to focus on firms mostly and our students bring their talents and skills to help those companies succeed in their markets. Personally, I have opted to work within industries that I consider important for the common good and which can help ensure a sustainable future for all, such as the CleanTech and Healthcare industries.”   

And what about the mix between local and global engagement for her students?

“I want to do more, and I do think that there are a lot of ways to engage, but it’s hard to implement it while purely focusing on non-profits. My personal limitation is that I teach international business, and invariably the intimacy of getting students involved in their local business communities is not always possible. Most of the time we are working with firms across the globe, and that distance fundamentally changes the experience for both students and faculty.”

As noted earlier, Dr. Helm’s passion lies in sustainability and culture, and we wanted to learn more. To explain, Dr. Helm told us about her time growing up in Sweden and how that impacted her thinking:

Coming from Sweden which has a much greater focus on sustainability, I was baffled at some of the wasteful behaviors that I observed when I moved to the U.S. back in the 90s. When I first arrived here as an exchange student, having never set foot in the United States before, I remember how surprised I was that my host family used disposable plates. I also noted that people took much longer shower and that they did not turn off the water while shampooing their hair. In Sweden we grew up with a love of nature and a focus on taking care of the community. As children we even had songs to sing while we were outside picking up trash. I was just a totally different world. I think those experiences are what really prompted me to focus on sustainability and clean technology. In my opinion, CleanTech is right at the intersection of Sweden’s passion for engineering and technology and its love of nature. Sweden is a world leader in high-tech innovation, and sustainability is ingrained into the whole process of the conceptualization and development of new products. On a personal level, culture is my lens to international business. To figure out how a culture is distinctive and how to define in positive ways how that culture can productively engage in international business solutions is truly fascinating.” 

As always, we ask faculty to share a favorite story about their course and Dr. Helm described her shared success through the experience of a former student:

“I really take pride in the fact that students are getting real-life experiences in my courses to bring to their future careers. One student e-mailed me after her first big meeting at PriceWaterhouseCoopers with all the new recruits and told me that the people in charge had asked the new employees “Is there anybody here who knows about hypothesis-driven consulting?” which is a method that I had used in my class. My former student was so excited because she was the only one of 50 new recruits who knew what that was and had actively used the approach in a real-client consulting project. For me it was really fulfilling to know that what we do in my Foreign Market Analysis consulting course does have a positive and tangible impact on students.”

Not only does she share successes with individuals but on a greater scale, Dr. Helm’s commitment to Community Engaged Scholarship has led her to a greater appreciation of the feedback loop between academia and experience:

“I find that it is fulfilling both for the faculty and the students to work together on research projects. I personally have a small research team consisting of current students and alumni that works on my green consumer behavior research project. It is fulfilling to know that you are giving students a chance to be embedded in the academic community of the university, helping them explore career options and prepare for the real world. We get them involved and thereby help them become more thoughtful and engaged global citizens. I also think that for faculty it is important to be connected to the real world, because it is so easy to be cocooned in academia with our specialized research. To branch out and actually understand the implications of your research in the real world and having to bring back that feedback and those insights from the world outside to what you do allows us to develop a fresh perspective. There is really a kind of symbiosis there, in which you need to have that blood or pulse from the real world - to be a better teacher and researcher.”

And if students are interested in learning more about international business, marketing, or sustainability?

“I am currently teaching Foreign Market Analysis, which is my consulting course. I also teach Cultural Environment of International Business. That’s the course into which we have incorporated the Liberal Arts by bringing in faculty from the Columbian College to teach about the connection between language and culture. That course focuses on cross-cultural differences in managing and motivating people from different cultures and how to optimally lead diverse teams.”

The Nashman Center thanks Dr. Helm for sharing these insights with us. To learn more about our community engaged faculty click here, and for information on our community engaged courses click here.

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Dr. Tara Scully, a Nashman Affilated Faculty member and Assistant Professor of Biology, will be recognized at the 9th Annual Faculty Honors Ceremony, which will take place on Tuesday, April 23rd, at 4:00 p.m. in the Jack Morton Auditorium. She will be recognized, along with several other teachers, and awarded the Morton A. Bender Teaching Award, which awards $1,000 to faculty for professional development. You can find more information about the event here and more information about the Morton A. Bender Teaching Awards here.

Dr. Scully has been an incredible asset to her students, teaching one of the largest service-learning classes at GW, with over 100 students. She shared her experiences with the Nashman Center in a faculty spotlight that we highly recommend you take a look at here. Congratulations to Dr. Scully for the well-earned award!

This month, we interviewed Dr. Baker about her most recent research on the efficacy of service-learning in language learning.

Faculty Spotlight: Nashman Affiliate Dr. Lottie Baker of GSEHD Click here to link to the research article.

Bianca Trinidad a scholar at the Nashman Center, spoke with Dr. Lottie Baker, one of our Nashman Affiliated Faculty, about her Community-Engaged Scholarship. You can learn more about Nashman Affiliates here https://www.gwnashmancenter.org/new-page-3/.

Dr. Baker works at the Graduate School of Education and Human Development, in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy. She works with students who want to be language teachers. Some of her students want to become ESL (English is a Second Language) teachers while others aim to be world language teachers, like Spanish, French, or Chinese teachers here in the U.S. and abroad.

Dr. Baker notes that there is a commitment to community-engaged teaching within the teacher-education program at GSEHD. Students complete a community-engaged teacher experience in the summer, where they partner with a community organization, to work with youth outside of school. “It’s a great opportunity for us, as a university to contribute to the community that they live in here in DC and so, there’s a lot of great work being done in different areas here in DC. So, it’s exciting that we have that opportunity to do that.”

Another piece of my work is what this new article is about. Dolores Perillán, in the Spanish program, does an incredible job in coordinating and facilitating a community-based service learning program. I learned about this program from her and because of my personal interest in Spanish, and realized how impactful it was. She places undergraduate students in community organizations around the DC area, including facilitating placements in bilingual/dual-language schools, which I thought was innovative. I’ve seen and read work about community engagement in language settings, and I haven’t seen a lot of having students go to dual-language schools. I saw this as an opportunity to explore how that was working. So, that was where this research idea was born.

We asked Dr. Baker what inspired her to be involved in this kind of research.

I am a Spanish learner myself, and I always love opportunities to practice. When I started this position in GW a few years ago, I came to a few events that Dolores hosted, and I was so excited to hear Spanish and use Spanish because of my interest in language learning. I feel pretty strongly that part of the role of a university is to contribute to the community that we are in. I live in DC and through my own involvement with community organizations I see there is a lot of great work being done to support immigrant populations. Working as a faculty member at GW allows me to make connections and to contribute to that great work that is being done with those communities.

For the article I looked at a few things. Professor Perillán collects, reads and gives feedback to blogs that students write. So, I read some of these blogs . Then I also followed 4 students, which meant that I interviewed them several times and visited them in their placement schools. The topic of the interviews was about how this experience of working in dual-language schools improved their Spanish language acquisition and what their perspectives were. I was happy to see that they were really thoughtful about how these experiences contributed to their language learning. They were able to articulate how being in that classroom really helped hone their skills and use particular strategies for learning languages. So, we always hear people say “Immersion is the best way to learn languages”, but what does that actually mean?  It’s somewhat of a myth, because you can’t just go to another country and think that simply by being there you’ll pick up the language automatically. You need to try to use the language and reflect on it if you really want to learn a language. So, it was nice to talk to students who really got this concept. The service learning experience enabled them really to use Spanish and be reflective about it – what’s helpful for immersion settings to work. It was good to see that they could really dig in to that process of when they were in a school, what they did. For instance, they could articulate how particular interactions helped them learn and practice these strategies of listening in the target language or responding to someone else in the target language and being able to hold all that information all at once. I found it interesting how thoughtful these students were about their experiences in language learning.

Dolores Perillan is the one who does a lot of the hands-on coordinating; it’s amazing how much work she does. My research question going into it was to understand how students perceive this experience of working in a dual-language school and how they perceived it in their language acquisition and language-learning process.  I read some of their blog entries in Spanish for the program, analyzed those, and focused on 4 specific students. I interviewed them a couple of times, and then, I visited them when they were in the classrooms to see what their experiences were. So, what I found was great because these interviews really showed how these experiences in the school really helped them hone particular skills, and they were also - maybe it was the fact that I was interviewing them - but they were able to reflect on what it means to learn a language, and what was difficult for them. And another thing that came out of it that both the students in the blog and those that I interviewed is that they used Spanish that they didn’t use in the classroom. So even students who were more advanced said that there were a lot of words that they had never used in the classroom. For instance, one student mentioned words that were related to habitats, because the classroom was studying about habitats in 2nd grade, and she’s never learned about habitats in Spanish, because she started learning Spanish in high school. It was helpful for intermediate students too. In general, a lot of these community service-learning opportunities in university language programs are designed for advanced learners. The dual language school is a unique environment that really supports language learning and makes interacting in Spanish more accessible for intermediate students. We call it educational scaffolding, where you give a lots of support when you want to tell ideas, and so, the teachers are doing lots of support, such as using images and gestures. So, I think that’s a positive thing.

Why do you think it is important for GW faculty to be involved in community-engaged scholarship or research?

We are very privileged to be at a university like this. The students here are privileged because they’ve been able to get to college, which means they have literacy and education, plus the means to be here in GW. And, there’s a similar idea with faculty – we are also privileged with the education and experiences to get to where we are now. So, I think as a university community, we should recognize these resources we have and contribute to the world that we live in, and we can do that directly through the DC community, which goes much further than Foggy Bottom. The college setting is unique because it is our job—students and faculty-- to do in projects like this where we learn and interact in the community. That’s something that is really special and that you can’t find in many jobs.

I teach courses in language education and they’re part of the graduate program for secondary education; for TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). So, if people are interested in becoming a teacher, then I encourage them to explore the programs that GSEHD has, because we have multiple pathways to become a teacher. And some of them are where you can get licenses to become a teacher here in DC or the U.S., and some are where you can just learn some of the skills and knowledge to become a teacher in a private school or overseas.

And for those students interested in Spanish, another pathway starts at the undergrad level. Students who are majoring in Spanish, for instance, can take graduate courses their senior year. And then, earn a master’s degree in just 5 years; so in 1 year after they finish their bachelor’s degree. So, that’s a new program that we are beginning, and we are starting it also within other content areas. But, regardless, undergrads at GW can come to GSEHD to earn a Masters in our intensive 13-month program after they finish. So, I hope GW undergrads in our program will grow, because I think GW has a lot of smart, creative, thoughtful students who would be wonderful teachers.  And our programs are related to community-engaged teaching and so, not only do we put our students in schools, where they work with mentor teachers, but as much as possible, we like to expose them to working with other organizations in the community.

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