Role within service-learning:
Professor and member of the Service-Learning Advisory Board.
Three of my courses include service-learning. One is an honors seminar with domestic service–this is the second year that this course has included a service element. The second course is a capstone course in physical therapy that includes an alternative spring break to Ecuador where we provide physical therapy to children at two orphanages. This course has run for 10 years. The third course enables physical therapy students to participate in an adaptive sports program I created for children with Autism and other disabilities–in the form of a community based soccer and basketball program. This program is in year 5.
What is one thing everyone should know about service-learning?
Once you find yourself in a community it is hard to leave. You become invested in the people and the mission. Service brings the classroom material alive.
How are your values expressed through your community work?
Service is in my blood. Physical therapy is a service-oriented profession and so is teaching, so I had the right start. My whole world involves helping others reach their potential. I love working with students and seeing them become energized working outside of the walls of the academia.
I feel strongly about service-learning and involving my children, as well. My daughter, who is a Northeastern freshman, has been on 5 service trips with me outside of the US, worked with the adaptive sports program and took her first service-learning course here at NU this fall. She is majoring in international affairs and Spanish and uses her developing language skills at her service locations. My son, who is a junior in high school, has worked with me since day one with the adaptive sports program. Participating in service has provided both children with leadership opportunities.
Photo and interview by Liza Ashley