By Service-Learning Program Assistant and Co-op Malia Bow
On Reading Day at Northeastern, we held the biannual Service-Learning EXPO. And just like the few days of sun we’ve seen since 2017 started, it was fleeting yet celebrated. For this semester, we chose a tea party garden theme to encapsulate not only vibrant colors and a feeling reminiscent of the weather we should be having, but also to craft the idea that the metaphorical garden that Service-Learning would not be possible without contributions from its many gardeners—students, faculty, staff, and community partners. Much like gardening, the work and effort produce results and seeing the fruits of one’s labor fills one with pride. I hoped the culmination of students sharing their experiences and reflections on service-learning would mimic those emotions. It certainly did for me; to see 93 presentations of enthusiastic and insightful students sharing their perspectives with community partners, faculty, and their peers was nothing short of incredible.
Pictured above: Malia Bow, Service-Learning Co-op & Assistant delivering opening speech
Students put so much brilliant effort into their presentations. Click here to view the photo album, here to see an online copy of this year’s program and recognize the student presenters who found service-learning impactful and important enough to share their experience with others. And to see what presentations looked like, visit our Facebook page to see the Facebook live stream of the event hosted by S-LTA Leo Hastings (and catch me off guard in impromptu interviews with Leo)!
This year we had a new component to the EXPO: judging. Unbiased staff members in the Center of Community Affairs and Service-Learning student leaders voluntarily agreed to judge the presentations of students who wished to be judged. The presentations were scored on the following criteria: understanding of the community partner organization’s mission, contribution of meaningful work with partner organization, understanding of course and service connection, evidence of integrated knowledge, knowledge gained of Boston communities, critical thinking of civic impact, reflection on personal and professional goals, and effort applied to presentation. Out of 26 presentations that were judged, two presentations emerged as winners. Please join me in congratulating Melanie Caneja, John Hume, Sarah Jacobs, and Macy Rainer for their superb and thorough work both in during the semester and their final presentation!
I would like to extend many thanks to all the wonderful people who without their support, this event and service-learning would not be possible. Thank you to all the students, faculty, staff, community partners, Service-Learning Teaching Assistants, Service-Learning Team Managers, Service-Learning Street Team, Service-Learning fellows, Service-Learning Advisory Board, my supervisors Becca Berkey and Lisa Roe, and my colleagues in the Center of Community Service and City and Community Affairs.
Picutred above Spring 2017 Service-Learning Team (left to right): Becca Berkey, Lisa Roe, Malia Bow, Jasmine Cheung, Suzie Kim, Meagan Hart