Duquesne faculty Wins Western Pennsylvania Environmental Award
Ed Schroth (Environmental Studies), one of the most popular and influential environmental educators in Western Pennsylvania for the past 50 years, will be honored with the 2015 Western Pennsylvania Environmental Award, announced today by Dominion and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC). Mr. Schroth will accept the award at the Western Pennsylvania Environmental Awards Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Thursday, May 26, 2016, at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh. The award is presented by Dominion and PEC for leadership, effectiveness, and results in making an impact on the environment and includes a $5,000 donation. Schroth is best-known as a teacher of biology, water ecology and environmental science at Quaker Valley High School, and later at Duquesne University. At Quaker Valley, he started the “Up the Creek Gang,” a project where students studied the ecology of Little Sewickley Creek and its watershed. He later teamed with the China Association for Science and Technology to take high school students in to Beijing and Qingdao China for environmental studies three times. This China partnership continued when he took Duquesne University science majors on four more trips. Through his passion for environmental education and his unique teaching style, students received first hand experience at data collection and measurements. As a leader in service learning at Duquesne University, he has set the standard for student-community engagement with such organizations as the Allegheny Land Trust, the Little Sewickley Creek Watershed, The Ballpark Urban Farm, and others. All entries were judged on the basis of their relevance to local environmental priorities,evidence of their impact on the environment, their approach to solving an environmental problem, and the environmental benefit of their work.
Duquesne faculty has been named The Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (NECTFL) Mead Leadership Fellow for her community-engaged scholarship
Lucia Osa-Melero's (Modern Languages and Literatures) community-engaged project is entitled "Niños y niñas bilingues y biculturales." Osa-Melero's spanish language students deliver a 3-week program on basic vocabulary, geography, history, and contrastive cultural features of Spanish-speaking countries for mainly monolingual English-speaking children, ages 3 to 5 attending preschool.The NECTFL Mead Leadership Fellowship provides support an individual in the development of a project that contributes to the foreign language teaching profession and advances quality language instruction.
Essay in Chronicle of Higher Education Highlights shift from Service-Learning to a more collaborative form of engagement
Today's Chronicle of Higher Education included a commentary about a collaborative orientation to community engagement that is very similar to the kind being promoted within Duquesne's new model of community-engaged learning, especially at the foundational level. The commentary explores positioning students as listeners. The author, Stephanie Bower, suggests: "Our course takes a different approach. We position students as listeners rather than experts, and community partners as holders of knowledge rather than as objects of charity or study. Such reversals destabilize the assumptions that enable students to view those on the outside as inferior or undeserving. They suggest, too, another path for service learning, one premised on reciprocity and self-reflection, rooted in a commitment to look at the world through the eyes of those disadvantaged by it. If we expand our repertory of service-learning projects to include collaboration as well as the more traditional tutoring and volunteering, what new types of learning might we discover?"
Duquesne Again Receives Carnegie Community Engagement Classification
Because of the ways Duquesne engages with its broader communities through teaching, research, student volunteerism, economic development involvement, and public-serving centers and institutes, the University has again been selected as one of the nation’s few institutions to receive the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s Community Engagement Classification.
Language Learning and Community Engagement Textbook Written by Duquesne Faculty
Please join us in congratulating Duquesne’s Lucía Osa-Melero an assistant professor in the department of Modern Languages and Literatures for the publication of En Acción: Español, Comunidad y Aprendizaje, a university third year Spanish language textbook that incorporates community engagement with Spanish language learning. The book supports community engagement in two ways. First, each chapter includes two medium length "texts" based on interviews with Spanish-speaking community members from around the country. Those interviewed were chosen for their record of high-level community engagement, such as the individuals who help run free healthcare clinics serving the needs of the Spanish-speaking community in Austin, Texas. These “texts” help to sensitize students to various civic issues important to Spanish speakers in the U.S. They also raise awareness of diverse cultural experiences and build up the idea that common citizens can make an invaluable impact within their communities. Additionally, En Acción teaches vocabulary that supports student engagement within the Spanish-speaking community. Lucía Osa-Melero engages her teaching with Phillips Elementary School (a Spanish language magnet school in the Pittsburgh Public School district), and the YMCA Child Development Center on Duquesne’s Campus. She, along with her colleague Vanessa Fernández, is also currently working on project with Casa San Jose (a community organization that provides social service to the Latino community in Pittsburgh).
Duquesne Faculty has Community-Engaged Research Recognized
An article by Dr. Norman Conti, Sociology, and his colleagues Dr. Linda Morrison and Dr. Katherine Pantaleo, a graduate of Duquesne's Center for Social and Public Policy, was recently discussed in Dr. Joanne Belkap's 2014 Presidential Address to the American Society of Criminology. In her address, titled "Activist Criminology: Criminologists' Responsibility to Advocate for Social and Legal Justice," Belknap recognizes their 2013 Inside-Out ethnography, "All the Wiser: Dialogic Space, Destigmatization, and, Teacher-Activist Recruitment" as an example of innovative activism as she invites those in the field to answer her call to action. Conti's article was originally supported by a 2008 Paluse Grant from the Center for Catholic Intellectual Tradition.