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Academic Content

"At the beginning of this class I will admit that I was pretty skeptical of its purpose. My initial thoughts were summarized by "Oh great another pass or fail class that is going to take up time I should be studying". However, I believe that this class has made me grow as a person more than any other class I have taken in college thus far. Service learning has also helped open my eyes to things I would never even consider. I have been volunteering fairly often in my life,, but with the lecture part of the class I can see how beneficial it was to everyone involved including myself. I have always felt the necessity to give back to the community, mostly because I have been blessed with so much. However, I have noticed a huge difference about myself after this class from the various services I have completed. As I reflect on the service opportunities, I can see how much I have grown as an individual. These academic skills include the rewarding feeling of leadership, helping others, and learning to work effectively as a team. By continuing to serve I will continue to learn skills include the rewarding feeling of leadership, helping others, and learning to work effectively as a team, and I can use that to benefit not only myself but those around me."

-Zach Cutia, Forensic Science and Law 2015

“Things change every day and whatever amount of knowledge someone may have is never enough. It is absolutely essential to continue learning and adapting. The fact of the matter is that you do learn something every day, and if you don’t, you should. Also, people and society can always be improved. It is important to always self-evolve and figure out how to grow as a person, and as a society. This is a simple thing to do. Never assume you know all there is to know about anything, always listen and consider other points of view, never assume and never judge. Learning new things is fun. Keeping an open mind, and broad interests will make learning easy. I pretty much have agreed with everything we have gone over in this class. Most of it I have been taught, and practiced my whole life, but I got to see the same material from different perspectives, which is always beneficial. I am glad we are required to take this course because I would not have otherwise, for one reason or another.”

— Alexander Bearer, B.S. Physics 2012, M.S. Education

“The service learning process has allowed me to integrate my research and scientific interests into the community of Pittsburgh. I was given the opportunity to volunteer at spay/neuter clinics as well as the rescue hose set-up for the feral and recovering felines of extreme hoarding. I was pleased my academic goals could be put to practical use during my undergraduate education.”

— Chelsey Tressler, B.S. Biology May 2011

“In all, this class was definitely a learning experience. The service experience was helpful in learning about how others view science and scientists in general. I learned what qualities are important for leadership. I learned different items to consider during service opportunities and learned there are different ways to give back through science. It is important to consider not just one, but all academic objectives and action performance objectives when participating in a service learning project. “

— Michelle Glaid, B.S. Biology May 2011, M.S. Education

"I felt as though the academic objectives were geared towards understanding how we could use our classroom experiences and knowledge to help out on the large scale of things in our community. We can see the progression of identifying the problems and what needs to be done, to seeing how we could help, to figuring out what skills are needed to help. Our service experience let us put these Academic Objectives into action. With the feral cat project, many of us were involved with different parts of the project; this fostered collaboration, an important part of growing as a leader. Many of the tasks fostered collaboration and helped to create a system that was self-sufficient. We worked to recruit other volunteers so that on an occasion that we cannot volunteer, someone else will be there to fill our spots. Lastly, this experience was outside a lot of our comfort zones. It allowed for us to think outside of the box, and stirred our creativity. Overall, I cannot think of a way this project could have been more worthwhile than it was."

- Priam Chakraborty, B.S. Biology May 2014