Appalachian Summit on Service-Learning

The Bonner Center for Service Learning & Civic Engagement at Carson-Newman University is excited to host the 2nd Annual Appalachian Summit on Service Learning Pedagogy & Practice on February 7, 2015.

The overarching focus of the Summit is to create tangible outcomes to assist faculty in integrating service learning into the classroom and initiating greater civic dialogue. The regional focus will broaden civic development and resilience in Appalachia. The guiding questions for the Summit are:
     1. How to coordinate a project or event across multiple courses and disciplines?
     2. How do community partners and faculty design courses and work together as co-educators?
     3. What is the most effective way to assess the value of service learning for community partners and students alike?
     4. What are student development opportunities that link service learning and civic engagement with institutional civic missions?

Therefore, workshop proposals should fit into at least one of the following categories:
1. Skill-based tools and practices
2. Appalachian community development
3. Student Development

The Carson-Newman University community hopes Appalachian colleges and universities, interested in creating a plan to further develop their respective institution’s civic mission through service learning, will consider attending. Modeled off the High Impact Initiative of the Bonner Foundation in Princeton, New Jersey, participation in the conference encourages each campus to bring a team of faculty, community partners, staff, and student leaders. However, the Summit is open to individuals as well. The Summit, with morning workshops and afternoon Open Space, is framed as a working session for the campus teams to create a project.


Summit Schedule:

8:00am - 8:30am: Registration in Stokely Cafeteria (small cafeteria)

8:30 - 9:00am: Welcome from Dr. Ross Brummett, Vice President of Student Affairs

9:00am - 9:10am: Break, Go to Session 1

9:10 - 10:35am: Session 1

10:35 - 10:40: Break, Go to Session 2

10:40 - 12:05: Session 2

12:05 - 1:20pm Break, Plenary over lunch (meal provided) in Stokely Cafeteria (small cafeteria)

1:20 - 1:30pm: Break

1:30 - 3:20pm: Open Space

3:20 - 4:00pm: Reflection/Closing

Approximately 4:00pm Attendees depart Carson-Newman University


Session 1 Workshops:

"From the Classroom to the Real World: A Presentation on Acquiring Skill Based Tools and Practices in order to Create Effective Service-Learning Opportunities at the University Level" -Michelle Nix, Luke Fekete, Ashley Barton, Kim Johnson, & Julie Rabun

This workshop will focus on two main objectives: 1) How the Journey Program (Carson-Newman community partner) goes about creating and facilitating service-learning partnerships and 2) How faculty incorporate projects or events into their courses and work together as co-educators. During this presentation, the audience will be able to hear from two faculty members that have had very successful service-learning partnerships with the Journey Program.

"The Role of Student Leader Development in Successful Service-Learning Experiences: How deep understandings of mutuality, agency, and impact are accomplished on immersion." -Melissa Marley Bonnichsen

Key to successful immersion experiences is the role of trained, tried, and committed student leaders. This workshop will explore student leadership development that empowers students leaders to lead peers onto rich, mutually beneficial, positive immersion experiences. The University of Notre Dame's Appalachia Experience will be the case study considered but please join us with your thoughts and shared best practices in this workshop that gets to the heart of strong immersion experiences --our student leaders.

Session 2 Workshops:

"AmeriCorps NCCC--Service Learning through National Service" -Brianne Connelly

Service learning does not have to stop at graduation. AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) is a gap year program that places 18-24 year olds in various service learning projects across the country over a 10 month period. Explore the needs of country while learning about the issues facing those in poverty.

"Campus Culture Under Construction: One Campus’s Attempt to Expand Service-Learning Gradually and Deliberately" -Christine Jones

At Carson-Newman University we value and encourage service. When the University chose service-learning as the topic of its Quality Enhancement Plan we knew it was a logical choice, but we also knew we had much work ahead as we worked to shape the campus culture. Terms needed to be defined, policies created and adjusted, faculty trained in service-learning as a pedagogy, partnerships developed, assessments created. Such work takes time so when we developed our overall plan we opted for a gradual, deliberate implementation of service-learning on Campus. This workshop will encourage participants to consider the opportunities and challenges present in their own contexts as they seek to expand the use of service-learning. There are opportunities and challenges for all parties involved – administration, faculty, students, and community partners. All are welcome to join our conversation.


Plenary over the lunch hour:

"Music and Community Building in Appalachia" -Guy Larry Osborne, Kevin Collins, Mitzi Wood-Von Mizener, & Durant Thompson, Jr.

Music has been an integral part of the collaborative work of community building and movements for social change in Appalachia for many years. In this context we will address the role of music in the collective work and life of Narrow Ridge Earth Literacy Center in north Grainger County, Tennessee. Music in the form of singing together for community-building, song-writing (as well as other forms of artistic expression), and learning about the historic and on-going role of music in Appalachian social movements is present as part of the pedagogy and content of Earth Literacy at Narrow Ridge. Music is also an integral part of the broader work of Narrow Ridge and includes regular community music jams, singing at the four seasonal celebrations, and an annual cultural festival celebrating the human and natural history of the local region with lots of local musicians and community sing-a-longs included. Narrow Ridge has a band, The Emancipators (, whose members reside at Narrow Ridge, serve on the staff or board, or have other personal connections with the place and organization. The band plays at Narrow Ridge functions and also at events around the region sponsored by nonprofit organizations working for peace and justice. This presentation will include singing and reflecting together on several original and traditional songs from the Narrow Ridge Earth Literacy Songbook.

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