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Profiles
Profiles
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17
Community Partnership
Service-Learning students Eva Giron and Yelida Luis (far left), Weasnar Nay and Karonika
Brown (far right) with Professor Michael Cermak and President James Mabry (center).
science," said Cermak. "We have to make it
interesting, empowering and relevant through
the lens of environmental sustainability."
As Fair Food expands, he added, including
more talented science educators such as
Alejandra Cabrera, who facilitates
the program, and AmeriCorps VISTA
volunteer Patty Dawson is key to the
project's success.
The Fair Food Science Program not only
benefits the fifth and sixth graders who
are learning about their world, but also the
Middlesex Service-Learning students, Cermak
explained. "The college students have a great
time mentoring the kids, and learn how to
improve their own presentation and science
skills and how to teach science. There are
some students who keep coming back and
participating for no class credit."
The ongoing partnership with Bartlett School
is a cornerstone of MCC's Service-Learning
Program, as the college continues to build
stronger relationships with community
partners (see sidebar, below).
Cermak hopes the program inspires Bartlett
students to embrace science, and take on
their own bigger projects and participate in
larger science fairs. "That's the big picture
and the outcome we are always pushing for."
Jennifer Myers
Civic & Service-Learning:
Embedding Students into the Community
Mission:
Civic & Service-Learning is a credit-
Civic & Service-Learning is a credit-
bearing educational experience in which students
bearing educational experience in which students
participate in an organized activity that meets
participate in an organized activity that meets
identified community needs, and then reflect on
identified community needs, and then reflect on
their service.
their service.
Community Served:
Students work with a variety of local nonprofit and
Students work with a variety of local nonprofit and
government agencies, as well as college offices, to help them meet their
government agencies, as well as college offices, to help them meet their
needs of supporting vulnerable and underserved populations.
needs of supporting vulnerable and underserved populations.
Director:
Shana Berger
Shana Berger
How does your program impact the community?
Combining
Combining
service with learning provides more "people power" in the community,
service with learning provides more "people power" in the community,
and strengthens connections between the college and the community. It
and strengthens connections between the college and the community. It
also broadens the pool of students who make community-focused career
also broadens the pool of students who make community-focused career
also broadens the pool of students who make community-focused career
also broadens the pool of students who make community-focused career
also broadens the pool of students who make community-focused career
also broadens the pool of students who make community-focused career
choices, and increases the likelihood that students will be engaged in
choices, and increases the likelihood that students will be engaged in
choices, and increases the likelihood that students will be engaged in
choices, and increases the likelihood that students will be engaged in
choices, and increases the likelihood that students will be engaged in
choices, and increases the likelihood that students will be engaged in
choices, and increases the likelihood that students will be engaged in
choices, and increases the likelihood that students will be engaged in
their communities after graduation.
their communities after graduation.
their communities after graduation.
their communities after graduation.
their communities after graduation.
their communities after graduation.
What do you like best about your program?
I was hired in the fall
I was hired in the fall
and what attracted me to this program is that faculty and students can
and what attracted me to this program is that faculty and students can
participate in a variety of ways, including individual and project-based
participate in a variety of ways, including individual and project-based
service-learning, one-credit courses, and global opportunities.
service-learning, one-credit courses, and global opportunities.
In the future, we hope to engage more faculty in project-based
In the future, we hope to engage more faculty in project-based
service-learning because it provides a way to more deeply integrate
service-learning because it provides a way to more deeply integrate
community opportunities into the fabric of courses. We plan to develop
community opportunities into the fabric of courses. We plan to develop
several deep partnerships similar to our connection with the Bartlett
several deep partnerships similar to our connection with the Bartlett
Community Partnership School, which is linked to many courses through
Community Partnership School, which is linked to many courses through
project-based and individual service-learning.
project-based and individual service-learning.
I'm also looking forward to further developing the "civic-learning"
I'm also looking forward to further developing the "civic-learning"
component of Civic & Service-Learning with more opportunities for
component of Civic & Service-Learning with more opportunities for
component of Civic & Service-Learning with more opportunities for
component of Civic & Service-Learning with more opportunities for
students to engage in leadership, advocacy and organizing.
students to engage in leadership, advocacy and organizing.
students to engage in leadership, advocacy and organizing.
students to engage in leadership, advocacy and organizing.
students to engage in leadership, advocacy and organizing.
students to engage in leadership, advocacy and organizing.
" I want the kids to become more
mindful eaters and eat vegetables,
not just because they were told to,
but because they feel better and
understand why."
Michael Cermak
Associate Professor of Sociology and Director,
Fair Food Science Program at Bartlett School