Classroom, Community,and Connections:Exploring Cincinnati and GlobalDiversity through Honors Seminars Debbie Brawn & Jessica King University of Cincinnati Honors Program UC Diversity Conference 2012
Guiding Framework “I feel that one of the most important things I learned was though it may not seem so, everyone shares similar experiences and struggles that can be related, especially in the same area; this is so important as these things that connect us are what make us a community.”
University Honors Program University Honors is committed to helping students maximize their educational opportunitiesat UC while discovering and pursuing their passions inlife and using their gifts and talents to make meaningful contributions to society.
Vision• Emphasis on experiential learning• Develop and link students to best practices• Focus on four thematic areas – community engagement, global studies, leadership, and research/creative arts.• Innovation and Transformation
Current UHP Service-Learning ProgramsCourse or Program UC2019 Operational Principles Objective (other than Community)Alternative Break in Learning/Collaboration Students explore rural Appalachian culture through an alternative break trip to Southeastern KY, working with a non-Appalachian KY profit to build and/or rehab homes for underserved residents.Community Engagement Learning Provides students a forum to explore their place within our campus and city communities. UC’s urban environmentGateway: Exploring provides advantages and confronts us with challenges as we seek to enhance community. Class is held at variousCincinnati locations on and around campus and Cincinnati.Communication and Civic Learning Focused on a particular civic context each term. Most recently, the civic context was the Freestore Foodbank, their coreEngagement values, and the communities that they serve. Designed to integrate civic topics/issues from multiple disciplines and engage students in civic discourse.Leaders in Action Learning/Collaboration Designed to give students a practical understanding of what makes great leaders – characteristics as well as skills – and experience in developing their own leadership skills. Students will design and carry out a community service project.Faces of the Future: Learning/Collaboration Employs fiction, films, essays, speakers and experiential learning to examine the crisis of bettered youth andChallenges and Costs of organizational attempts at intervention. Included is a weekend service trip to an Eastern Kentucky non-profitBattered Youth residential facility for abused young people.Sociocultural Psychology of Learning Examines aspects of the journeys of immigrant children to the US, including development, acculturation, identity,Immigrant Children health, family relations, culturally-responsive approaches, and the childs countries of origin.Take the Challenge for Learning, Discovery, Sustainability Students work with virtual teams overseas to design a product/service that serves a social cause and develop aSustainable Development business model around that product or service. They will compete with US universities in the Acara challenge.Social Entrepreneurship and Learning, Discovery, Sustainability Introduces and promotes entrepreneurial thinking for effectively responding to key global challenges. Centers onGlobal Challenges global issues such as environment, health, poverty, education, trade, and migration/immigration. The focus is on developing a product or service responsive to a societal need while making a nominal profit.The Achievement Gap Learning, Collaboration Inspired by the dialogue resulting from the movie, “Waiting for Superman,” this course explores the educational inequalities related to the “achievement gap”. Visits to local public schools serve as the backdrop for discussions, resources and projects related to the social structure of and path to educational opportunities.Beyond IQ Learning, Collaboration Research indicates that Emotional Intelligence can be measured, can be developed over our life spans, and can have a significant impact on both academic success and life success and happiness in general. Students will have the opportunity to explore the concept of emotional intelligence and teach some of the skills and competencies to Cincinnati Public School students.Sustainable Urbanism Learning This interdisciplinary research seminar is focused on Cincinnati as a case study, introducing basic theories and methods relevant to understanding sustainable cities and communities. Students conduct field studies. Documenting and illustrating these findings is a key outcome.
Community EngagementLearning Objectives• Possesses awareness of purpose of service, including need for reciprocity, understanding of social issues, and ability to see those issues from multiple perspectives• Recognizes how public policies and practices, and power and privilege, have an influence on social issues. Explores ways to alter public policy and/or identify solutions• Relates, communicates, and works effectively with others towards sustainable social change• Participates in community and understands own role as citizen of community
Thinking About Community• What communities are we part of on a daily basis?• Based on your experiences, what are students’ perceptions of these communities: • University of Cincinnati • City of Cincinnati • United States • Global community at-large• What is “community” and how does our understanding of community impact our perceptions and daily interactions?
Community Engagement GatewayCoursework and experiential learning activitiesprovide students with a forum to explore theirplace within our campus and city communities. UC’s urban environment provides many advantages and confronts us with many challenges as we seek to enhance community. This course strives to introduce students to these elements as they relate to community engagement.
Student Learning Outcomes• Explore community assets, strengths, and needs• Define, analyze, and foster “community” both within and outside of the classroom• Think critically about identity, values, and history• Begin to develop relationships with community agencies and constituents• Acquire and demonstrate a broad, thorough understanding of Cincinnati and its current position, culturally, socially, regionally, etc.• Question preconceived “truths” about self, community, and the nature of social relations
Recurring Course Topics• History of the city of Cincinnati and UC• Educational inequality• Social class, poverty, and homelessness• Race, ethnicity, and culture• Gentrification and urban renewal• Current topics/events • Tea Party Movement • Planned Parenthood
Field ExperiencesVisit locations and class session meetingspaces, often negotiated in collaboration withstudents, have included: • Nat’l Underground Railroad Freedom Center (Downtown) • 3CDC (Over-the-Rhine) • Elementz Hip Hop Youth Arts Center (West End) • Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati (Mason) • Regional Chamber of Commerce (Downtown) • Aiken College and Career High School (North College Hill) • Gay & Lesbian Community Center (Northside) • Cincinnati Public Library (Corryville) • Stowe House (Walnut Hills)
Elementz “I would never have visited Elementz or the Islamic Center on my own, just because it’s not a part of my every day community. I think there’s definitely something to be said about being able to step out of your comfort zone and experience something new in order to inform your opinion or stance on an issue.”
Cincinnati Public Schools “This class was an eye-opening experience for me and showed me howdiverse Cincinnati really is.I enjoyed interacting withmy classmates, listening to guest lecturers, and I especially enjoyed seeing how our relationship hasprogressed with the Aiken High School community.”
Teaching Hope “Despite the saddening things like the hardships the Aiken students have to live with daily, the empty Corryville library, the heart-wrenching stories of the Freedom Writers and many others, there were lots of heart-warming moments as well. I had fun running around with the Aiken students as we got locked out of the school in mid-tour, it was a blast being taught how to ‘dougie,’ it was eye-opening to hear the truth about Islam from a strong and successful Muslim woman, it was empowering to facilitate and witness history being made at the Freedom Writers event; all of these moments and more were evidence of us ’creat[ing] a positive learning environment through a mutual exchange of ideas and perspectives’.”
Student Projects• Community Installation Project, DAAPworks• CenterCourt: Images from a case study• In a Word: How do you define community?• The Role of Hip Hop in Restoring Urban Communities• Awareness-raising flyers
Understanding Community “This course has made me create new and rethink some thought points I had on topics... When looking at the trips to the Islamic Center, Aiken High School, and Elementz theseare experiences that I would never have dared to experience on my own. But with a supporting community around you, these trips were easier to digest and experience… the purpose is to broaden ourselves and what is really all around us as a community.”
Current UHP Study Abroad ProgramsCountry UC2019 Operational Principles (other Course Title Objective than Global)Nicaragua Learning/Community Nicaraguan Culture and Social Service Hone Spanish speaking skills through classes and social serviceIndia Collaboration/Sustainability Integrated Approach to Rural Development Multidisciplinary approach to solve critical rural development issues (e.g., potable water). Collaborates with Indian NGO.Ghana Community Women, Population and Development Study issues of population in developing countries through an emphasis on women’s health and educationItaly Learning/Collaboration The Roman Experience Multidisciplinary approach to link art, architecture and music in Italy.France Learning Contemporary Paris Study of contemporary Paris with emphasis on its citizens, language, and cultureTrinidad Discovery Landscape and Environmental Change: Trinidad Study aspects of how humans have influenced Trinidad’s landscapes and how they will continue to in the coming years; will be considered from geologic and anthropologic perspectives.South Africa Mission-Based Health Care Public Health and Infectious Diseases: the South African Provide students with hands-on, real word exposure to public health Experience and infectious disease research in South Africa with a focus on HIV/AIDS.Brazil Sustainability Research in Natural Laboratories: Brazilian Amazon Examines the sustainability of endangered tropical ecosystems and its potential impact on world climate.Tanzania Sustainability/Collaboration Humanitarian Design Investigates emerging field of humanitarian design. Students develop project that benefit non-profit working in impoverished communities in Tanzania.Greece/Turkey Learning Mediterranean Roots of Western Civilization: A Influence of early Greek and Turkish thoughts on western civilization Contemporary PerspectiveFrance Learning Study French Language A longer study abroad experience in France for students to improve their language skillsJapan Learning Japanese Language and Culture Experience Improve Japanese language skills and cultural competence through class and home stays.
Global StudiesLearning Objectives• Possess global literacy, including knowledge of geography, history, current world issues and similarities and differences among cultures.• Recognize the interdependence of world economies, political systems and the environment.• Interact with individuals from different cultures and express a sensitivity, appreciation and respect for the complex range of experiences of diverse peoples.• Participate in a global society and understand the role of a global citizen.
Integrated Approach toRural Development: India
Questions? “This class has provided an excellent medium by whichstudents can explore the positive potential of the city ofCincinnati and the transformative power of a supportive, engaged community. In this way, we are able to truly create a community that is directed towards the betterment of ourselves and the world around us.” “The University Honors Trips to India and the GalapagosIslands have influenced my decision to apply to the Peace Corps. If it were not for those trips I would have never considered the Peace Corps as an option. I was nominated to work in Africa in February, 2011.” ~Ed Corbett