Community Partners Breakfast set for Sept. 22
The University of South Carolina community and Columbia service agencies will come together for the third annual Community Partners Breakfast Wednesday, Sept. 22.
The event, part of the university’s efforts to celebrate and build sustainable community partnerships, connects campus representatives with local agencies to enhance the success of programs such as academic service-learning.
The breakfast is set for 7:30 – 9 a.m. in the Russell House University Union ballroom. It is free and open to faculty, staff and students involved or interested in campus-community partnerships and to professionals from service agencies in Columbia. Online registration is required by Sept. 17. To register, go to www.sc.edu/servicelearning.
Service-learning courses have increased steadily at the university, enhancing students’ academic experiences in classrooms and laboratories and encouraging extracurricular collaboration among faculty, students and community service agencies.
“Building on last year’s highly successful event, we want the breakfast to spark new ideas among faculty, staff, students and community organizations to create lasting service-learning partnerships that produce innovative and academically stimulating solutions to some of our most pressing local and regional needs,” said Jimmie Gahagan, assistant vice provost for student engagement.
In 2009 - 10, more than 1,000 students enrolled in 42 service-learning classes across a spectrum of academic disciplines.
One example of a service-learning course is “Ethics of Food,” taught by Dr. Kevin Elliott, an associate professor of philosophy. The course introduces students to a range of environmental and social topics associated with contemporary food production, processing and marketing. During the last few years, students in the class have helped plant and maintain a garden on campus, launched a “Plant a Row for the Hungry” campaign in the Midlands and packed food for Harvest Hope food bank. Each service-learning activity emerged from partnerships forged as a result of the USC Community Partner Breakfast.
USC’s commitment to service and civic engagement has earned it a spot on the federal government’s 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This is the third consecutive year that USC has received this award.
For more information on service learning at the University of South Carolina, visit www.sc.edu/servicelearning.