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Symposium on Community Engagement and Experiential Learning

February 2, 2024
Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion, M.D. Anderson Library


The Symposium on Community Engagement and Experiential Learning will be on February 2, 2024 in the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion and the Honors College in the M.D. Anderson Library.

 

Please register by January 25, 2024.

 

This event is co-sponsored by the Cougar Initiative to Engage, Honors in Co-Curricular Engagement, and the Office of Government and Community Relations.

 

SCHEDULE  

 

Coffee and Breakfast,   E.D.  Rockwell Pavilion (8:30 AM)

 

Welcome, E.D. Rockwell Pavilion (9:00 - 09:10 AM)

Dr. Diane Z. Chase, Senior Vice Chancellor/Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

 

Session 1: (9:15 - 10:05 AM)

  • E.D. Rockwell Pavilion:
    How Power Sharing Can Provide a Mechanism to Improve Community Engagement
  • Honors College Commons:
    Centering Undergraduate Course Curriculum in a Community of Practice

How Power Sharing Can Provide a Mechanism to Improve Community Engagement 

  • Linda Civallero, Fertitta Family College of Medicine
  • Dr. Assata Richards, Sankofa Research Institute
  • Hunter Ryan, Fertitta College of Medicine

Community participation and voice is needed for improving outcomes but how is this engagement incorporated in an academic setting? This session will describe sociocracy, a method for engaging communities equitably, and will provide examples of how COM and our community partner Sankofa Research Institute use sociocracy to engage community partners and ultimately lead to more sustainable outcomes.

Centering Undergraduate Course Curriculum in a Community of Practice: Project-Based Learning in UH Libraries

  • Dr. Elizabeth Coen, School of Theatre and Dance, Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts
  • Mary Manning, Special Collections, UH Libraries
  • Madelyn Shackelford Washington, UH Libraries
  • Jessica Garcia, School of Theatre and Dance, Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts
  • Khanthida Mounivong, School of Theatre and Dance, Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts

Panelists discuss the benefits and challenges of disrupting traditional models of instruction by integrating experiential learning into curricular design. As a case study, they examine their efforts to center student research in UH libraries as part of a class in theatre. Jessica Garcia speaks on her learnings as a student participant and how it led to a SURF.


Session 2: (10:15 - 11:05 AM)

  • E.D. Rockwell Pavilion:
    Team Science, Creativity, Community Engagement, and Experiential Learning 
  • Honors College Commons:
    Human Development and Consumer Sciences Resume Workshop
  • Room 212S:
    Building Sustainable and Authentic Partnerships with K-12 Educators

Team Science, Creativity, Community Engagement, and Experiential Learning at the National Science Foundation IUCRC BRAIN Center 

  • Dr. Jose Luis Contreras-Vidal, Cullen College of Engineering and NSF Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (IUCRC) for Building Reliable Advances and Innovations in Neurotechnology (BRAIN)
  • Dr. Mei Rui, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
  • Debra Barrera, Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts and Public Art, University of Houston System
  • Genevieve Johnson, Cullen College of Engineering and NSF IUCRC BRAIN
  • Aime J. Aguilar-Herrera, Cullen College of Engineering and NSF IUCRC BRAIN
  • Maxine Annel Pacheco Ramirez, Cullen College of Engineering and NSF IUCRC BRAIN

The NSF IUCRC BRAIN Center stands at the forefront of interdisciplinary collaboration between neuroscience and the arts, pioneering groundbreaking research to investigate and visualize the neural dynamics underlying artistic performances. In this panel, we delve into various projects and initiatives that exemplify our commitment to reshaping perceptions of the brain and expanding the horizons of human creativity: Creative Encounters at the Children's Museum, Meeting of the Minds, Diabelli 200, Music-in-Medicine @ MD Anderson Cancer Center, and UH Public Art Student Ambassadors (PASA): Community of Practice.

Human Development and Consumer Sciences (HDCS) Resume Workshop 

  • Dr. Daiane Polesello, HDCS, Technology Division, Cullen College of Engineering
  • Dr. Sharon K. Green, Engineering Career Center, Cullen College of Engineering
  • Jessica Gonzalez, City of Houston - Houston Public Works
  • Sehar Javed, Javed Advisors
  • Ed Monsivais, City of Houston - Houston Public Works

"HDCS Resume Workshop" is a dedicated event catering to HDCS students and the community. Focused on enhancing resume writing skills and job interview strategies, the workshop offers valuable connections with HR professionals. Volunteers, including UH graduates, employers, and recruiters, collaborate to provide practical guidance and foster professional development opportunities.

Building Sustainable and Authentic Partnerships with K-12 Educators 

  • Community Literacy Engagement
    • Dr. Anne Katz, College of Education
    • Diana Castillo, Houston Independent School District (retired)

      An academic service-learning initiative was embedded throughout an Early Childhood Education course in the University of Houston’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction during the Spring 2023 semester. As part of this initiative, 70 Early Childhood Pre-Service Teachers (PSTs) were invited to design an engaging family literacy activity around a diverse children’s book to model and donate to a family in the Pilgrim Academy school community. The PSTs had the opportunity to bridge theory with practice. They designed original family literacy packets and modeled their diverse children’s books for families at a local public school during a Family Reading Night event in April 2023. The book and family literacy activities were donated to local families at the school during the Family Reading Night event.
       
  • STEM Research Inquiry Summer Enrichment (RISE)
    • Dr. Mariam Manuel, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
    • April LaSalle , Jack Yates High School, Houston Independent School District

      This presentation will explore best practices for faculty and programs to cultivate sustainable, community-centered partnerships. Discover how to avoid common pitfalls and create impactful work that benefits both the university and the community.

      The STEM Research Inquiry Summer Enrichment (STEM RISE) program, funded by the NSF, is a collaborative initiative aimed at enhancing STEM education through strategic partnerships. This project involves the University of Houston's College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics STEM teacher preparation program, teachHOUSTON, and the Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine. In partnership with community leaders and instructional leaders from Jack Yates High School in Third Ward, STEM provides high school students with hands-on STEM research and learning experiences with guidance and mentorship from UH medical students, undergraduate STEM majors, and program faculty. The presenters will delve into the collaborative processes used in establishing meaningful community partnerships and offer practical insights to guide potential collaborations between the university and community.
       

Session 3: (11:15 AM – 12:05 PM)

  • E.D. Rockwell Pavilion:
    Adaptive Design Experimentation for Underserved Community
  • Honors College Commons:
    Third Ward Schools Initiative: Leading through Service
  • Room 212S:
    Community Engagement and Experiential Learning in Courses

Adaptive Design Experimentation for Underserved Community 

  • Jeff Feng, Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design
  • Dr. Elham Morshedzadeh, Harris Health System
  • Dr. F. Kay Brown, Harris Health System
  • Nico Carrizales, Harris Health System

This presentation is about a collaboration between the UH COAD Industrial Design program and the Harris Health System with a focus on adaptive device design innovation and experimentation. The program is illustrated through program strategy and structure, program rigor and strength, case studies, and benefits to the community.

Third Ward Schools Initiative: Leading through Service 

  • Dr. Anne McClellan, Advancing Community Engagement and Service Institute, College of Education
  • Teranda Donatto, Advancing Community Engagement and Service Institute, College of Education
  • Stephanie Perez-Gill, Advancing Community Engagement and Service Institute, College of Education

The Advancing Community Engagement and Service Institute (ACES) is a university-wide institute that operates Cougar Tutors, a paid opportunity for UH students to tutor in high-need public schools in Houston's Third Ward neighborhood. This presentation explores the impact Cougar Tutors has had on the community and lessons learned since its onset in 2016.

Community Engagement and Experiential Learning in Courses 

  • Teaching "Out of Doors": Using Nature as a Guide for Experiential Learning
    • Dr. Marc Hanke, Honors College
    • Dr. Lesli Vollrath, Honors College

      In this interdisciplinary panel, Marc Hanke and Lesli Vollrath will discuss how they incorporate nature into various assignments to encourage different types of experiential learning, in multiple Biology courses and an Environmental Literature course, respectively.

      Marc will discuss how he challenges Introductory Biology students to examine avian species and habitat across our campus. In his upper-level Marine Biology course, students must find and relate the oyster statue on CEMO to lectures and go on hikes in preparation for a learning abroad trip to the Galapagos. In her “Ecologies of Being” course, Lesli assigns a place essay that challenges students to choose and visit a place in nature several times before writing an essay that incorporates observational details with concepts from their environmental readings in their written construction of their place.

  • Intergenerational Creative Care through TimeSlips
    • Dr. Laurie Clements Lambeth, Honors College

      Clements Lambeth will discuss TimeSlips, a creative care program that “replaces,” for people with dementia, “the pressure to remember with the freedom to imagine.” This improvisational storytelling method, built on the premise of “yes, and,” unites students and elders across generations, joyously celebrating expression and achievement by a population who have lost authority and authorship in their own lives.

Lunch at E.D. Rockwell Pavilion (12:05 – 1:30 PM)
exCITE Talks Encore 
  • Daniela Castillo Sabido, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
  • Paul Daniel, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • Arushi Dheer, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • Rosemarie Faustina Le, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • Mielad Ziaee, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
Office of Government and Community Relations

Session 4: (1:30 – 2:20 PM)

  • E.D. Rockwell Pavilion: Community Engagement as the Linchpin of Outreach
    at UH Coastal Center
  • Honors College Commons:
    From Interviews to UX Testing: Student and Community Involvement in Sharing Stories from 1977
  • Room 212S:
    Co-Curricular Learning in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Community Engagement as the Linchpin of Outreach at UH Coastal Center 

  • Evelyn L. Merz, University of Houston Coastal Center, La Marque, Texas
  • Christine Anastas, Texas Master Naturalists, Galveston Bay Chapter
  • Michelle Matthews, Houston Monarch Story, UH Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts
  • Andrew (Andy) Sipocz, State Parks Division, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
  • Chatt Smith, Texas Master Naturalists, Gulf Coast Chapter

The presentation will introduce UHCC – its mission, activities (research & educational), community outreach, and an example of coastal prairie ecology. Panelists will discuss hands-on experiential learning at UHCC’s outdoor environment. They will discuss outreach from perspectives of volunteering with habitat restoration and educational outreach with UHCC to the wider community.

From Interviews to UX Testing: Student and Community Involvement in Sharing Stories from 1977 

  • Dr. Nancy Beck Young, Department of History, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
  • Dr. Sandra D. Davidson, Department of History, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
  • Cady Hammer, Department of History, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
  • Rahil Asgari, Department of History, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
  • Jacob King, Department of History, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Community engagement and experiential learning are crucial components of the Sharing Stories from 1977 project. Our presentation will discuss our wide-ranging crowdsourcing with educators, students, former NWC participants, and community members across the US to help tell the stories of the 1977 National Women’s Conference. Student participants gain real-world experience in research, writing, and conducting oral histories.

Co-Curricular Learning in Communication Sciences and Disorders 

  • Dr. Monique T. Mills, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
  • Dr. Sharon Grigsby Hill, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
  • Dr. Byron Ross, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
  • Dr. Chereece Andrews, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Co-Curricular Learning in Communication Sciences and Disorders will provide a tour of the myriad ways in which COMD students are actively learning outside of the classroom. The panel of faculty in COMD will share about the initiatives that they are leading in the following areas: co-curricular learning online, community engagement, health, and education abroad. They will share the impact of their programs on UH students and on Houston communities as well as lessons learned and future directions.


Session 5: (2:30 – 3:20 PM)

  • E.D. Rockwell Pavilion:
    Conversations: 
    More than Research, More than a Program,
    More than Engagement
  • Honors College Commons:
    Imagining America @UH and Humanities Lab
  • Room 212S:
    Experiential Learning in Local Chinese-Speaking Community in Taiwan

Conversations:   More than Research, More than a Program, More than Engagement

  • Susan Rogers, Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design
  • Ken Rodgers, Greater Third Ward Super Neighborhood Council
  • Dolores Rodgers, Friends of Columbia Tap
  • Dr. Inge Ford, Friends of Columbia Tap
  • Edward Pettit, Department of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy, Texas Southern University
  • Delores Ford, Cuney Homes Resident Council
  • LaQuita Thompson, Friends of Columbia Tap
  • Karina Yonekawa-Blest, Fonde Civic Club
  • Kimberly Phipps-Nichol, Friends of Columbia Tap
  • Nathaniel Treadway, Friends of Columbia Tap

The panel is an exploration of foundational values necessary to develop and sustain trusting and strong partnerships between academic institutions and communities. The panel will be a moderated “conversation” with representatives from the Third Ward community and faculty from the Community Design Resource Center in the College of Architecture and Design, the discourse will focus on the key principles for effective collaboration and partnership. 

Imagining America @UH and Humanities Lab

  • Humanities Lab: An Experiment in Community-Engaged Graduate Training
    • Dr. Josiah Rector, Department of History, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
    • Dr. Leandra Zarnow, Department of History, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

      This session introduces Humanities Lab, an experimental graduate service-learning program piloted by history professors in fall 2021. Students completed a readings course in community-engaged humanities scholarship while completing historical documentation and preservation projects brought to us by community groups. This panel reflects on the promise and limits of this approach.

  • Imagining America @UH
    • Dr. Eunjeong Lee, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and Imagining America@UH
    • Dr. Leandra Zarnow, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and Imagining America@UH

      This session introduces Imagining America (IA), a consortium of higher-education institutions, scholars, community organizers, artists, and other world makers who are committed to community-oriented and engaging knowledge-making and sharing practice for more inclusive, just world. The panelists share IA’s vision and its chapter at UH.

Experiential Learning in Local Chinese-Speaking Community in Taiwan

  • Xiaohong (Sharon) Wen, Chinese Studies, Modern and Classical Languages, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
  • Jing Zhang, Chinese Studies, Modern and Classical Languages, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
  • Hannah Reeves, Chinese Studies, Modern and Classical Languages, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
  • Kay Grein, Chinese Studies, Modern and Classical Languages, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
  • T.J. White, Chinese Studies, Modern and Classical Languages, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

The Chinese study abroad program, (5-weeks, summer 2023) turned out to be a significant experiential learning for all the participants (N=25)! Students not only learned Chinese language in classrooms in the morning, practiced what they have learned in the afternoon, but also use the language to be engaged in the local communities for their language function. All the students, regardless of their Chinese language proficiency levels, were able to resolve problems that they encountered on a daily basis in addition to interacting with the local community and native speakers.


Reception, E.D. Rockwell Pavilion  (3:30 PM)

Closing Remarks

Heidi Appel, Dean, Honors College