April 9, 2001
OUCP mini-grants encourage community contact
By Jan Gleason
College junior Kylea Asher is examining sources of wisdom in American culture through an internship at Wesley Woods she secured with the help of Susan Cumings, an Office of University-Community Partnerships (OUCP) graduate fellow. Asher was enrolled in ILA Professor Angelika Bammers Junior Seminar in Interdisciplinary Studies class last fall, in which Cumings worked through her OUCP teaching mini-grant.
The focus of my work has been on identity formation, said
Asher, an interdisciplinary studies major. Im interviewing
residents at Wesley Woods Geriatric Center about their life histories
and experiences and looking at the resulting wisdom. The bigger question
Im exploring is whether our culture is still turning to seniors
for life-achieved wisdom or whether were turning to self-help books
and paid consultants. Im interested in where we go for our wisdom
Beyond the personal interviews, Asher also has spent time as an observer
at Wesley Woods. This internship will provide information for her senior
research project next year.
Susan talked with me about my interests and helped me make the
connection with Wesley Woods, Asher said. She and Dr. Bammer
have also helped me think through what questions I want to address in
my senior project.
Cumings assistance is only one form an OUCP teaching mini-grant
can take. Modest monetary grants can help purchase special equipment or
teaching materials. Both forms of grants, along with research mini-grants,
have been created to make it easier for faculty to add theory practice
learning (TPL) experiences into their courses.
Its very time-intensive for faculty to implement TPL initiatives
into their courses, said Michael Rich, associate professor of political
science and OUCP director. There are connections with local agencies
that need to be made, and details need to be worked out. We can provide
short-term, custom teaching assistance through the work of our graduate
fellows for faculty who apply for and receive OCUP teaching mini-grants.We
also can provide cash mini-grants.
This is a Universitywide effort to encourage all faculty to incorporate
elements of the TPL pedagogy into their courses, Rich said. We
want to change what sometimes has been an urban safari experience
for students into a partnership where the community also benefits from
the information being processed by students and faculty.
While its a bit early to determine the success of the mini-grants
as incentives for faculty to incorporate TPL, Rich said he will know the
program has been successful when it noticeably impacts the curriculum
so that a greater number of students have the opportunity to participate
in a community-based learning experience.
Deadlines for teaching mini-grants occur twice a year and are quarterly
for the research mini-grants. A faculty committee will rank the recently
submitted applications for fall to determine which will receive awards.
2000-01 Mini-Grant Recipients
Auslander, assistant professor of anthropology, and Susan
Ashmore, assistant professor of history, Oxford College: Community
Research on Landscape and Memory in African American Communities
Tara Doyle, lecturer in Asian Studies and religion: REL 212/ASIA 370T Asian Religious Traditions: Hindu and Buddhist Practices of South and South-east Asia
Eiesland, associate professor sociology of religion, Candler School
of Theology: REL 603 Sociology of Religion
Hilton and Mimi Kiser, adjunct
professors, Rollins School of Public Health: Facilitating Community
Empowerment: From Theory to Action
assistant professor of environmental studies: Learning to Green:
A Learning-Based Evaluation of the Georgia Community Green Space Program
of political science: POLS 190L Whats Wrong with American
Democracy and How Can We Fix It?
professor of political science: POLS 369 Policy Analysis and Program
Wegner, lecturer in environmental studies: ENVS 491 Service
Learning Course in Environmental Studies
Karen Worthington, clinical professor and director, Barton Child Law and Policy Clinic: Barton Child Law and Policy Clinic