engaged learning

Engaging students in service learning

Springfield, Mo., September 16, 2013—Service projects are a tradition going back decades at Drury University. During the last school year, Drury students provided more than 148,000 hours of service giving back to people and organizations in Springfield and the Ozarks. Before a student ever sets foot in a class or takes one credit hour at Drury, they spend a portion of orientation helping out in the community. On Monday, August 19, 20 different groups of students and faculty fanned out across the community to do everything from work at a food pantry to clean up Jordan Creek. It’s an annual event called Service Plunge.

“I thought it was great to give back,” said Daniel Capper, a Drury freshman who helped pick up trash and pull weeds along Commercial Street north of campus. “It’s nice to be at a school that’s willing to be involved in the community.”

“Service plunge is designed to introduce our students to a community partner and to plant the seed of service,” said Courtney Swan, director of community outreach and leadership development. “Each non-profit tells the students about their mission and the students can internalize that and ask themselves, ‘What’s my role in this?’”

Two years ago, Drury adopted a new general education curriculum, the Drury CORE: Engaging Our World, which more formally institutionalized service learning. As part of the CORE, students must complete two engaged learning experiences. Those can be fulfilled through internships, study abroad, research projects or service-learning.

Dr. Sean Terry and his CORE class after cleaning Jordan Creek where it flows under the City of Springfield

“Service-learning should enhance what a student is doing in the classroom,” said Courtney Swan, director of community outreach and leadership development. “Some students learn best by having a ‘hands-on’ experience, but service learning adds another component – social responsibility.”

Service learning not only strives to address a need the community has identified, but also supports students in their personal and professional development. In addition, to qualify as service learning, there needs to be a reflective component such as a journal or a paper that encourages students to contemplate the community issues being addressed and their own civic engagement.

To fulfill the engaged learning requirements, service learning does not have to be a part of a class project. If approved, a service learning experience can be an independent study or even an alternative spring break trip. In March of 2013, Drury students on Spring Break worked on projects in Tennessee and Colorado doing everything from trail maintenance to tutoring children.

“One day, we did service work on an actual portion of the Trail of Tears while listening to stories about the Cherokee. That was one of the most memorable experiences of the trip,” said Sheila Haskins, a Drury senior who attended the Tennessee Spring Break trip in March of 2013. “By the end of the week, we were all exhausted, but it was an unforgettable experience. What I thought was going to be a week of community service turned into learning lessons about myself, other cultures and I made some new friends.”

Drury’s commitment to service is also a part of the installation of Drury’s new President Dr. David Manuel, which has the theme: Learn, Engage, Serve. Dr. Manuel will be formally installed as Drury’s 17th president on Friday, Sept. 20, but two days prior, on Sept. 18, Drury students, faculty and staff will take part in service projects throughout Springfield and the Ozarks.

Drury’s emphasis on service is designed to produce graduates who, according to Drury’s Vision Statement, “become engaged, ethical and compassionate citizens.”

“We understand that Drury is a private institution, but we are also a public trust,” said Dr. Charles Taylor, dean of the college. “Encouraging our students to engage with the community and to give back fits with Drury’s Mission. Our students understand that they are part of larger communities and have an obligation to give back.”

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Story by Mark Miller, associate director of marketing and communications at Drury

Ozark High School graduate will intern at prestigious, online architecture magazine

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 12, 2013 — Eric Baldwin, a 2010 Ozark High School graduate, has been offered an internship position as an architecture critic for the online magazine ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website in the world.  After a month-long application process, Baldwin, a fourth-year architecture student at Drury University, was selected among 340 applicants to be a writer and researcher for the 2013 fall semester.

Eric Baldwin

When asked about what he was most looking forward to, Baldwin said, “I’m excited about being able to bring local issues to an international audience; my words hold weight.” Baldwin added that he is sincerely thankful for the opportunity and looks forward to writing and learning about the web-based, global company.

Baldwin will graduate from Drury with a Masters in Architecture in May 2015.

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More than an Internship: Drury senior Christa Scott completes her experience at Compassion International

Poverty is a big problem. A problem I helped fight this summer during my internship with Compassion International in Colorado Springs.

Compassion is a child sponsorship agency founded in 1952 that acts as an advocate for children, to release them from their spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty. Currently, Compassion sponsors 1.3 million children in 26 countries.

I became involved with Compassion in 2005 when I sponsored a boy named Jose from the Dominican Republic. In 2006, I had the opportunity to meet Jose and his family in Santo Domingo, the capitol of the Dominican Republic. I saw the impact that Compassion’s Child Sponsorship Program made in his life and I knew I wanted to work for Compassion. I applied last winter and was selected from 400 applicants for one of Compassion International’s 22 internship slots.

Christa Scott with Compassion International CEO Wess Strafford

For my summer project, I worked closely with Compassion’s strategy department to tell the story of Compassion’s Leadership Development Program (LDP) through a video. LDP takes the cream-of-the-crop students from the Child Sponsorship Program and pays for their college educations in their home countries. It is Compassion’s hope that those students will become great leaders in their communities and stop the corruption that perpetuates poverty.

My video is in the works to be released internally to all of Compassion’s employees worldwide. I have to say that this internship was a fantastic experience for me. This summer I grew in my knowledge and awareness about poverty. I gained many friendships with the other interns and my co-workers. I even had the opportunity to speak several times with Compassion’s president, Dr. Wess Stafford.

Wess challenged me to find a cause I am passionate about and use my talents to continuously work for that cause. Finally, I could see how I can use the skills and knowledge I have learned at Drury to make a difference in someone’s life. I’m passionate about investing in people and I plan on finding work in the future that provides me an opportunity to do just that.

To find out more about Compassion International visit www.compassion.com.

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Story by Christa Scott, a senior Advertising, Public Relations and Graphic Arts major at Drury.

A celebration of Drury on C-Street

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 10, 2012 — Drury University celebrated the Grand Opening of Drury on C-Street with a Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting on Thursday, May 10 at Drury’s C-Street location at 233 Commercial St. On Thursday night, Drury students, faculty, staff, alumni and trustees celebrated the opening.

From L-R: Stephanie Weddell (white), Sara Cochran (black) and Dr. Kelley Still (pink) celebrate the ribbon cutting at Drury on C-Street

“Drury has been doing projects on C-Street for 15 years, in classes and in co-curricular activities,” said Dr. Still. “Drury needed more space for its fiber arts classes and it gives our arts administration majors a gallery to run. At Drury, we do experiential learning very well, and Drury on C-Street gives our students more real-world opportunities.”

Drury on C-Street opened in September 2011, and during the last academic year it has offered many opportunities for students, including:

  • Fiber arts classes, including a weaving studio, which will be dedicated in honor of Harriet Mears at the Grand Opening.
  • The C-Street Business Resource Center gives students experience consulting with C-Street businesses and organizations on everything from marketing and social media to website design and accounting.
  • Arts administration students manage the gallery that gets more than 200 visitors on First Friday C-Street Strolls. Drury art students are also able to sell their work in the Student Gift Gallery.
  • Arts administration majors have facilitated music and art classes for special needs children. Programming is being developed for more outreach programs with fiber arts beginning in the fall.
  • Drury on C-Street will be busy this summer with interns working in the C-Street Business Resource Center, an Invitational Wildlife Art Show for the month of June and the VSA Arts & Disabilities Tour in July.
  • An architecture studio that currently houses the Professional Communications class. They have been concepting bike/bus hubs for the City of Springfield.

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO) granted Drury a below market rate, “mission-related” loan to fund the build out of the C-Street space. During the last academic year, Dr. Still and Drury’s Development office have raised enough pledges from alumni and community members to more than pay back the loan within the five-year window. Now, Drury on C-Street is in the grant process with several foundations, and the community and alumni support Drury on C-Street has received will help demonstrate its sustainability.

Besides its donors and CFO, Drury on C-Street would also like to thank: The Urban Districts Alliance, The City of Springfield, Commercial Club and the Commercial Street Merchants Association for their work in making the C-Street facility possible.

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A Grand Opening celebration for Drury on C-Street

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 3, 2012 — “What’s good for Springfield is good for Drury, and what’s good for Drury is good for Springfield.” That statement from Drury’s Dr. Kelley Still is the philosophy behind Drury on C-Street, a Drury space on Commercial Street featuring academic programming, internships and art.

Drury on C-Street

On Thursday, May 10 at 11 a.m., Drury and the Springfield Chamber of Commerce will host a ribbon cutting for Drury on C-Street. That evening, Drury students, faculty, staff, donors and community members will celebrate the Grand Opening of Drury on C-Street from 6:30-9 p.m.  Drury on C-Street is located at 233 E. Commercial St. in Springfield.

“Drury has been doing projects on C-Street for 15 years, in classes and in co-curricular activities,” said Dr. Still. “Drury needed more space for its fiber arts classes and it gives our arts administration majors a gallery to run. At Drury, we do experiential learning very well, and Drury on C-Street gives our students more real-world opportunities.”

Drury on C-Street opened in September 2011, and during the last academic year it has offered many opportunities for students, including:

  • Fiber arts classes, including a weaving studio, which will be dedicated in

    Students working at C-Street

    honor of Harriet Mears at the Grand Opening.

  • The C-Street Business Resource Center gives students experience consulting with C-Street businesses and organizations on everything from marketing and social media to website design and accounting.
  • Arts administration students manage the gallery that gets more than 200 visitors on First Friday C-Street Strolls. Drury art students are also able to sell their work in the Student Gift Gallery.
  • Arts administration majors have facilitated music and art classes for special needs children. Programming is being developed for more outreach programs with fiber arts beginning in the fall.
  • Drury on C-Street will be busy this summer with interns working in the C-Street Business Resource Center, an Invitational Wildlife Art Show for the month of June and the VSA Arts & Disabilities Tour in July.
  • An architecture studio that currently houses the Professional Communications class. They have been concepting bike/bus hubs for the City of Springfield.

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO) granted Drury a below market rate, “mission-related” loan to fund the build out of the C-Street space. During the last academic year, Dr. Still and Drury’s Development office have raised enough pledges from alumni and community members to more than pay back the loan within the five-year window. Now, Drury on C-Street is in the grant process with several foundations, and the community and alumni support Drury on C-Street has received will help demonstrate its sustainability.

“We are delighted to partner with Drury on this important project that will benefit not only C-Street and Drury students, but also the community overall,” CFO President Brian Fogle said. “Our mission- related investing program is designed for high-impact projects that help us achieve our desired double-bottom line of an investment return and an investment in the community.”

Besides its donors and CFO, Drury on C-Street would also like to thank: The Urban Districts Alliance, The City of Springfield, Commercial Club and the Commercial Street Merchants Association for their work in making the C-Street facility possible.

Media contact: Dr. Kelley Still, Executive Director, Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship, Phone: (417) 873-7458, E-mail: kstill@drury.edu

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