Integrating Dreams, Merging Roads, and Imagining Solidarity

Jason Ware, Clinical Assistant Professor, Honors College, Purdue University (West Lafayette)

In this showcase session, you will hear how one clinical assistant professor has integrated his research, teaching, and engagement to focus on community well-being within neighborhoods characterized by poverty. You will hear how such integration has broad impact in that it facilitates enhanced knowledge and practice within the author’s field, it facilitates undergraduate learners’ scholar development and civic engagement, and it facilitates data-driven decision making and community development specific to neighborhood revitalization, affordable housing, and homelessness intervention at the city government level.  You will hear the story of how such integration has taken a few years to establish through building and sustaining ongoing relationships with community partners who give as much as they receive from the partnership in terms of their goals and dreams for the communities they receive. You will hear about the author’s notion of solidarity and the role it plays in ensuring that all stakeholders benefit from the collective work they do. Finally, you will be asked to share your own success stories from your service-learning and engagement experiences specifically related to how you integrate the varying elements of your work.

  1. This showcase session will focus on the author’s integration of research, teaching, and engagement focused on community well-being and quality-of-life at the neighborhood level. In this session, the author will discuss the impact of such an integration on his field of study, the students he teaches, and on the communities and partners with which he works. Common good will be discussed conceptually as solidarity in which all parties involved contribute to and benefit from the work they do together towards a desired outcome—an outcome that they collectively define.
  2. The purpose of this session will be to 1) share the author’s story about how he got involved in service-learning, and how service-learning introduced him to community partners with whom he has worked for the past five years, 2) share the best practices that have facilitated a sustained and mutually beneficial relationship between the author and the community partners, 3) discuss the impact the sustained relationship has facilitated for students’ in the author’s courses and research group, as well as the impact it has facilitated for the community partners and the communities they serve.
  3. During this showcase session, the author will present a poster and discuss his current engagement project, the nature of the reciprocal community partnership that supports it, and evidence of the impact the project is having on undergraduate students, the community partners, and the communities they serve.
  4. This showcase presentation will draw from a few conceptual and theoretical frameworks. From a research perspective, the author will draw from quality-of-life and community indicator theories that inform the nature of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies used within his project. From a teaching and learning perspective, the author will draw from self-determination theory and critical-constructive didactic which influence the author’s course design and choice to focus on providing learning environments that foster students’ autonomy, competence, and relatedness to each other, while also fostering a sense of self-determination, co-determination, and solidarity with the communities they serve.
  5. The author is a clinical assistant professor at a major research university and has presented at domestic and international conferences and has published several peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.
  6. The author will create several slides that would contain the equivalent content he would put on a poster and will talk over the slides. The author plans to have time for questions and answers.
  7. The author believes this session could be helpful to faculty, students, and non-academic professionals and practitioners.
  8. The author believes this session could be helpful to individuals new to service-learning and to those who have years of experience, and all those in between. Any level of experience can facilitate good questions and great input for discussion”