Students, faculty and community invited to April 20 conference dedicated to promoting service learning
RENO, Nev. – Following through with promises made by former University of Nevada, Reno President Milton Glick, the University’s Cooperative Extension program is hosting the first annual service-learning conference, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., April 20 in the Harry Reid Engineering Laboratory on campus.
The conference is being hosted by the University’s Service Learning Council, a group of 12 University and state representatives from programs such as the Sanford Center for Aging, the University’s Honors Program and Nevada Volunteers. University students and faculty will host a series of lectures and roundtable discussions pertaining service learning, a type of education devoted to teaching through volunteering and experiential learning.
In 2010, the University joined “Campus Compact,” a coalition of nearly 1,200 universities and colleges around the country dedicated to increasing awareness and involvement in service learning. Since then, a number of campus groups have begun to promote such efforts, including the University’s Honors Program, which has partnered with 30 nonprofit organizations and donated more than 1,000 hours this year alone, according to Honors Program Director Tamara Valentine.
For students, Valentine commented that, “It’s about building your resume and your experience, but it also gives you an idea of the issues in your community.”
Students in the Honors Program can take a course that requires them to complete at least 15 hours of community service, but many students surpass the minimum and donate more time than required, Valentine said. These volunteer hours can lead to some students continuing to volunteer their time, creating a domino effect that lasts throughout their college careers, she said.
Service learning has helped Ivon Padilla-Rodriguez, a freshman honors student who will be speaking at the conference, to make a huge impact in the Reno arts community. Rodriguez began volunteering at the Good Luck Macbeth Classic Theater Company last semester. Although students were only required to volunteer 15 hours, Rodriguez volunteered more than 100 hours throughout the semester, and has nearly doubled that amount since January. The Las Vegas native helped build props, assisted with lights and sound, and created a workshop for children to learn how to act.
“Service learning is really important to me, and I think it does fulfill its promise of bringing the arts to the Reno community,” she said.
# # #
Nevada’s land-grant university founded in 1874, the University of Nevada, Reno has an enrollment of 18,000 students and is ranked in the top tier of the nation’s best universities. Part of the Nevada System of Higher Education, the University has the system’s largest research program and is home to the state’s medical school. With outreach and education programs in all Nevada counties and with one of the nation’s largest study-abroad consortiums, the University extends across the state and around the world. For more information, visit www.unr.edu.
Media Relations Officer
University Media Relations
University of Nevada, Reno/108
Reno, NV 89557
Media newsroom: http://newsroom.unr.edu