published April 11, 2014

SCI - South organizes workshops at the 2014 Gulf South Summit and Research Week 2014 at Auburn University

by Susan Reiser, SCI-South Co-Director

Auburn University is hosting two regional events organized by the SCI-South, headquartered at University of North Carolina-Asheville this Spring. There is still time to attend one of them.

Expanding on last year's successful inclusion of SENCER with Auburn's remarkable focus on, and extensive program to support, student and related research activities, SENCER will again be featured during Auburn's 2014 Research Week coming up on April 17. Research week follows on the Gulf-South Summit on Service-Learning and Civic Engagement through Higher Education held on March 27.

Research Week 2014—April 17, 2014: During 2014 Research Week, the SENCER Center of Innovation - South will be holding morning and afternoon sessions on Thursday, April 17. Both sessions are designed for college and high school faculty who teach STEM and STEM-related courses.

The morning session is entitled Food in the Context of SENCER. Invited presentations by faculty from three institutions that have developed SENCER courses and programs related to food issues will be featured. These include:

  1. Faculty (TBA) from UNC Asheville "Food for Thought" cluster,
  2. Phil Villani and Tara Lineweaver from Butler University, and
  3. Autumn Marshall from Lipscomb University.

The afternoon session, SENCERed: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, will be moderated by Ed Katz and Keith Krumpe of UNCA. It will feature invited presentations by

  1. Ellen Goldey of Wofford College on "The STEM Department Evaluation Rubric: A Tool for Developing a Shared Vision for Improving Undergraduate STEM Education",
  2. Theo Koupelis of Edison College on "SENCER from an Administrator's Perspective", and
  3. Matt Fisher of St. Vincent's College and the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement on "The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning."

You can register for Research Week at Auburn University here

Gulf-South Summit on Service-Learning and Civic Engagement through Higher Education: At the invitation of Dr. Bob Holm, SENCER Leadership Fellow and assistant director of education in Auburn University's Office of Sponsored Programs, SENCER SCI-South sponsored the Gulf-South Summit on Service-Learning and Civic Engagement through Higher Education.

The Gulf-South Summit's mission is "to promote networking among practitioners, research, ethical practices, reciprocal campus-community partnerships, sustainable programs, and a culture of engagement and public awareness through service-learning and other forms of civic engagement." This dovetails with SENCER's mission. This year's conference theme, "Creating capacity collaboratively: Connecting learning and civic outcomes," exemplifies that synergy.

The half-day workshop, held on March 27th, introduced SENCERized courses via five brief presentations representing different disciplines and applications. Invited presenters included:

  1. Ameena Batada (UNC Asheville - Health and Wellness) on social entrepreneurship in the classroom;
  2. Pearl Fernandes (University of South Carolina - English and Biology) on Southeastern Wetlands;
  3. Glenn Odenbrett, (SENCER - GLISTEN) on a regionally-focused higher education service learning program;
  4. Susan Reiser (UNC Asheville - Computer Science) on a new course on "Creative Fabrication: Art Meets Technology"; and
  5. David Clarke (UNC Asheville - Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Health and Wellness, and Sociology) on thematic clusters focused on food.

Asheville's "Food for Thought" Cluster creators were recognized with the William E. Bennett Award for Extraordinary Contributions to Citizen Science in 2013.

Participant responses to the workshop were overwhelmingly positive. One new SENCER SSI team is being assembled.

We thank Auburn for its remarkable hospitality and support for the work of SCI-South, SENCER and the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement.