Gephardt Institute announces grants recipients

The Gephardt Institute for Public Service has announced the recipients of its Community-Based Teaching and Learning Faculty Grants Program.

Community-based teaching and learning is embraced by schools and departments across Washington University. Also known as service-learning, key elements include learning activities in service to an organization or community, course content and assignments connected to the service and faculty oversight.

The grant program was established to provide faculty members with financial support, which can be applied to curriculum development expenses.

“We hope this funding creates opportunities for faculty to implement courses that integrate substantive student learning with meaningful community engagement,” said Amanda Moore McBride, Ph.D., institute director and assistant professor of social work at the George Warren Brown School of Work.

The Gephardt Institute also offers technical expertise in key areas of community-based teaching and learning, such as reflection assignments, evaluation methods and standards and tools for working effectively with community partners.

Recipients for 2009 are:

• Jeanenne M. Dallas, instructor of occupational therapy at the School of Medicine. The grant will support graduate students enrolled in the “Fieldwork and Professional Competence” course to adapt occupational therapy assessments for clients of the Independence Center living with mental illness.

• Joachim Faust, Ph.D., lecturer in linguistics in Arts & Sciences. The grant will enable WUSTL students participating in the course “Global Culture and the Individual: Abroad in Georgia and Azerbaijan” to develop and implement English language clinics in coordination with students from the International Black Sea University, Open Society Institute and Sheki State University in Azerbaijan.

• Guy Genin, Ph.D., associate professor of mechanical, aerospace and structural engineering. The grant will enable students in the “MASE 400” independent study course to develop age-appropriate environmental engineering modules that can be taught in Teach for America classrooms.

• Judi McLean Parks, Ph.D., the Reuben C. and Anne Carpenter Taylor Professor of Organizational Behavior at Olin Business School. The grant will support student project planning and implementation for “Community Development & Environmental Preservation through Entrepreneurial Collaboration,” an interdisciplinary course offered in collaboration with Missouri Botanical Garden and the community members of rural Madagascar.

• Ruth Clark, Ph.D., assistant professor of physical therapy at the School of Medicine, and Victoria May, assistant dean for science outreach in Arts & Sciences. The grant will enable science majors enrolled in the “Experience in the Life Sciences” biology series to provide anatomy and physiology lessons at the Gateway Institute of Technology in the St. Louis Public School District.

• Jodi Polzin, visiting assistant professor in the School of Architecture at the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts. The grant will fund students’ work with Beyond Housing and the city of Pagedale in north St. Louis County through the seminar “Reconsidering the Margin: Places of Meeting, Spaces of Transformation” and subsequent design studios and construction internships.

For more information about community-based teaching and learning courses, visit