Gephardt Institute announces service-learning grant recipients

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

More than 40 community-based teaching and learning courses are offered 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 grants are intended to provide faculty members with financial support for curriculum development and implementation. The Gephardt Institute also offers technical expertise in key areas of community-based teaching and learning, such as reflection assignments, evaluation methods, and tools for working effectively with community partners.

Recipients for 2009-10 are:

Brian Carpenter, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology in Arts & Sciences. The grant will support “Lifespan Legacy Videos: Students Documenting the Lives of Older Adults in St. Louis Nursing Homes” as part of the psychology department’s “Social Gerontology” course.

J. Aaron Hipp, Ph.D., assistant professor at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work. The grant will enable students to provide local community agencies with mapping services through the course “Foundations of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for the Applied Social Sciences.”

Sandra Matteucci, instructor of technical writing at the School of Engineering & Applied Science. The grant will give students of “Technical Writing” opportunities to write volunteer manuals, newsletters and grant proposals for nonprofit organizations such as Engineers Without Borders and Healing the Children.

Mungai Mutonya, senior lecturer of Swahili and African studies in Arts & Sciences. The grant will support construction materials and supplies so that “Topics in Africa” and Swahili-language students may build and sustain three community libraries in Kenya.

Shanti Parikh, Ph.D. assistant professor of anthropology in Arts & Sciences. The grant will enable students to develop or evaluate sexual health programs at AIDS service organizations through the course “Sexual Health and the City: Community-Based Learning in the Prevention and Management of STIs and HIV.”

In addition to providing grants to individual faculty, the Gephardt Institute collaborates with departments and programs to enhance community-based teaching and learning at an institutional level. Currently, the institute is consulting on new community-based teaching and learning initiatives of the Olin Business School and the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program in Arts & Sciences.

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