Gephardt Institute names service-learning grant recipients

The Gephardt Institute for Public Service at Washington University in St. Louis has announced the recipients of the Innovation Grants for Community-Based Teaching and Learning.

Community-based teaching and learning, also known as service-learning, is a pedagogy that is growing across all disciplines.

More than 45 service-learning courses are offered by schools and departments at WUSTL. These courses are distinguished by 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.

Faculty recipients for 2010-11 are:

Korina M. Jocson, PhD, assistant professor of education in Arts & Sciences. The grant will enable students to explore literacy-rich learning environments in the “Literacies, Schools and Communities” course.

Sonia Lee, PhD, assistant professor of history in Arts & Sciences. The course, “Building St. Louis: the Politics of City Preservation,” will link students with members of the North St. Louis community. The goal is to help students gain new knowledge in urban decline and community development.

Cynthia S. Lo, PhD, assistant professor of engineering. Students in the “International Experience in Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering” course will travel to China to learn about environmentally sustainable solar technologies. They will use the knowledge gained there to mentor students at the local KIPP Inspire Academy and assist them in developing science fair projects.

Mae Quinn, JD, professor of law and co-director of the Washington University Civil Justice Clinic, and Kathryn Pierce, JD, lecturer at the School of Law. The grant will support students’ work on identified community projects in “The Public Citizen Lawyering Project.”

David S. Schuman, lecturer and assistant director of the Master of Fine Arts Program in Arts & Sciences. Students in the “Craft of Fiction: Voices of Childhood” course will partner with the nonprofit organization Studio STL to support writing-related activities for children aged 6-18.

Julia A. Walker, PhD, associate professor of English and of drama, both in Arts & Sciences. The grant will enable students in the “Performing Knowledge: Arts Integration in Theory and Practice” course to apply their talents to the K-12 classroom through the implementation of arts-integrated curriculum.

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, the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program in Arts & Sciences, and the Brown School.

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