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Jesse Engelbrecht and Erik Baden are the co-recipients of the annual Student Service Learning Award, supported in part by NML. Jesse and Erik developed their own service-learning project, a Saturday art workshop for young children (pre-K and kindergarten) which ran at the Highland Community School. Completing 48 service hours apiece, they developed lesson plans, contacted the school administration, set up the workshops, provided art materials and snacks, taught the workshops, and collected samples of student work. They also maintained a level of excellence in the academic components of the course, drawing rich connections in discussions and journaling between the work that they were completing with the children in the workshops and the course materials.

In short, Jesse and Erik’s efforts demonstrate the reciprocal power of service — the children and Jesse and Erik were learning together with powerful results. Jesse and Erik’s efforts with the children culminated in an exhibition of the childrens’ drawings here at MIAD in the Fall. They will be honored at the upcoming Service Learning Symposium on Tuesday, March 18th, 11-12:15 in the Todd Wehr.

Each year, as part of the Liberal Studies Service Learning programming, a student is nominated for the Service Learning Award for demonstrated excellence in the Service Learning Course and commitment to service. The award is given at the annual Service Learning Symposium and serves to remind students and the MIAD community alike of the powerful ways our students are making a difference in the community. The students who earn the award have participated fully in all aspects of the curricular service learning experience including maintaining class participation and attendance, demonstrating substantial engagement with written and oral assignments, and extending collegial support of peers in class setting. Also, the student will have successfully completed the 35 hours required (or more) of service and demonstrated a commitment to the service work that they peformed and an understanding of the role that service plays in community. Student recipients of this award serve as clear leaders in the classroom and community, modeling the values of service-learning to the campus and citywide communities.

2008 is the first year two students share the award – due to the nature of their fruitful collaboration.