International Association for Research on Service Learning and Community Engagement Conference 2013 Personal Highlights

This year the IARSLCE was hosted in Omaha, Nebraska. The conference concentrated on many tracks related to service learning and civic engagement ranging from student-focused projects to community partner relationships. It was inspiring to see so many practitioners, faculty, students, and community partners presenting their work from across the globe. Aside from being extremely organized, from the welcome to the closing, I definitely felt a sense of validation and re-energized to continue this work.

The most heartfelt presentation for me was watching a Spanish teacher explain full circle her process of building relationships with two community partners through their Service learning Office with quantitative and qualitative reporting. Her partners were present as well, giving rave reviews of the intentionality and success of their relationship. You could feel the excitement and passion in the room. And as a result of that passion, her colleague in attendance was inspired to begin a project through the Service Learning Office.

A happy, unexpected outcome of this conference was the reigniting of my passion for research and practice in service and higher education. For additional resources, check out the first issue of The International Journal of Research on Service Learning and Community Engagement (Volume 1, Issue 1) is now available! To access this inaugural issue, click http://journals.sfu.ca/iarslce/index.php/journal/issue/current

 

Maria McDuffie

MACC AmeriCorps*VISTA Leader

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