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* It Invovles You! Campaign

April 23, 2008

Service-learning projects gain momentum, funding

Motorcycle safety
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The number of classes at Purdue University that incorporate service-learning, through which students apply the skills they learn in the classroom to community service, has grown from 31 in 2002 to more than 150.

To advance these efforts, the Office of the Provost has awarded $5,000 each to five professors named as 2008 Purdue Community of Service-Learning Faculty Fellows. The honorees include:

* Judy Chen, an assistant professor of pharmacy whose students provide medication education to underserved patients at the Tippecanoe Community Health Clinic.

* Linda Prokopy, an assistant professor of forestry and natural resources whose students develop landscape level natural resource management plans.

* Marifran Mattson, an associate professor of communication whose students develop campaigns to promote motorcycle safety.

* Dawn Marsh, an assistant professor of history whose students work with Historic Prophetstown to expand Native American educational programming.

* Judith Myers-Walls, an associate professor of child development and family studies whose students develop instructional pamphlets for agencies that work with parents.

Marne Helgesen, Center for Instructional Excellence director, coordinates Purdue's service-learning initiatives. She said both the students and the community benefit from Purdue's increased emphasis on this type of teaching.

"Whether it's developing public awareness campaigns or working with one of the many educational or community service agencies in Lafayette-West Lafayette, these professors will be leading their students on some very ambitious projects in the fall semester," Helgesen said. "Their projects not only benefit the community, they help students develop the real-world skills they will need in their future careers."

Mattson said students who work on the It Involves You! motorcycle safety awareness campaign feel like their efforts make a positive impact.

"The students enjoy participating in community events, which next semester will include a local motor sports shop's grand opening and a safety information night," Mattson said. "They also get firsthand experience with conducting interviews, focus groups and surveys. Data gathered from these methods will help students learn how to revise current campaign messages to meet the unique safety needs of motorcyclists, drivers of other vehicles, and friends and family of motorcyclists."

Mattson and the other faculty fellows will join 19 previously named fellows who serve as mentors to other faculty interested in service-learning.

Since 2003 the provost has awarded more than $175,000 to fund service-learning projects. The Office of Engagement also has provided more than $152,400 in funding for 143 community service projects conducted by student organizations in 2006-07.

Writer: Marydell Forbes, (765) 496-7704,

Sources: Marne Helgesen, (765) 496-6424,

Marifran Mattson, (765) 494-7596,  

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

Scott Amstutz, a sophomore in Purdue's College of Liberal Arts, demonstrates how a helmet and heavy jacket are necessary for a safe motorcycle ride. He and Bryan Grow (at right), a mechanical engineering technology graduate, organized a College Mentors for Kids event as part of a service-learning class taught by Marifran Mattson, associate professor of communication. Mattson and four other Purdue professors have been named Community of Service-learning Faculty Fellows. The Office of the Provost awarded each professor $5,000 to fund their service-learning courses, through which students apply the skills they learn in the classroom to community service. (Purdue University photo)

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