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Community-Engaged Learning


Community engagement is central to the Jesuit educational mission and Loyola’s commitment to transformative student learning. CCSJ works to help students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels connect their academic work with community goals in mutually beneficial partnerships.

What is Community-Engaged Learning?
Community-engaged learning (also known as service-learning) is a collaboration between students and community members in order to learn from one another and build knowledge together. Students use their skills and course knowledge to support a local organization achieve their goals. In turn, the experiences students have outside the classroom enhance the learning that they are doing in class.

Below, you’ll find a list of upcoming community-engaged course at Loyola. If you have questions about these courses, please contact the instructor listed. For other questions about community engagement, contact Stephen Park, Faculty Director for Community-Engaged Learning and Scholarship, or Ben Belz, Assistant Director of Academic Engagement.

Students and community members in Professor Billy Friebele’s Public Art class

Students and community members in Professor Billy Friebele’s Public Art class


Fall 2023 Service Learning Courses

EN 101: Reading Migration / Writing Migration
Dr. Stephen Park

This course is designed as an introduction to literature through stories of migration, exile, and refuge. Migration is central to human history, and literature has always been preoccupied with the question such stories present. What motivates people to move from one place to another? How do they adapt to their new society, and how do societies change because of new arrivals? With regard to refugees and others fleeing violence, literature explores a host of ethical questions that are central to the humanities. What are my obligations to someone in need? What are the limits of those obligations? How do I reconcile the differences between my own life experience and someone else’s? These questions take on increasing urgency in the 21st century with the array of refugee crises happening around the globe.

Service-Learning Partner: Refugee Youth Project

EN 265: Justice and Hope: Writing the U.S.
Dr. Juniper Ellis 
Focusing on the ways writers develop a language and a literary form that is distinctively American, this course examines the ways writers present diversity and solidarity as founding principles of the United States.  We examine writers from many differing communities, creating an ongoing investigation into the way people define themselves and others.  Many of the writers we read provide distinct but complementary perspectives on personal and national identity:  for example, Walt Whitman’s poems and Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming create innovative literary forms that depict the ways our ideas about race may affect both black people and white people.  Though the works are written more than 100 years apart, and though one writer is black and the other white, the works share common ground in experimenting with ways to tell stories that promote freedom and justice.  The course offers a strong foundation in both time‐honored American fiction, drama, and poetry, and contemporary multi‐ethnic classics.  This course meets the University's Diversity Course Requirement, focusing on domestic awareness.  The course offers a service-learning option to tutor with Bridges. 

Service-Learning Partner: Bridges Baltimore

FR 104: Intermediate French II French Global Engagement
Dr. Andrea Thomas and Dr. Heidi Brown
A capstone course reviewing and reinforcing language skills learned in FR101-103 to help students attain intermediate level as defined by ACTFL guidelines in the five skills: reading, writing, speaking, comprehension, and culture of the Francophone world as defined by the Diversity component of the course. Course includes use of the language in context, with authentic readings, discussion in French, and film clips.   

This course includes two complementary learning tracks (service-learning track and research track). Both are designed to enhance global awareness, encourage active citizenship, increase mindfulness about important social justice issues, and sharpen critical thinking skills and discernment in complex, real-world settings.    

Service-Learning Partners: Soccer without Borders, Refugee Youth Project & Immigration Outreach and Service Center

PL 201: Foundations of Philosophy
Dr. Nina Guise-Gerrity
This course is intentionally designed to bring the teachings in the classroom into practice for students. There are three service projects that students do all or most of. Every student enjoys being paired with a second or third grader to share written conversations and get to know one another in fun and delightful ways. Being called to the Magis is the theme we reflect upon throughout the course. During our Messina time, a student and their two teammates create, design, write, and illustrate a storybook that is read during an end-of-semester visit to Tunbridge.  If students’ schedules allow for it, weekly tutoring is offered and the bonds that students make are celebrated in the classroom and among one another. The joy of spending time with the next generation in meaningful and fun-loving ways are just some of the reasons students have enjoyed serving and service-learning opportunities at Tunbridge Elementary School, a Baltimore City charter school.

Service Learning Partner: Tunbridge Elementary School

SC 203: Globalization and Society
Dr. Michelle Gawerc
Globalization and Society examines the phenomenon of globalization and its consequences for nations, communities, families, and individuals. The world is ever more interconnected with global forces affecting people everywhere around the globe. This course will explore these interconnections and yet the different ways that societies and groups within them experience globalization. We will also pay attention to historical legacies that have shaped current predicaments of global society today, particularly colonization.
This course is designed to develop your sociological imagination by encouraging you to think critically about the patterns of interaction at the global level, and the ways in which societies, communities, families, and individuals are shaped by both historical conditions and structural and cultural forces. There are two ways to approach this course: service-learning with immigrants/refugees or research. For those who choose the former, you will have the opportunity to serve at the Esperanza Center, Refugee Youth Project, or Soccer without Borders. If you choose this option, you will be committed to 15-20 hours of service this semester (not including travel and 2-4 hours of training). For those who chose the research track instead, you will have the opportunity to write a research-based encyclopedia article about a topic of international or global relevance. While the service-learning track is designed to sensitize you to the ways in which transnational migration relates to global economic inequalities, social inequalities, and war and violent conflict, the research track is designed to strengthen your ability to effectively use social scientific information and write in-depth about a global matter. You will receive more information on these different tracks. 
Regardless of which track you choose (i.e., service-learning and/or research), you will be asked through critical reflection, participation in class discussions, active learning exercises, and the completion of written assignments, to apply sociological concepts and ideas to global processes and global issues. In doing so, you will gain a stronger and deeper understanding of the ways in which our world is interconnected.
Service-Learning Partners: Esperanza Center, Refugee Youth Project, Soccer without Borders.

TH 201: Theology Matters: Encountering God through Each Other’s Stories 
Dr. Becky Walker
From the stories of ancient Jews and Christians in the pages of the Bible to our present-day social media posts, this course studies how human beings have encountered God throughout history and how we encounter God in each other. Together, we will explore universal questions on the meaning of human existence and the problem of evil, as well as the teachings of Jesus and the development of those teachings throughout Christianity’s two-thousand-year history. Creative questioning from both practitioners of Christianity and those of other or no religious background is encouraged. The course also includes an emphasis on social justice issues with an optional service-learning component.   

Service-Learning Partners: TBD

WR 327: Civic Literacy 
Dr. Andrea Leary
Civic Literacy focuses literacy and social justice. We will take a look at our own literacy and its effect on our lives, while examining the opportunities it can afford us. We will think critically about the link between literacy and choice, literacy and freedom, literacy and justice. We are going to have fantastic, in-depth discussions and we will work as a team to accomplish some fun, real-world writing projects. This class is part of the Peace and Justice Studies and the Urban Education minors. 
Service-Learning Partners: The Maryland Book Bank, SquashWise, and Strong City Baltimore’s Adult Learning Center.

Full listing of Fall 2023 Service Learning Courses

ED 100: Introduction to Education: School and Society
Professor Jessica Enos
S.01: T, Th 9:25 AM - 10:40 AM // Th 10:50 AM - 11:40 AM

EG 381: Probability and Statistics
Dr. Suzanne Keilson
S.01: M, W, F 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM

EN 101: The Art of Reading
Dr. Stephen Park
S.12: M, W, F 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM
S.30: M, W, F 1:00 PM - 1:50 PM

EN 265: Justice and Hope: Writing in the U.S.
Dr. June Ellis 
D.01: M, W 3:00 PM - 4:15 PM
D.02: M, W 6:00 PM - 7:15 PM

EN 376: Postcolonial Literature
Dr. June Ellis
S.01: M, W 4:30 PM - 5:45 PM

FR 104: Intermediate French II: French Global Engagement
Dr. Andrea Thomas
D.01: M, W, F 12:00 PM - 12:50 PM
Dr. Heidi Shaker
D.02: T, Th 12:15 PM - 1:30 PM

PL 201: Foundations of Philosophy
Dr. Nina Guise-Gerrity
S.07: M, W, F 9:00 AM - 9:50 AM// F 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM
S.08: M, W, F 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM// F 12:00 PM - 12:50 PM

PL 314: Environmental Ethics
Dr. Mavis Biss
S.01: T, Th 9:25 AM - 10:40 AM
S.02: T, Th 12:15 PM - 1:30 PM

SC 203: Globalization and Society
Dr. Michelle Gawerc
D.01: T, Th 9:25 AM - 10:40 AM
D02: T, Th 10:50 AM - 12:05 PM

TH 201: Theology Matters
Dr. Becky Walker
S.09: M, W, F 1:00 PM - 1:50 PM// M 12:00 PM - 12:50 PM
S.15: M, W, F 2:00 PM - 2:50 PM
Dr. Rebekah Eklund
S.10: M, W, F 9:00 AM - 9:50 AM
S.11: M, W, F 12:00 PM - 12:50 PM

WR 100: Effective Writing
Dr. Andrea Leary
S.07: M, W, F 9:00 AM - 9:50 AM// F 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM
S.15: M, W, F 1:00 PM - 1:50 PM

WR 323: Writing Center Practice and Theory
Dr. Craig Medvecky
D.01: T, Th 9:25 AM - 10:40 AM

WR 327: Civic Literacy
Dr. Andrea Leary
S.01: M, W, F 12:00 PM - 12:50 PM

WR 402E01: Writing Internship
Dr. Andrea Leary

Spring 2023 Community-Engaged Courses

COM 370 & SA 367: Public Art 
Dr. Billy Friebele
M 4:20-7:40 PM

Students in Public Art will collaborate with members of the local community to design, build, and install several new public artworks. As a service-learning course students can work with the after-school program at Govan's Elementary School. Projects will address themes of history, sustainability, and food equity.  

Community-Engaged Partnerships: Govan’s Elementary School 

EN 291: Race, Law, and American Literature 
Dr. Stephen Park 
MWF 2:00-2:50 PM

This course will explore complicated questions of race and justice in America through a careful study of law and literature. While laws seem to be based on statutes and courtroom arguments, there are also deeply embedded narratives which animate American law and which we, as students of literature, are well positioned to untangle. For instance, the type of “stand your ground” law that allowed George Zimmerman to kill Trayvon Martin and go unpunished is based on very old American narratives of white supremacy. The law begins with unspoken assumptions about who is threatening, who has the right to feel threatened, whose safety matters, and whose doesn’t. All of these narratives and the ways in which they circulate in our culture make it possible for Zimmerman’s act of aggression to be defended as “reasonable.” 

 We will begin the semester by learning to read the law as literature, applying skills from narrative theory and Critical Race Theory in order to uncover and analyze the stories concealed within American law. We will then read an array of 20th- and 21st-century literature which engages with the racialized injustices embedded in the legal system. African American literature will be central to the course, and we will read literary works by Ralph Ellison, Claudia Rankine, and James Baldwin, among others. We will also consider how Asian American authors, such as Julie Otsuka and Fae Myenne Ng, have come to terms with the US’s history of exclusion, internment, and racialized immigration laws. We will conclude by reading works by Louise Erdrich and Layla Long Soldier in order to reflect on the role of legal narratives in perpetuating injustices against Native Americans. 

This is a service-learning course, and students will have the opportunity to work with the non-profit law firm, Maryland Legal Aid. Your service will involve speaking with their clients (virtually or in person), listening to their stories, and summarizing their cases in order to help them obtain pro bono representation. This class counts toward the African and African American Studies (AAAS) Minor and is part of Loyola’s Pre-Law Program. 

Community-Engaged Partnerships: Maryland Legal Aid

PL 216: Philosophical Perspectives Asian Thoughts 
Dr. Bret Davis
D.01: T/TH 10:50-12:05 PM
D.02: T/TH 12:15-1:30 PM

In this class students will learn not only how Hinduism and Buddhism teach us to view reality, but also how they teach us to live in society and to understand ethical service as an integral part of a spiritual path. Students who take the service-learning path in this course will be given the opportunity to put these Hindu and Buddhist teachings into practice, as well as to reflect on them on the basis of this exceptional type of first-hand experience. Specifically, those students will work with disadvantaged youths at Soccer Without Borders or with adults in need of assistance at GEDCO CARES (Civic and Religious Emergency Services). Upon consulting with the professor, students may also be allowed to work with another CCSJ-approved organization. 

Community-Engaged Partnerships: GEDCO Cares and Soccer without Borders 

SC 100: Introduction to Sociology 
Dr. Michelle Gawerc
D.03:T/Th 9:25-10:40 AM
D.04:T/Th 10:50-12:05 PM
D.07:T/Th 1:40-2:55 PM

C. Wright Mills famously described sociology as the “intersection of biography and history.” All of us are born into pre-existing cultures and social structures that are specific to the times and places where we live. As we grow up, we have to learn how to negotiate these cultures and structures—and the power relations within—in order to become fully accepted members of our societies. The institutions in which we are embedded—politics, economics, media, family, religion, education, and the like—both constrain and enable us as we make decisions about how we want to live. Not all of us are born into the same “social locations,” and differences among us such as race and ethnicity, sex and gender, social class, nationality and citizenship status, can lead to very different life chances and life outcomes depending on where we are situated, what resources we have available to us, and how well we are able to make use of them.   

Sociologists are interested in studying the many ways in which social life is patterned, reproduced, and changed over time. For instance, we look at how and why there is so much inequality in our society, how difference is constructed, the ways in which belief systems are acquired and transmitted, and what enables people to occasionally come together and challenge the powerful political, economic, cultural and social systems, in which they are enmeshed. This kind of research requires taking a fresh look at our everyday ways of being and thinking in the world. We must carefully gather empirical evidence to help us learn more about the realities of the social world, analyze the data with attention to sociology’s core concepts (e.g., culture, structure, and power), and ultimately, create theoretical explanations for what we have discovered. This course is designed to introduce you to the “sociological perspective” and to help you understand what kinds of research sociologists do, what we have learned in the roughly century-and-a-half that the discipline has existed, and how that knowledge can be applied to “real life” situations.    

For those interested, this course can be approached via service-learning with individuals and families in crisis. For those who choose the service-learning track, you will have the opportunity to serve at GEDCO Cares either in their Client Choice Food Pantry or Career Connection program. If you choose this optional track, you will be committed to 15-20 hours of service this semester (not including travel and 2-4 hours of training).   

Community-Engaged Partnerships: GEDCO Cares (Client Choice Food Pantry or Career Connection)

Full Listing of Spring 2023 Community-Engaged Courses: 

Supply Chain and Operations Management 
BH 260.01  
MW 3:00-4:15 
BH 260.02 
MW 4:30-5:45  
Ms. Kimberly Wagner 

Public Art 
CM 370.01/SA 367.01 
M 4:20-7:40  
Dr. Billy Friebele    

Senior Capstone Public Relations 
CM 404.01 
W 6:30-9:00 
Dr. Tani Cantrell Rosas-Moreno 

Justice and Hope: Writing in US 
EN 265.01 
MW 3:00-4:15 
EN 265.02 
MW 6:00-7:15   
Dr. June Ellis 

Race, Law, and American Literature 
EN 291.01  
MWF 2:00-2:50 
Dr. Stephen Park 

Seminar: Humor Studies 
EN 346.01 
MW 4:30-5:45 
Dr. June Ellis 

Intermediate French II: French Global Engagement 
FR 104.01 
MWF 10:00-10:50 
Dr. Andrea Thomas 
FR 104.02 
T/Th 1:40-2:55 
Dr. Heidi Brown 

Seminar: Oral History and Philanthropy in America 
HS 485.01  
W 3:00-5:30  
Dr. David Carey 

Foundations of Philosophy 
PL 201.07 
MWF 9:00-9:50 
PL 201.08 
MWF 11:00-11:50 
Mrs. Nina Guise-Gerrity   

Philosophical Perspectives: Politics and Society 
PL 210.05 
TTh 3:05-4:20  
PL 210.06 
TTh 4:30-5:45 
Dr. Catriona Hanley 

Philosophy Perspectives: Asian Thought  
PL 216.01 
TTh 10:50-12:05  
PL 216.02 
TTh 12:15-1:30 
Dr. Bret W. Davis 

Philosophical Perspectives: Humanity and Divinity 
PL 230.01 
TTh 12:15-1:30 
Dr. Catriona Hanley 

Introduction to Sociology 
SC 100.03 
TTh 9:25-10:40 
SC 100.04 
TTh 10:50-12:05  
SC 100.07 
TTh 1:40-2:55 
Dr. Michelle Gawerc 

Food, Hunger, and the Bible 
TH 232.01  
MWF 12:00-12:50 
Dr. Rebekah Eklund 

Effective Writing 
WR 100.07 
MWF 9:00-9:50 
WR 100.11 
MWF 11:00-11:50 
Dr. Andrea Leary 

Writing Internship 
WR 402.01 
Dr. Andrea Leary