University of Vermont

Spring Office of Experiential Learning (OEL) Updates

Rubenstein School Community Partner Reception held May 1.
Rubenstein School Community Partner Reception held May 1.

UVM is one of four Vermont higher education institutions to be awarded the Northern New England Campus Compact Campuses for Environmental Stewardship sub-grant, funded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.  This $5,000 sub-grant will support faculty training and development and delivery of four courses that incorporate community service-learning projects related to climate change.  Kimberly Wallin (RSENR), Jed Murdoch (RSENR), Amy Seidl (RSENR), and Shelly Rayback (Geology, Arts & Sciences) are the four faculty members involved in this grant and Elise Schadler is the Project Manager.

This Spring, 18 service-learning courses were taught by RSENR faculty; 48 different service-learning projects were reported, allowing students to engage with a variety of community partner organizations and agencies.  Additionally, 21 students participated in credit bearing internship and/or research experiences during the spring semester.  While many summer internships and research experiences are still being determined, at least 25 students will be participating in credit bearing internships through out Vermont, the U.S., and the world!

Summer 2013 will be the second summer of the Rubenstein School Perennial Internship Program.  These internship opportunities are cost-shared between the Rubenstein School and six great organizations and companies in Vermont, New York City, and Maryland.  Liz Bennett, Sam Wallace, Charlotte Adams, Thomas Nieuwenhuis, Cleo Doley, and Myles Cox, the six outstanding RSENR students selected to participate in these internships, will have summers full of learning, skill development, and fun!  Thanks to VHB, Winooski Natural Resources Conservation District, Avatar Energy, Williston Conservation Commission, Waterkeeper Alliance and La Prima for collaborating with the Rubenstein School.

The OEL coordinated an Experiential Learning Photo Contest this spring in an effort to redecorate the Aiken student lounge with photographs and reflections that represent the variety of research, service-learning, internship, travel course, and study abroad experiences in which RSENR students participate.  There were 17 submissions from students and 112 ballots cast by RSENR community members to choose the 6 winning photographs/reflections that will be enlarged on canvas and hung on the student lounge walls.

The OEL also hosted the first ever Community Partner Reception on May 1.  A mix of community partners, students, staff, and faculty gathered in the Aiken solarium to recognize the great partnerships and collaborative efforts that have been forged this year through research, internships, and service-learning projects.