Richard Kido, Candice Sakuda and Wayne Tanna (pictured in order, above) presented a workshop on Service-Learning at the 82nd Annual Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Meeting: “From Compliance to Commitment: The Inquiring Institution,” on April 11 -14 in Irvine, Calif. Their presentation was entitled titled “Service-Learning, the Next Generation; Passing the Torch or Igniting the Flame.”
The three members of Chaminade’s Service-Learning program shared their data and findings on service learning and its direct effects on students and the on the community.
“We have found that engaging students in service learning in college tends to instill in them a greater sense of civic awareness and a deeper empathy for those in the community who are less economically blessed,” Tanna, professor of accounting, said. “We have also found that students become less self absorbed and more engaged in life-long learning and service.”
WASC invited proposals in six areas. Chaminade’s service learning team chose the Whole-Person Learning track, which includes topics such as valuing skills and ethical competencies; measurable indicators of character development; civic engagement as a defined learning experience; self-reflection and lifelong learning as defined competencies; and transformational learning.
Kido (Assistant Professor of Accounting), Sakuda (Director of Service-Learning), and Tanna (Accounting Professor) explained how to move both established programs and start-up projects to higher levels of transformational activities for students. They discussed how new class structures and course offerings can bring students to a greater awareness of their civic responsibilities – not only as current college students, but as engaged and concerned citizens after they leave the security of college.
The team shared student reflections to demonstrate the effectiveness of long running projects, and also shared students’ calls for new projects that will empower them to address issues important to them. They discussed how service learning builds academic skills while developing students’ abilities to empower them after they graduate.
Tanna said, “We see service learning as transformational learning that creates engaged citizens out of our graduates.”
Still “hot” from Service-Learning Day, three Chaminade Service-Learning students presented their work at the Fourth Annual Statewide Service-Learning Conference. The March 4 conference was hosted by Kamehameha Schools’ Kapalama Campus, and was sponsored by the Hawaii State Department of Education, State Farm Insurance, the Hawaii and Pacific Islands’ Campus Compact and Youth Service Hawaii. Featured keynote speakers included Julie Chavez Rodrigues, granddaughter of the great Cesar Chavez, and Hawaii State Representative Brian Schatz.
Chaminade students conducted a breakout session that demonstrated best practices and successful programs. Celia Pang, Donna Diaz and Kapualani Mashima highlighted student leadership development through both the Project SHINE tutorial and TCP’s mentoring initiatives. They were alsoinvited to showcase their work in a poster session. All three are enrolled in BU 480 at Chaminade, and are exploring civic engagement and sustainability in managing non-profit organizations. Of course, all three are also instrumental in the service learning projects they represent.
The Service-Learning gang had a busy semester. In addition to a faculty presentation at the WASC conference, four CUH students presented at the ninth annual Continuums of Service Conference in Bellevue, Washington. This year’s theme was “Engaging Leadership: New Visions, Voices, and Models.” They generated exciting conversations and ideas from a large audience.
“Our facilitation of the discussion at the conference yielded many tools and different perspectives on the pressing questions around sustainability. The synergy was exciting for me,” said Celia Pang, one of the student presenters from Tanna’s business law and ethics class. “Everyone who came to our presentation was there for the same reason … exploring sustainability, student leadership and the importance of service-learning in reaching out into the community.”
Donna Diaz, another BU480 student presenter, agreed. “Through the conference, we were able to share our knowledge and experiences, but we actually gained a wealth of material on how to better manage and sustain our projects.”
Presenter Kapualani Mashima said, “The skills and experience we gained through our BU480 course and numerous presentations have helped us to prepare for our diverse career paths. We all need to feel empowered to stand up, speak out, and make changes to ensure a better and brighter future for all!” she said.
Candice Sakuda, director of Service-Learning, also attended a special day-long pre-conference session titled, “Service-Learning and Indigenous Communities Forum,” which addressed service to Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, as well as Native Americans. Tanna and Gail Grabowsky gave a presentation on service-learning as a means to achieve a “deep fix” for social issues, exploring ways to move beyond “band-aid” service to offering service that helps solve problems (through advocacy, legislative testimony, research, etc).
Dahlia Asuega, a Service-Learning community partner, brought the entire conference to tears and laughter with her inspirational keynote speech. She spoke of Mutual Housing’s Palolo efforts and their appreciation for service-learning’s role in the changes that they’ve been able to realize. She recognized Sakuda and Chaminade University several times, along with the University of Hawai'i at Manoa and Kapi'olani Community College, in the speech.