Community Engagement

Recent and Ongoing Projects

Migrant Farm Education Project

  • My role: Director of projects

  • We created several interconnected community engagement projects that focused on one particular farm that hired and housed a large number of migrant workers.

    • Summer ESL teaching internship: Interns from the LLL Department created an after work hours, outdoor, summer ESL class for migrant workers. Using university funds, we created an outdoor movable classroom (a pop-up canopy tent, plastic chairs/tables, and school supplies) directly on the farm. Interns created a curriculum and then taught at the site for 2 hours a night. Instruction included topics related to everyday life in Indiana, farming lingo, and other related concepts.

    • Health screening day: Working with colleagues from the College of Health and Human Services, we offered a single day health screening event. Students (trained/training medical students) tested workers for diabetes, high blood pressure, and measured other heath numbers. Students also provided workplace ergonomics to reduce injury and increase recovery time. A third set of students and volunteers provided Spanish translation during the event.

    • Classroom field trips: Students studying TESL or Spanish were able to visit the site and engage migrant workers in conversation. The event included tours of a rural education classroom and presentations from migrant education specialists from the USA and Mexico. Students engaged in conversations (translated through students who were studying Spanish at ISU) with the migrant workers and shared a meal with them.

Spanish and English Language Focus (SELF) Book Project

  • My role: Co-creator (with Dr. Cody Hanson)

  • In this project, we created bilingual (Spanish/English) books. Each book was written by a student at ISU, translated into Spanish/English by an intern, with art created by other students at ISU. Each book contains a creative commons license and is available to download for free here.

TESL in Croatia

  • My role: Co-organizer (with Dr. Renata Geld)

  • An international partnership between the University of Zagreb and ISU. Students from both institutions worked together to create a two-week ESL summer program in Zagreb, Croatia. The summer program was free for elementary school-aged students in Zagreb. ISU/UZ, students were in charge of designing the curriculum, teaching the lessons, and interacting with the young students.

Teacher Workshop Series

  • My role: Co-organizer and presenter (with Dr. Melanie D'Amico)

  • This was a series of four workshops designed for ESL education in the Wabash Valley (where ISU is located). We created workshops on topics related to evidence-based/research-based practices, action research, cultural education practices, and utilizing sheltered approaches.

Community Engagement Assignment

  • My role: Instructor

  • The community engagement assignment is an in-class project that does not often result in real support. Students (practicing teachers) are tasked with identifying issues in their schools or communities and are required to create an imaginary project that they could implement to help resolve the issue. Students create mock-grant applications. This assignment attempts to help support a community engagement mindset with practicing teachers and provide them with a fully-designed grant application they could modify and use if they wish to do so.