Four students underwent training to become Service Engagement Advocates (SEA) this summer in an effort to help the Office of Service-Learning support service-learning courses during the fall semester.
Daniel Tome, assistant director of Service-Learning, and Diana Strelczyk, a Service-Learning program assistant, worked with Giana Milazzo, a senior Literature major, Grace Griffith, a senior Psychology major, Chelsea Schade, a senior Sociology and Anthropology major, and Breonna Williams, a senior Psychology major, to prepare them to serve as project leaders who will work with faculty members teaching service-learning courses. In addition, these students took Daniel Tome’s “Tools for Social Change” course where they engaged in a series of dialogue sessions and collaborated with community partners.
“The way I’ve always thought of dialogues is like an after school special–things that they should teach you in school, that you don’t really talk about,” explained Milazzo, who is editor of Stockton’s student newspaper, the Argo, and its literary magazine, the StockPot.
With knowledge from “Tools for Social Change,” the SEAs are ready to act as reflection facilitators and community liaisons between service-learning faculty and community partners. “Daniel is always asking us why. He’s always trying to dig deeper to figure out why something is happening, trying to get to the cornerstone of the problem,” said Griffith.
Service learning is where engagement begins. “I have real world experience. I wasn’t just sitting in a classroom my whole college career,” said Schade.