Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Whitworth professor is honored for innovation in students’ service-learning


Michael Artime, visiting assistant professor of political science, was recently recognized for his efforts in Whitworth’s service-learning program. The Inland Northwest Service-Learning Partnership (INSLP) honored Artime with the Service-Learning Impact Award, which honors a professor, course or community agency for the innovative use of students’ service to help meet the needs of the community.

Artime incorporated service-learning into his PO 102 American National Politics course this semester. He sought to involve students in areas of service that directly related to the course content.

“Winning this award allowed me to tell the students that the Spokane community has recognized that they have made a meaningful contribution to the lives of the people around them this semester,” says Artime. “I hope that this propels them to continue to give back and to make meaningful contributions to their local communities.”

Artime says that Whitworth’s Center for Service-Learning & Community Engagement is extremely helpful in integrating service-learning into curricula and in establishing course-related placements for students.
“Service-learning allows professors to channel students’ affinity for service into opportunities that maximize their educational experience at Whitworth,” says Artime. “I am proud to have these students represent Whitworth to our community partners.”

Ross Watts, assistant director of service-learning at Whitworth, worked with Artime to identify needs in federal agencies in the Spokane area to provide equal rights, diversity and inclusion programming to federal employees, as required by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. “Michael jumped right in and showed great openness to a new pedagogy and new partnership at the same time,” says Watts.

Through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Bureau of Land Management, Artime’s students were able to work with federal employees in designing and implementing a special-emphasis observation event. This event could take the form of a Women’s History Month presentation or a diversity-related project. The students performed research and delivered presentations to aid these federal agencies, while they also witnessed the impact of sequestration on the federal bureaucracy.

Artime’s students delivered a presentation regarding women’s history to employees at the Bureau of Land Management on April 29.

Whitworth’s political science department hopes to continue this partnership with three federal agencies and to extend this service-learning opportunity in fall 2013.

One partner, Jo Lynne Seufer, an employee at the USDA Risk Management Agency, will also be honored by the INSLP for her coordination of more than ten state and federal agencies.

INSLP is an association of college and university staff members who seek to foster service among college students. They work with local nonprofit and service-related agencies in the greater Spokane area to involve students in community-service efforts.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.