Service research and service learning: Developing collaborative research and education between a university and a nonprofit

Kristen Osterwood, Amy E. Landis, Jason Douglas Monnell, Chris Koch, Maureen Copeland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The principles of service-learning are expanded to create a model of service-research that is employed in a collaboration between the University of Pittsburgh and a Pittsburgh nonprofit, GTECH Strategies. Service-learning is a well known strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction to enrich the learning experience by providing practical experience, to teach civic responsibility, and to strengthen connections with communities. We define service-research in a similar manner: research that integrates meaningful community service with research activities to enrich the learning experience of the service partner as well as the researchers. GTECH (Growth Through Energy and Community Health) Strategies is a nonprofit dedicated to fostering community and growing the green economy through creative community revitalization. GTECH Strategies nurtures community growth through green job creation and the elimination of blight, specifically through growing biofuels on abandoned lots within the city of Pittsburgh. Dr. Landis' research team at Pitt is exploring the potential to utilize marginal lands for biofuel production and are evaluating the comparative environmental impacts of biofuels grown on marginal lands with other fuels. Naturally, a mutually beneficial research collaboration was formed. This paper describes a service-learning and service-research collaboration between the University of Pittsburgh and nonprofit GTECH Strategies. Through our collaboration, we employ service learning at multiple scales (involving communities, high schools, college students, and professors) as well as integrate research into service projects with the aim of increasing community awareness of research and higher education. Based on findings from evaluating our collaboration and student participation, we discuss a model of service-research for graduate programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event118th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Duration: Jun 26 2011Jun 29 2011

Other

Other118th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
CountryCanada
CityVancouver, BC
Period6/26/116/29/11

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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    Osterwood, K., Landis, A. E., Monnell, J. D., Koch, C., & Copeland, M. (2011). Service research and service learning: Developing collaborative research and education between a university and a nonprofit. In ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings