MCC Recognizes Contributions to Service Learning
Mary Theresa Bonhage-Freund has received a Michigan Campus Compact Faculty/Staff Community Service-Learning Award for her contributions to service learning at Alma College.
“I was quite shocked but very pleased when I received notification that I had won the award,” she says. “There are so many people at Alma deserving of this award, but that’s the wonderful thing about Alma: Service learning is part of our climate, and I am grateful for that.”
Mary Theresa Bonhage-Freund
Bonhage-Freund has been a member of Alma’s Service-Learning Task Force for more than seven years. Service-Learning Coordinator Anne Ritz says she also has infused academic service learning into both her First Year Seminar course and several international Spring Term courses.
“My students hosted and prepared a dinner with an Ecuadorian menu in order to raise money for an extended day program in Ecuador,” says Bonhage-Freund. “We also collected and donated school supplies when we visited during Spring Term. Thanks to assistance from Patty del Corral and the Academia Lationamericana in Quito, we were able to provide some things that were not in the program’s budget.”
Students in Bonhage-Freund's Spring Term class donated supplies to a school in Ecuador.
Locally, the associate professor of anthropology and sociology coordinated a service-learning course where students paired up with residents at a retirement and assisted living facility to discuss memories related to food.
“The residents were interviewed by the students, and they got to know each other and share recipes,” she says. “Everyone raved about the class, and some of the students kept visiting after the class was finished.”
Bonhage-Freund’s next service-learning course will be in Peru, where students will assist on a traditional medicine project and learn the stages of the process while studying Incan archaeology and cultural ecology.
“Service-learning is good for everyone involved,” she says. “Students are able to contribute to the community while bonding, engaging and learning more efficiently. They also accomplish things that they never thought they would do, and they’re enthusiastic about it.”
Posted: Fri, February 17th, 2012 at 4:12PM