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Faculty Reflections

  • Dr. Tricia Mulligan: International Studies & Political Science (Dominican Republic and India)

    Dr. Tricia Mulligan, Associate Professor & Associate Provost


    I started using service-learning as a teaching strategy because… 
    it is an exciting opportunity to use an active and impactful pedagogy. Students learn a lot in the classroom, by reading, writing, thinking, debating. They learn even more from applying what they learn in a life context. They synthesize what they are learning differently, reflectively. Students bring so much to serving other through their unique training and position and receive much in return.

    I have found that service-learning has benefitted my students by… 
    experiencing civic engagement and global citizenship. These concepts become real, a part of their overall academic and life experiences. Through their actions, students understand the importance of community and that they have much to offer.

    I have or currently use service-learning in the following classes... 
    Politics and Poverty in the Dominican Republic and Haiti; Politics and Development of India; International Law.

    The service-learning project I am most proud of is…
    working with our community partner, Crossroads, in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. This service project allowed our students to work with a variety of groups including the Haitian community, children, prison inmates, dump dwellers, recovering addicts and religious congregations. Students connected on a very deep level with the people we met and were inspired and motivated to engage in advocacy projects upon their return to the U.S.

    If a faculty new to the pedagogy were to ask me if they should consider using service-learning, I would say…
    YES! It is an enriching, challenging approach to teaching that will reach students on a deeper level than any classroom experience alone. It prompts students to synthesize what they know on a much deeper level and demonstrates that they can in fact move the world.

    I think my teaching has benefitted by incorporating service-learning because… 
    I am more aware of and sensitive to how students react to academic content and life experiences. As I have experienced many “firsts” in working with the students and our community partners, I think it has made me a more thoughtful, empathetic and effective teacher and scholar.




  • Dr. Jennifer Gerometta: Speech Communications (New Rochelle)

    Dr. Jennifer Gerometta, Assistant Professor of Speech Communication Studies


    I started using service-learning as a teaching strategy because…
    building relationships in the community and witnessing the experiences of members in the community that students will serve as speech pathologists makes me, and them, better at what we do.

    I have found that service-learning has benefitted my students by…
    adding value and meaning to their academic experience.

    I have or currently use service-learning in the following classes...
    Aural Rehabilitation, Phonetics and Intro to Oral Communication.

    The service-learning project I am most proud of is…
    Delivering Treatment-to-go bags (toys and at-home treatment plans) to families in need with children diagnosed with hearing loss.

    If a faculty new to the pedagogy were to ask me if they should consider using service-learning, I would say…
    Jump in! Do it! But be flexible and encourage your students to be flexible. Just like life, working with a community partner requires compromise and patience. The payoff is remarkable.
  • Dr. Carl Procario-Foley: Religious Studies (India, Ireland, New Rochelle)

    Dr. Carl Procario-Foley, Director of the Office of Mission and Ministry


    I started using service-learning as a teaching strategy because…
    In engaging students in many service activities such as the Midnight Run, Habitat, etc., I was finding that our post-service reflections sometimes lacked the depth of analysis that our community experiences warranted. Academic service-learning has provided the context for a “deeper dig” into understanding the complexities of injustices such as homelessness, discrimination and poverty.

    I have found that service-learning has benefitted my students by…
    Academic service-learning has provided my students greater self-awareness and insight as they step out of their comfort zones and ask questions they have never explored. Also a context to explore further the causes of systemic injustice.

    I witnessed student transformation when…
    Through service-learning, I have witnessed numerous students really question their major and their future career goals as well as opt to do a year or two of service after undergraduate studies.

    I have or currently use service-learning in the following classes...
    RST 326 (Theology of Christian Service in New Rochelle and in Ireland) and RST 370 (Contemporary Peacemakers in India)

    The service-learning project I am most proud of is…
    My India students, having returned recently, are now researching issues human rights, race and spirituality that were raised in India, and they are now preparing for a presentation and celebration with the wider Iona community.

    If a faculty new to the pedagogy were to ask me if they should consider using service-learning, I would say…
    Yes, but I think it works best if faculty roll up their sleeves and work along students in this engaged learning style.

    I think my teaching has benefitted by incorporating service-learning because…
    It has helped me honor more intentionally the unique wisdom and insight each student brings to the class. Also, I believe academic service-learning helps me capture more concretely the practical component of pedagogy that is modeled so well in the educational philosophy of Edmund Rice.