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Community Engagement (Service Learning Opportunities)
   Appalachia Service Learning
Jamaica Service Project

Jeri L. Suarez, Associate Dean,
Cultural & Community Engagement
Hollins University
PO Box 9632
Roanoke, VA 24020
(540) 362-6382
(540) 362-6566 (fax)

What students say about community service:

"Being a SHARE volunteer has not only taught me values, responsibility, and dedication, but it has given me so many rewards such as knowledge, friendships, and unforgettable memories."

"The last two weeks have been so important to me. I gained knowledge and appreciation for Roanoke and stepped outside my personal bubble to do something worthwhile. I think it's important for students to volunteer and help others. You can gain knowledge you can't gain anywhere else."

Community Engagement

Hollins has a long-standing commitment to community service. Many of our students come to college with experience in service work and an interest in linking with the local community during their years at Hollins. There are a variety of opportunities to get involved. Student volunteers may choose to live on campus in the Sandusky Service House. This community-service house is a "home with service as its foundation." Students who live here are required to perform at least five hours of volunteer work per month and promote service activities on campus and in the community.
   Hollins offers a variety of academic courses that incorporate an element of service. Some courses allow students to choose the service option over another project, while others require community service projects.

Service-Learning Programs integrate traditional course work with community service, assisting students in learning academic concepts and the value of civic involvement. At Hollins, we have service-learning opportunities at the local and international levels.
   Hollins offers a variety of academic courses that incorporate an element of service within the curriculum which takes the students into the Roanoke Valley. Some courses allow the students to choose the service option over another project while others require community service. "View Roanoke Through Service Learning," a service-learning course during January Short Term, taught by Jeri Suarez, associate dean for cultural and community engagement, and Lori Joseph, associate professor of communication studies, provides students with an in-depth view of the cultural aspects of the Roanoke Valley and serves as a platform for service projects. Guest lectures by Hollins faculty and staff, as well as members of the local community, reinforce the theories of service learning and build a historic, economic, and cultural context. Each student in the class designs her own service projects with local agencies and is required to perform 50 hours of community service.
   Internationally, Hollins organizes a mini peace corps project to an impoverished community in Jamaica. The service project takes place in Lucea in Hanover Parish on the Northwest Coast of Jamaica. The program has been in existence since 1988.
   Students work on a variety of community-based projects ranging from teaching in the school system to working with the local infirmary to refurbishing community buildings. All of the projects are designed to encourage better understanding of another culture. This objective is enhanced through the experience of living with local families and sharing their lives and walking to the various projects within the community.
   Qualified students have an opportunity to apply for the Jamaica Service Project as an alternative spring break.