November 13, 2019
HUB-Robeson Center, University Park, PA 16802
Breakout Session #1
10:40 – 11:50 a.m.
Mapping the Student Engagement Journey: Discoveries from a Faculty Fellow Project
- Hailley Fargo, Student Engagement Coordinator, University Libraries
- Ally Mastrangelo, Undergraduate Research Assistant, Senior, Labor & Employment Relations and Psychology
This presentation will present initial findings in the Faculty Fellow Project: Mapping the Student Engagement Journey. This is an exploratory, qualitative research project aimed at discovering how students at Penn State University navigate the student engagement landscape. While there is not one ideal journey for student engagement experiences, we are still discovering the many ways our students discover, choose, and experience these opportunities. In addition, the role of the library in the student engagement journey is not clearly understood. By mapping the student journeys and better understanding the various paths and skills learned along the way, Penn State and the Penn State Libraries can be more flexible and adaptable to ensure student success.
- What do you currently know about how students you work with navigate the student engagement landscape?
- How would/do these findings impact or influence the work you do with student engagement?
- Based on the current chart of engagement types and their variations, what variations are missing? What would you change about the definitions of each engagement type? What resonates with you?
Fostering Student Engagement at the College Level
- Karen Marosi – Director of Student Engagement and Associate Teaching Professor in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
College-level efforts to promote student engagement leverage student academic affinity* to encourage participation in engagement activities and help to amplify the efforts of university offices. Supporting students in envisioning and partaking in experiences that complement in-course learning allows them to put into practice what they are learning in the classroom and produces a variety of positive outcomes such as increased retention. In addition, academic affinity is a powerful motivator to pursue these types of high-impact activities and colleges can use this starting point to connect students with broader university resources. This session focuses on describing efforts at the college level to promote and foster a culture of engaged scholarship. The recent restructuring of the Earth and Mineral Sciences Academy of Global Experience (EMSAGE) program will be described as a model of a student community centered on scholarship and engagement. Future ideas on facilitating engagement from orientation through graduation in collaboration with college and university resources will also be presented for discussion. Participants will be asked to brainstorm ways to facilitate engagement at the college level given the unique aspects of their college/campus.
*identifying with an academic major or discipline
- What aspects of engagement are best served at the department/college/university level?
- How can academic affinity be further leveraged to promote engagement?
- What resources are needed to promote engagement in the colleges, especially to students who are not at University Park?
The International Service-Immersion Experience: Habitat for Humanity Global Village Trips
- Bryan M. Valentine
This presentation will focus on Habitat for Humanity Global Village trips to Amarante, Portugal; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; and Warsaw, Poland from a service, educational, and cultural perspective. These short-term service trips give students the chance to experience other cultures up-close while helping communities that need safe, decent, affordable housing. The trips also provide students with opportunities to tour historic locations like Old Quebec City outside Montreal and the former Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Oświęcim, visit unique places like the Castle of Guimarães near Amarante and the Wieliczka Salt Mines in Krakow, and meet with other college students from the Kracow University of Economics in Poland and the University of Porto in Portugal. We will discuss how these various components work together to provide Penn State students with comprehensive and meaningful experiences they will remember for a lifetime.
Breakout Session #2
1:40 – 2:40 p.m.
Engaging Students in Global Social Enterprises – Pathways and Pitfalls
- John Gershenson – Director, Penn State Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship program (HESE)
- Lucy Spicher – Junior, Mechanical Engineering / Biomedical Engineering
- Walter Watts – Grad Student, Smeal MBA
HESE is focused on getting more students to pursue careers in the public good by teaching them how to combine appropriate design, mission-focused entrepreneurship, and the skills they learn on campus. The HESE program is a combination of coursework, research, and entrepreneurship that launches students and ventures to create products/services/ventures that meet humanitarian needs with scalable enterprises. A key component of the academic program is the months that students spend over seas testing their technology and business model with their co-development partners. In this talk, Dr. Gershenson and his team will use the structure of Go.Do.Change. to discuss some of the opportunities and hurdles the program has seen for getting students to truly engage in their academic and extracurricular development.
Including Engagement as Part of the Plan
- Jackie Bortiatynski
Many first-year seminars include a discussion of recommended academic plans as part of their curriculum. Unfortunately, sometimes it comes across like a restaurant menu rather than a developmental plan. I wanted to seek out another framework for helping students explore academic plans and use a lens that would make it personal. A colleague shared information on a course at Stanford University that has become extremely popular and is taken by 3rd and 4th year students to help them with the “wicked problem” of designing their life and career. I looked at what the students who had taken the course where saying and wondered if we could take a similar approach to introduce first year students to this way of thinking.
In this course, design thinking is used to get students to explore their passions and think critically about finding a path to achieve their goals. This year in first year seminar we started the first week by introducing the design thinking approach to problem solving and used the lens of designing a 4-year plan that would lead to intended career. We asked the students to think about why they wanted to be scientists and then begin to gather the information they needed to reach their goals. By the end of the semester we want the students to have a pilot plan for next three years that includes ideas for engaged scholarship. We are using advising sessions this semester to discuss the plans and then continue to have these conversations with our students next semester as test their pilot plan. The pilot plan will include courses and engaged scholarship opportunities as well as plans to improve skills and competencies that will be needed to help them to succeed.
In this session we will share how we started this journey with our students. While we have no results to share at this time, we will discuss how things are going so far and challenge participants to consider ideas to improve the current freshman seminar model.
Questions to address:
- What are the current challenges to engage freshman seminar students?
- What are good next steps for students after freshman seminar?
- What drawbacks are there to design thinking? What benefits?
Introducing: The Penn State Student Engagement Plan
- Michael Zeman, Student Engagement Network Director
The vision is set to create communities in which the majority of people feel inspired, excited at work, and return home fulfilled at the end of the day. The best way to build the community is with well-rounded citizens and good leaders. The Student Engagement Network is dedicated to helping students become skilled, compassionate citizens who lead others and contribute to the greater good of their community.
In this presentation we will offer a sneak peek at the new Penn State Engagement Plan that help students determine where they are in their journey. Penn State SEN is committed to helping students understand and practice self-actualization, seeking to improve in strengths and build skills where they lack. The Penn State Engagement Plan provides unique resources and recommendations, no matter where a student is on their path, that promote intentional awareness of both ‘self’ and ‘other.’ There are four major milestones in the Penn State Engagement Plan. Below is a brief introduction to each area:
Find Your Why
Maybe you’re ready to cultivate your curiosities a bit more and decide what interests you most? This takes conversation, exploration, and self-reflection.
Start Your Journey
Maybe you’re ready to design your journey and add details and ideas to your grand scheme? Or perhaps you want to research what experiences would be best for you? There are resources available to guide you.
Complete Your Experience(s)
This means you’re ready to try stuff! How do I connect? The SEN can help! We’ll get you ready to sign up, apply, propose, complete, or maybe create! Attend a workshop, connect with faculty, study abroad, or apply for an internship or grant. Go for it!
Tell your story
In this step you are ready to process and reflect on either a singular experience or a collection of experiences. What did you learn? How did the experience impact you personally and professionally?