Community Based Learning and Research

CBLR Faculty and Staff Fellows 2008-2009

Cheryl Cooke, PhD, RN

Assistant Professor

I.C.B.L.R. Fellow 2008-2009 
Project: Community, Prisons, and Health

Cheryl Cooke, an assistant professor in the nursing program, is using her ICBLR project to develop, present, and refine a course called "Community, Prisons, and Health". In this course, the effects of mass incarceration on individuals, families, and particularly, communities are examined. Some topics that explored in the course include how removing large numbers of individuals from families effect community capacity, health, economics, politics, and the potential for social action focused on community improvement. Various texts, media, and fieldwork experiences are used to explore historical and contemporary issues related to incarcerating large groups of people. The course was originally developed as a freestanding course, but is being revised as a two-part series of courses that also allow students to participate in a community-based project.

Jennifer Droege

Student Life

I.C.B.L.R. Fellow 2008-2009
Project: Expanding Out of Classroom Service Opportunities

Jennifer is working on developing standardized orientation and reflection guidelines for co-curricular community based activities. Building on the office's current work with Alternative Spring Break and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, the Office of Student Life is looking to expand service and community based activities outside of the classroom both locally and across the country. Guidelines for orientation and reflection will help ensure our students are entering communities responsibly and being thoughtful about the work they are doing. As expanded service opportunities begin to develop, Jennifer also looks forward to begin building relationships with community agencies in the local area. 

Benjamin Gardner, PhD

Assistant Professor
Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

I.C.B.L.R. Fellow 2008-2009
Project: Cultural Research, Community-Based Learning and Collaborative Practices
Dr. Gardner will incorporate a community based learning component as part of his IAS course Approaches to Cultural Research. "I believe students will greatly benefit by working closely with community partners to carry out meaningful cultural research projects." The optional 2-credit class will offer interested students enrolled in his course the opportunity to work with a community organization to design, carry out and present their research. "Integrating a community-based learning component will enable students, as well as myself to build relationships with community partners that can extend beyond the single quarter." By incorporating a community-based learning component students who want to work with local organizations will have the chance to engage real problems in the community, and experience the challenges and rewards of carrying out collaborative research. In addition, he is developing partnerships for learning and research examining the relationship between culture, politics and social change for the MACS and MAPS graduate programs.

Keith Nitta, PhD

Assistant Professor
Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

I.C.B.L.R. Fellow 2008-2009
Project: Practicing Management and Leadership in Community-Based Team Projects

Dr. Nitta will integrate community-based learning into two Master of Arts in Policy Studies core courses, Management and Leadership, by pairing small teams of students with community organizations. Together, the student teams and community partners will identify priorities and create work plans. The goals are 1) to build long-term relationships between UWB and specific community partners by providing thoughtful, high-quality service over several years, 2) for students to practice team-building, diagnostic, and analytic skills in a supervised environment, and 3) for students to individually and collectively reflect on their own management and leadership development.

Jane Van Galen, PhD


I.C.B.L.R. Fellow 2008-2009 
Project: The Dream Project

Jane  Van Galen is faculty advisor to a new UWB initiative, the Dream Project. Based on a program begun at UW Seattle four years ago, the Dream Project prepares UWB students to mentor low income/first generation high school juniors and seniors through the process of choosing colleges and applying for admissions and financial aid. In the quarterly course, students learn about educational inequalities and access to higher education, social mobility, and education policy. In partnership with area high schools, the UWB students work with young people on admissions essays, scholarship searches, and on raising aspirations. The Dream Project also develops student leadership skills as students build the infrastructure of of the Dream Project via fundraising, materials development, and campus event planning.