Service-Learning/Experiential Opportunities

Roll up your sleeves. Open your heart. Serve your community.

Learn a great deal about how people of different nations, cultures, economic situations and traditions live – and how communication can have a positive impact on their lives. Here are some recent examples of experiential learning in CCI:

First Year Experience (FYE; UC 10097, Section 107)

Instructors Erin Burke and Cathy Zingrone offer a special section of FYE to new students who are interested in learning how to be active and engaged participants in an interconnected world. This course provide new students the opportunity to spend time with international students at Kent State and learn about their cultures and what it is like for them to be college students in another country. The class will consist of speakers on international topics, conversations with international students and a service-learning opportunity in the community.

Communication in Small Group and Teams (COMM 35600)

Students in Professor Molly Taggart’s class created six community-based projects, including a project with the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank and assisting with the Tri Sigma Night Live that raised nearly $23,000 for the March of Dimes. These students were awarded the Outstanding Service Initiative from Kent State University’s Office of Experiential Education and Civic Engagement for exhibiting “depth of understanding of the community needs or social issues.”

Communication in a Global Society (COMM 45766)

Students in Professor Stephanie Smith’s class supported the “Love Notes for America” project. These students used their communication planning skills, persuasive communication skills and creative problem-solving skills to organize “love notes” writing campaigns to several American mosques that have been recent targets of hate mail. Students were creative in their approaches – from videos to Valentine’s Day love-note parties – to get small and large groups to spread “love speech” to combat hate speech.

Communication and Influence

Students in two sections of this class participated in experiential learning. In Professor Rekha Sharma’s section of this class, students raised money and awareness for groups related to Cleveland’s Hope Lodge (families seeking treatment for childhood cancers) and Kent State’s LGVTQ Emergency Fund (which aids LGBTQ students dealing with homelessness, food insecurity and other challenges. Students in Professor J.D. Ponder’s section produced a persuasive health campaign to gather donations of women’s feminine products or money to purchase these products for the Kent State Women’s Center pantry. The program, “Assist Your Sister,” drew attention to the tax on feminine products; two pending bills in the House of Representatives seek to end the tax because it is discriminatory.

Practicum in Ad and PR: Bateman Competition (JMC 41192)

Under the guidance of Professor Tim Roberts, students in two teams research, develop, implement and evaluate a public relations plan for a national client, and the campaigns often have an intercultural focus. Past campaigns have included increasing discussion and treatment of mental health issues in the local African-American and senior citizen communities, helping Kent State student veterans acclimate to the university environment and improving housing options for low-income residents.

Reporting Public Policy (JMC 46009)

In this course, journalism majors are instructed on how to cover governmental policy decisions but with the purpose of illuminating the impact of the policies on citizens, including under-represented groups. Past classes have covered addiction, education, environmental and housing issues.