Spring 2019 is the first semester that the Institute for Leadership and Service is disbursing funds as part of the Collaboration on High Impact Practices (CHIP). The overarching goal of the micro-grant project is to support creative, collaborative approaches to incorporating high impact practices into curricular and co-curricular programs.

One common denominator of the projects selected in this first round is that they are each, in some small way, replicable. What faculty and staff will learn through each unique undertaking has the potential to help shape new ideas and future conversations about how we make high impact practices come alive on Valpo’s campus.

Learn more about each project below.

“Hailing Cesar” Documentary Screening and Q&A with Director Eduardo Chavez

Proposed by Kelli Chavez, Program Coordinator, Office of Multicultural Programs

With 304 self-identified undergraduate students, Latinx people are the largest domestic minority group on campus. Although they are the largest domestic minority group on campus, they only represent approximately 10 percent of the total undergraduate population. For that reason, domestic minority students, including Latinx students, often struggle adjusting to life on campus because this is the first time many have been in predominantly white spaces. Given the limited Latinx representation among faculty and staff at VU, our office often relies on external partners and guests to help bolster our students’ sense of identity and belonging.

“Hailing Cesar” is a documentary directed by Eduardo Chavez about civil rights leader Cesar Chavez who fought for the rights of California field workers during the 1960s and through his passing in 1993. As Cesar’s grandson, Eduardo explores how he understands his Latinx identity and how it is influenced by being a descendant of one of the most impactful leaders of the workers’ rights movement. The documentary also highlights contemporary labor rights and immigration issues in the US. Following the movie screening, Eduardo would be available for a question and answer session with audience members.

Discussion Facilitation as Boundary Spanning

Proposed by Dr. John Fantuzzo, Assistant Professor of Education

The purpose of this project is to explore the following claim: teaching undergraduate and graduate students to facilitate discussions can equip them to serve as boundary spanners in the professions/institutions they are preparing to enter. We believe that helping education and school psychology students develop an ability to boundary span, and more effectively engage with stakeholders outside of school contexts, will not only improve their service to their forthcoming professions but also will meet Valparaiso University’s mission of preparing students to “serve in both church and society” as the skills we are emphasizing can be generalized beyond the school setting.

First-Year Living Learning Communities Trip to the Illinois Holocaust Museum

Proposed by Katie Bye, Assistant Director for Staffing and Programming, Residential Life

This proposal is designed to offer first-year students participating in Residential Life’s three Living Learning Communities (LLC) the opportunities to explore the history and aftermath that the Holocaust had on our society, as well as, art and culture within Chicago. Our hope is that students will apply their understanding of identity and reflection with the horrific era that occurred less than 100 years ago. Residential Life provides regular programming for each LLC as it relates to their specific theme and connected topic of interest. This proposal would be an extension of that programming as it relates to the application of our Residential curriculum learning outcomes and goals within the residence hall.

Integrating Vocation and Professionalization into Sociology and Criminology’s Core Curriculum

Proposed by Dr. Andrew Raridon, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminology

The S&C department will use funds to help deliberately integrate conversations about vocational discernment and professionalization into its core curriculum. In addition to the creation of a new research methods class and the revitalization of the senior capstone course, members of the department will create two new professionalization courses in the major, to be taken in the freshman and junior years.

Valpo Innovates

Proposed by Dr. Joe Trendowski, Assistant Professor of Management, College of Business

Last year, Epsilon Nu Tau and Dr. Trendowski worked to coordinate the first Valpo Innovates pitch competition. The response was excellent, with students from all colleges participating. Pitch teams were required to have four to five members – with no more than two students from any one college. While the 2018 competition focused on environmental issues, the 2019 competition (held Feb. 8-10) will focus on campus improvement. In the spirit of innovation and impact, students will develop a solution to a current campus problem. The pitches will be based on originality, feasibility, and impact. CHIP funds will be used to help underwrite the the competition.

Inside-Out National Instructor Training Institute

Proposed by Dr. Matthew Puffer, Assistant Professor of Humanities and Ethics, Christ College

As part of a larger project to develop a full-fledged prison education program at Valparaiso University, this proposal seeks funding to partially cover expenses related to equipping one faculty member with the pedagogical skills to teach in a prison environment. The Inside-Out Prison Exchange program prepares instructors to offer college courses within a correctional setting, comprised of both “inside students” (inmates) and “outside students” (undergraduates). Consistent with several High-Impact Practices, but especially those of “Collaborative Assignments and Projects” and “Improving Campus Climate/Awareness”, the intent of the program is to offer a transformative, collaborative learning experience that allows all of the students to evolve and grow together by listening seriously to the insights of others and engaging in academic dialogue focused on “difficult differences” including content areas that deal with issues of rights, justice, and power.

A Means to Live Well Together: A Welcome Project/Center for Civic Reflection Crossover Initiative

Proposed by Prof. Liz Wuerffel, Associate Professor of Art and Co-Director of the Welcome Project

This spring, the Welcome Project will have an exhibition at Luther College followed by a 1.5 day artist residency workshop. CRI facilitators will be immersed in Welcome Project stories and, in particular, the Flight Paths initiative, which seeks to embed first-person storytelling in historical context to help us better understand our region’s dynamics. CRI facilitators will then travel with the Welcome Project team to train Luther students, faculty, and staff in pairing storytelling with CRI’s facilitation practice. Facilitators will: collaborate, sharpen their understanding through deep listening, improve the climate of both campuses by experience cultures and world views different from their own, and have direct experience with campus issues in order to analyze and solve problems in the community.

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