Dr. Melinda Roberts, associate professor of Criminal Justice and Director of Gender Studies, incorporates service learning into her class CRIM 403 Violence Against Women. Dr. Roberts’s service learning components benefit her students and our local community. Dr. Roberts believes working in the field of social justice requires social activism, and her classes can give back to the community.
CRIM 403 analyzes violence against women in a broader social context. Dr. Roberts works with her students to help assign internship opportunities based on their criminal justice passions and interests. Her students gain hands-on experience, and service learning enhances their abilities to understand the classroom material in a realistic way. Dr. Roberts’s students can translate the information learned directly into the field.
Service learning benefits Dr. Roberts’s students not only during her class for their entire careers. Students connect academic passions with community work, which allows them to find their future career paths and start making connections between research and practice. Students benefit local community partners, as they may not have resources and funding needed to accomplish their goals. Students often find future careers through these community partners. Community partners enjoy working with USI students, knowing they are hard working with great ideas to benefit their organizations.