Community Health

Farm Ed for Youth: Growing Stories

This Capstone will partner with the Sauvie Island Center (sauvieislandcenter.org). The mission of the Sauvie Island Center is “educating youth about food, farming, and the land.”  Students will work collaboratively with the Sauvie Island Center staff to develop curriculum for school age children, help the Center to share the stories of Pacific Northwest Indigenous lands and people, Oregon farmers, and farm education, and support Center staff in developing the organization’s field trip site at Topaz Farm on Sauvie Island. Capstone students will learn about sustainable food systems and the impact of farm education; they will also develop skills in educating and storytelling to help transform the relationship between humans and their environment and thus enact social change.

This Capstone will partner with the Learning Gardens Laboratory (LGL), a 12-acre garden education site on Portland’s southeast side. Students work collaboratively to gather stories of community gardeners, teachers, and community partners who regularly gather at LGL to learn and farm. Capstone students will gain skills in interviewing, storytelling, and using narrative as a means for social change, in addition to learning about sustainable food systems and the impact of learning gardens. 

Meditation and Service

We will practice and grow in our understanding of mindful meditation and awareness as a foundation for personal and global healing. Meditation is a practice that encompasses a philosophy of living with a quiet mind, open heart, and in service to others. Learners will cultivate their own mindful meditation practice 6 days a week for 15-20 minutes a day. Together we will explore the connections between ancient Eastern philosophy, personal healing, and social responsibility. Service-learning with our non-profit community partners gives context to the course materials and our mindfulness practice. Equally important, it provides an opportunity to experience present moment awareness while deepening learners’ experiential understanding about the social determinants of health and their influence on individuals, communities, and society as a whole. 

Health Professionals as Agents of Change (CHANGE AGENTS IN HEALTH) (AGENTS OF CHANGE IN HEALTH)

Do you ever wonder what health care will look like in 5 -15 years from now? What will your role be in effecting positive change? Although we will look to theory and research to help answer these and other questions related to the topic of change leadership in public health, we will also be asking “how do we apply these concepts in real world settings?” 

Sustainable Food Systems and Educational Farms at Learning Garden's Lab Site

The time is ripe to be part of the growing sustainable food movement! This class addresses the current food issues that face urban citizens by holistically engaging students in the many layers of Portland's local food and farm culture.  Students will critically analyze the state of our current food systems while being engaged in positive solutions to agricultural-related issues. The community partner and classroom is the Learning Gardens Lab, where students will gain hands-on farming experience, experientially explore their personal connection to food and the land, participate in the Learning Garden programs, and positively contribute to food security in our greater community.

Artwork featuring fat people of various races wearing diverse style of clothing, holding hands

This multidisciplinary Capstone is carried over two terms (Spring and Summer). The Spring term portion involves pre-travel projects in preparation for the service-learning trip and classroom learning experience. The Summer term portion is a two-week service-learning experience in Nicaragua (tentative travel dates: June 15/16 - June 29, 2015). Students and faculty will focus on service-learning activities in the areas of public health and community development related to aging and older adults in Nicaragua.

This course will partner with Portland’s Community Cycling Center, helping them increase their capacity by developing grants for specific projects. The Community Cycling Center works to broaden access to bicycling and the benefits of cycling. Their vision is to build a vibrant community where people of all backgrounds use bicycles to stay healthy and connected. In order to write a successful grant proposal, one must gather up as much knowledge about the topic and the organization as possible.

Rose Haven serves women and children experiencing the trauma of abuse, loss of home and other disruptive life challenges. Rose Haven's mission is to maintain a safe, respectful community while providing guests with support and services to assist them in regaining stability in their lives. THis capstone egages students in scholarship about food cultures and scoial justice, responding and partnering with Rose Haven to support their work. 

Adelante Mujeres, a non-profit based in Forest Grove, is commited to the education and empowerment of Latina women immigrants.  Students will work with staff to prepare Latina women for public advocacy.  Students and the women will organize public presentations, including with state legislators.  Some travel to Forest Grove and Salem is involved.

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