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Based on the study series by Beyond War, students will be challenged to examine their assumptions about war and to become part of building peace through building community.  Following the Beyond War Core Practice: I will work with others to build a world beyond war, students will explore the role of community in building peace from the personal to the international levels through their own work and interactions with Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.  The course will include theoretical readings and discussions, practical experiences and skill-building, and hands-on community-building work. 

Story, Portraits, and Civic Action

This online course explores how civic action, and the process of story finding and telling through the medium of digital portraiture, as inspired by Humans of New York, can effect change in our community. Each student is expected to volunteer thirty hours with a community organization of their choice over the duration of the term. Positions must be arranged before the term begins.

Over the course of the term, students will be expected to photograph and interview three to four people with whom they come in contact while volunteering at their respective sites. Students will submit a portfolio of their favorite portraits, paired with compelling excerpts of their interviews, as inspired by Brandon Stanton’s ongoing Humans of New York project. These will then be published on a course Instagram account, and made available to our community and the public at large. Not only will the project showcase the great spectrum of volunteer work and civic action that our students are participating in and contributing to, but importantly, this work will be humanized with particular stories, voices, and faces. 

The Music in the Schools capstone introduces elementary aged children involved in SUN (Schools Uniting Neighborhoods) programs to musical games, concepts, instruments, and songs from various cultures around the world.  Basic educational teaching strategies, child development concepts, and pedagogical techniques are developed and then translated by PSU students into fun, interactive lessons that, hopefully, will inspire the children, themselves representing various cultures, to go further into learning about music.  The AM class works at the SUN program based at Alice Ott Middle School and t

This course is designed to give students an opportunity to learn about and become involved in the development of the Portland Metro EcoDistrict Pilot Program. This class will focus on providing students with the history and present-day state of the work on EcoDistricts in Portland, as well as real and powerful ways to engage with the development of an EcoDistrict. Students will be introduced to basic concepts and practices related to EcoDistrict in general and then specifically work to develop an important initiative within one of the five pilot EcoDistricts in the city.

Empowering Portland's EcoDistricts with GIS and Asset Mapping  Asset mapping methods combined with geographic information systems (GIS) technology have proven to be an effective way to help citizens and organizations identify, analyze, describe, and mobilize around assets and issues of concern to them.

The Community Geography Project of the Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies trains community groups and middle and high school students in GIS technology to enable them to ask new questions and better strategize and promote their agendas.

Reporting Live

Creating a Public Relations Program for a Non-Profit  In this Capstone we will apply public relations concepts to assist the Archimedes Movement in expanding their outreach efforts.  Specifically, we will work to develop a greater online presence via social networking websites and online media through the creation and dissemination of a viral marketing campaign.

In this Capstone, we will work with several community partners, including collaborating with the “Let's Build It Cully Park!” initiative, Portland Parks & Rec, NAYA (Native American Youth & Family Assn.) and Latino organizations Hacienda and Verde.  Class time will focus on issues of food security, significance of cultural/traditional foods, and community

For millennia the world’s Indigenous Peoples have acted as guardians of the web of life for the following seven generations. They have successfully managed complex reciprocal relationships between diverse biological ecosystems and multitudinous human cultures.  Awareness of Indigenous Knowledge is reemerging…” Original Instructions: Indigenous Teachings for a Sustainable Future, 2008.

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