Fall 2021

Active: 
yes

Grant Writing for Environmental Education: This Capstone will partner with the Sauvie Island Center (sauvieislandcenter.org). The mission of the Sauvie Island Center is to “equitably educate elementary school-aged children about food, farming, and the land.”  The center runs place-based farm education trips and events at Topaz Farm on Sauvie Island and creates food systems learning content for grade-school classrooms.  Capstone students in this course will participate in the various aspects of grant writing, including locating appropriate funders and identifying the needs of our community partner, as well as writing and reviewing grant proposals. No previous work with grants or grant writing is needed. The class also involves reading and discussions about environmental and outdoor education, equity in education, and sustainable food systems and farming practices.  Students in this course will develop skills in storytelling to help transform the relationship between humans and their environment. The Capstone project will be a presentation and portfolio of grant proposals addressing the current needs of the Sauvie Island Center. 

HOUSING & HOMELESSNESS:  Nearly half of all PSU students have experienced food insecurity and over 15% have experienced homelessness. This Capstone considers the challenges of housing insecurity and homelessness, faced by our country and here on our campus, through a critical systems-thinking approach to complex social issues. The course is guided by our collaborators at The PSU Landing at FUMC: A new PSU community resource sheltering students through housing crisis and transitions. Capstone student projects will work to change narratives, implement creative actions, and advocate for effective housing policies. In Spring Term 2021, this class will be offered fully remotely, meeting in synchronous Zoom meetings; and a weekly one hour asynchronous Capstone Project meeting is also required.

CAP: PDX LGBTQ HISTORY: This Capstone course introduces oral history as a method for documenting, preserving, and amplifying the diverse histories and voices of Portland’s LGBTQ+ communities. Our community partner for this course is the Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest (GLAPN).

Food Justice, Food Sovereignty, and Sustainability: This course will focus on the themes of food justice and sovereignty and how we can create just and sustainable change in our food systems. Students will explore food heritage, food justice and sovereignty, sustainability, sustainability leadership, and form emergent strategies in implementing food systems that embrace these concepts. Students will learn basic gardening skills and reflect on their time in the garden in connection with assigned readings and class discussions. A community service project will take place throughout the course, complementing the learning and experiences students gain from this capstone. This course partners with the Wombyn's Wellness Garden at the Oregon Food Bank, an indigenous led garden that grows food and medicine for the Portland native community and beyond.

Cultural Ecology in the Urban Forest at Tryon Creek

This course is designed to inspire and question the ways we educate both ourselves and our next seven generations as global stewards. Through remote discussions and exercises, readings and media, nature journaling, and personal reflection, students will gain a deeper appreciation of the authentic cultural ecology of the area. For Summer Term 2021, the course will be offered mainly in a remote format on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-11am, with the option for occasional face-to-face engagement at Tryon Creek. Students will have the opportunity to collaboratively apply their learning to a community outreach project that helps the extended Tryon Creek community in building unique and lasting relationships with the natural world. Projects will be mainly remote with the option for face-to-face engagement related to the projects.

 

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. 

Food Insecurity: PSU, Portland, and Beyond

Higher Education in Prison

Drawing on poetry, political theory, sociological texts, film, and personal narratives, this course offers an introduction to prison and its critiques, as well as the power of education to transform individuals and societies. This hybrid course meets once a week at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility (CCCF); Capstone students will study together with women enrolled in higher education at the women’s prison, about 20 minutes south of PSU in Wilsonville. Successful background clearances are required in order to participate.

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.

Immigration and Refugee Resettlement in East Portland (REFUGEE YTH IN PDX)

According to Communities of Color in Multnomah County: An Unsettling Profile, “In total, people of color in 2008 (by traditional Census Bureau counts) comprise 26.3% of the population of the county. When we add the Slavic community to these data, […] the size of the community totals over 200,000 residents." A large number of these residents are immigrants and refugees. The Coalition report finds that these communities face sharp disparities compared to whites in education, income, poverty, and other metrics. The report states that “our pathways to effective practice lead us to prioritize service delivery that stretches far beyond the framework of ‘cultural competency’ into ‘culturally-specific services.’”

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