Spring 2021

Active: 
yes

Learning Gardens, Community Engagement, & Sustainability -  This course will explore the concepts of sustainability, growing food, and personal connection to land/nature through community engagement with the PSU Learning Gardens Lab (LGL). This course focuses on community building, group discussion, and personal reflection and will involve working on projects that support the mission of LGL. In Spring Term 2021, this class will be offered fully remotely with a weekly optional time to meet in-person at LGL.  The optional LGL meeting will take place on Tuesdays from 1:30-3:30pm and synchronous Zoom meetings will be on Thursdays from 1:30-3:30pm. LGL is located in SE Portland at 6745 SE 60th Ave, Portland, OR 97206.

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.

Community Psychology Capstone - Dancis

This two-term capstone will explore a core community psychology framework--Participatory Action Research (PAR). In the spirit of learning by doing, students will partner with groups on campus to design action research projects around the course theme: Disrupting Systemic Racism at PSU. These projects will involve collecting data and using those data to inform social action. The course will culminate with group reflections on the projects and on Participatory Action Research as a Community Psychology competency.

Dismantling Inequities Through Violence Prevention

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. 

Trauma often leads to contemplative dissociation- a detachment from the body and the mind. Through a social justice framework, together we will explore trauma and healing using Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB).  IPNB is relational neuroscience that offers kinder, broader wisdom to understand how we are hurt and how we heal within relationships (including the relationship with the self).

Anti-Bias K12 Education (online)

The Black Lives Matter at School week of action and call to anti-racist curriculum year round was initiated by Seattle educators in 2016 in response to bomb threats by white supremacists toward students and teachers wearing Black Lives Matter/We Stand Together t-shirts at John Muir Elementary School.  Inequity in curriculum, curricular violence, bias in textbooks, lack of access to diverse authors and representation in school libraries all contribute to the “achievement gaps” that both federal and state education departments often focus on in their initiatives and data tracking.

Criminal Justice Reform

This in-person course will explore issues of social justice in criminal justice.  Students will focus on a community-based approach in collaboration with the community partner  to learn about reducing barriers to exiting the criminal justice system.  These include clemency, parole, prison litigation, immigration and refugee status, mental illness and incarceration, non-unanimous juries and removing the criminal related barriers that keep individuals in poverty.   Specifically, the Capstone students will partner with the Oregon Department of Corrections Division of Research and Evaluation, https://www.oregon.gov/doc/research-and-requests/Pages/research-and-statistics.aspx to work on a community-based research project. Students enrolling in this course will need to pass the security volunteer background check administered by the Oregon Department of Corrections prior to the course starting.  Students should contact the professor immediately after registering to begin this process.

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