Winter 2020

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Meditation and Service

Meditation and mindful awareness encompass a philosophy of living with a quiet mind, open heart, and in service to others; they are our primary practices in this capstone. We will explore mindful awareness and meditation as foundations for personal, community, and global health and well being. Our meditative practices, ancient Eastern philosophy, racial equity, and social responsibility will inform how we engage in service learning. By serving with non-profit community partners we will practice empathy and compassion while deepening our understanding of housing and houselessness and their intimate connection to health and well-being.

Cultivating Wellness Practices in Public Schools Through Garden-based Education for Youth (K-6th grades)

Course Description: This course will explore the theory and practice of garden-based education for youth grades K-6th. The capstone will be partnered with Mckinney Elementary School in the Hillsboro School District and will assist in developing a school garden program that emphasizes "trauma-informed" wellness practices in a garden setting.  To support this work, students will explore the history and benefits of garden-based education in schools, develop mentorship and mindfulness skills for working with diverse youth in a garden setting, practice fundamental gardening skills to run and maintain a school garden and develop and implement standard-based garden lessons for the youth.  *Spanish-speaking skills are not required but helpful! *Required service-learning hours options outside of class at the school will be held on Tuesday mornings 9am-12pm, Thursday and Fridays from 9am-3-pm.

Senior Capstone Students visting the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona,Spain One of the most powerful learning opportunities for a student is studying abroad.  The impactful, sensory experience of being far away ultimately brings us closer to ourselves, naturally offering a platform to examine how we identify and relate to the world around us. 

Food Insecurity: PSU & Beyond

Food insecurity is a challenge for students, children, parents, migrants, long-term citizens, old, young, and all other label you might apply to someone. In this online course students have the opportunity to do their "25 hours of service" in a food-scarcity-related organization in their own community. The service component of the course offers an important connection and correlation between the course materials and the validated and verified aspects of food insecurity. Students often reflect on their service as a crucial and valuable component of the course that connects students with their own community as well as tying together the topics of the course.

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.

In this course, students have the opportunity to learn the basics of grant writing. A much sought-after skill in many sectors, grant writing helps a variety of nonprofits and government agencies obtain funds for various projects they are interested in pursuing. For this class, our community partner will be JOIN. As they describe on their website, JOIN exists to support the efforts of homeless individuals and families to transition out of homelessness into permanent housing.

Trans Oral History Project

This fully-online Capstone will examine the issues relevant to the lived experiences of transgender and nonbinary individuals and the associated socio-political climate for this population in the U.S.  Students will collaborate digitally with the Trans Oral History Project at the New York Public Library to transcribe recorded oral histories to increase access to the archives as well as deepen awareness and solidarity with those who are transgender and/or nonbinary.

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.’”

Creating Global Citizens

Global citizenship is of utmost importance as our societies are increasingly becoming more connected through media and technology. There is a growing disparity in the American school system that allows only the privileged students to participate in meaningful and engaging cultural learning. Schools that receive funding and support are able to facilitate cultural exchanges in person for students and faculty, while the majority of students in the public system receive little financial support and are left without any type of cultural exchange or enrichment program. This capstone will provide this needed and valuable cultural exchange.

Image result for contrary to media we are not all meant to look the sameEvery Body Matters – Embracing Size Diversity

 This course focuses on fatness as a social and cultural construction, examining the relationship between discrimination caused by body size and gender, race, and social class. Students will use social justice and healthcare perspectives to question weight bias and explore ways in which the fat community and its supporters resist sizeism. This course offers an alternative view of fatness that accepts the reality of a diversity of body shapes, sizes, and types and works to reduce harmful bias and fat phobia that negatively impacts all people, fat and thin. Standardized weights and "ideal" body types can be oppressive to everyone, even those that fit the "norm."

 

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