Two from FHSU selected to be among four service-learning consultants statewide

HAYS, KS -- Two representatives from Fort Hays State University were selected to be among four people chosen to advance the field of service learning in higher education institutions in Kansas.

Debra Ring, director of Project SERV AmeriCorps at FHSU, and Christie Brungardt, instructor of leadership studies, were selected with two others out of seven finalists for the four consultant positions. Final selections was made at the 2001 Service-Learning Summer Institute at Kansas State University from July 24-25 in Manhattan. The finalists made presentations at the conference and the four faculty consultants were then chosen by vote.

The four will visit with faculty across the county who have successfully implemented service learning in their classrooms and will be trained in service learning, which is a credit-bearing educational experience in which students participate in an organized service activity in order to gain further understanding of course content. It also encourages civic engagement.

After training, Ring, Brungardt and the other two consultants will provide professional support for faculty in Kansas to incorporate service learning into the curriculum. The consultant positions are being funded through the Kansas State University-sponsored Service-Learning Consortium.

"Students learn more when classroom concepts are applied to real-life projects," said Ring. "The benefits of service learning to students and to faculty are enormous."

Brungardt, a long-time area business woman as owner and manager in commodities, finance and trucking businesses, began teaching leadership classes at FHSU last year.

"I have been interested for some time in bridging the gap between the business community and academics, particularly in the area of leadership," said Brungardt, "and I believe service learning provides a great opportunity to do just that."

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