BIOL 315: Infectious Disease and Public Health
This course focuses on the pathophysiology of select infectious diseases and their
associated public health issues. Students will be introduced to the types of pathogens
that cause infectious diseases, the modes through which they are transmitted, and
how they are combated by the immune system as well as basic epidemiological concepts
and public health measures. Legal and ethical issues that arise out of public health
policies directed towards combating infectious diseases will be addressed including
compulsory vaccination, antibiotic resistance, bioterrorism, poverty, global warming,
forced quarantine, and pandemic preparation. When possible, case studies, historical
events, and recent newspaper articles are used to support student engagement and
understanding of material. In the laboratory component, students will design and
carry out a vaccination strategy in mice and then apply their experimental findings
to develop a public health policy for combating a particular infectious disease.
Past service learning projected involved students with the non-profit organization
“The Faces of Hope”, whose mission is to prevent and eliminate childhood obesity.
In groups, students designed and presented a workshop to children and their families
focused on a particular co-morbidity of obesity (i.e. additional health consequences
of obesity, like hypertension, type II diabetes, sleep apnea, depression, Blount
disease, etc.). The presentation should, in very plain terms, addressed how obesity
leads to the co-morbidity, explained long-term consequences of the co-morbidity,
and what children and their families could do to reduce risk of the co-morbidity.
In groups, students shadowed a Faces of Hope staff person/volunteer during a workshop/presentation
before presenting their own workshop. Students designed and executed a fund-raising
idea to assist the organization with needed donations. Finally, students analyzed
data regarding the demographics of participants in the program and attempted to
quantify the program’s effectiveness over the last two years.
CSCI 181 Computer Service Learning in Haiti
This course is an opportunity to enhance your computing and teaching skills and
use them to teach computer concepts to and develop the computing skills of Haitian
students. During the pre-trip, on-campus portion of the course you will receive
“hands-on” instruction on the planned activities and how to use a visual programming
language such as Scratch. Computer Science Unplugged materials to teach computer
concepts may also be used. We will discuss and practice how to use the selected
tools to present the material most effectively. While in Haiti you will also have
the opportunity to experience many aspects of Haitian life and culture. Three hours.
Prerequisites: none. Note: This course will not count toward the Computer Science
major or minor. Link to a video from 2008 of our students teaching Computer Science
Unplugged activities. http://vimeo.com/17530854
EDUC 102: R.E.A.L.- Real Experiences/Authentic Learning
The purpose of this course is to provide students with an experiential learning
opportunity in the field of reading/language arts while providing community service.
We have offered this course in conjunction with Henry Clay Elementary School since
2008 and its framework has gone from book club, reading olympics, reading fluency
Service learning is the backbone of the Environmental Studies Program curriculum.
The service-learning takes place in three environmental problem-solving courses.
Real clients give students real environmental problems to solve. The work students
do to solve the problems provides service to the community, government agencies,
businesses, non-profit organization, not to mention the environment and its inhabitants.
Students tackle their first environmental problem in their freshman or sophomore
year to learn the process involved in solving environmental problems. Because no
one person can know everything needed to know to solve complicated environmental
problems, students then get expertise in a specific discipline (in any area of humanities,
social sciences, or natural sciences) that they then bring to their Junior- and
Senior-level environmental problem-solving courses. In those courses, students use
their newly-acquired expertise to solve more complex problems in interdisciplinary
teams. Because seniors and juniors take the upper-level problem-solving courses
together, and because seniors by that time have solved two problems, the seniors
mentor the juniors through the process. These courses make a real difference in
Some examples of environmental problems students have solved include:
- Locating sources of E. coli bacteria in the Mechumps Creek and Stony Run
watersheds (two watersheds that drain to the Chesapeake Bay); client – Virginia
Department of Environmental Quality
- Developing a conservation and restoration plan for the endangered Atlantic sturgeon;
client – James River Association
- Creating and expanding a Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act overlay map to identify
and protect lands within that affect the overall health of Chesapeake Bay; client
- Caroline County, Virginia
- Preventing beach erosion and protecting homes and the environment in the Chesapeake
Bay; client – Mosquito Point Homeowners Association and Ms. Betty
- Assessing the impact of dams and corporate activities on water quality, habitat
and aquatic life in the Jackson River, MeadWestvaco Corporation
For more information: http://www.rmc.edu/Academics/environmental-studies/Projects.aspx
COMM334: Leadership Communication
Students work with real “clients” in the community who have real challenges that
they are attempting to address. The students work in consulting groups and are taught
leadership theory, change theory, and consulting modeling. Throughout the course
they work with the client’s real problem. The final is the students’ group presentation
to the client of a feasible solution that we hope the client can use.
PSCI 385 - Social Entrepreneurship
This class currently includes a reflection/research paper in which students identify
and undertake a 3-hour service commitment outside of class. In the paper, they are
supposed to present some background to the appropriate social problem, reflect on
their service experience (which should involve some direct experience with the social
problem), and briefly speculate on how principles of social entrepreneurship might
change the social problem's dynamics.
As a final project for the course, students create a business plan for a social
enterprise. My hope is in the future that, either as part of the class or as an
extension of it, students are given an opportunity to launch their ventures. I don't
have enough resources yet to make that happen.
SOCI 228: Disabilities in America
Students meet with the local Hanover ARC (adults with profound disabilities), utilizing
a role valorization framework to work collaboratively on projects and build relationships
that challenge stereotypes. The students receive part of their academic credit as
a result of doing this, but almost always report in evaluations that it is very
impactful in tandem with the disability-related content of the course. Some students
select the course because they are interested in a career working with the disabled,
and this course and service-learning project is designed to encourage that type
SOCI 250: Human Rights in the Global Village
This service-learning course provides students the opportunity to make affordable
housing a possibility for those in need while introducing students to the sociology
of human rights through an examination of the historical, social, environmental
and cultural sources of poverty and suffering using a human rights framework. The
materials covered will include a discussion on the social issues surrounding suffering
and human rights concerns in the host country, strategies employed for mobilization
and advocacy, and a review of human rights theoretical frameworks. Although it offers
a sociological approach to human rights, the course does not presuppose
prior knowledge of sociology. Students from all disciplinary backgrounds are welcome.
The course will include two weeks of class meetings at RMC and a two-week international
service trip arranged through the Habitat for Humanity Global Village Program. On-site
excursions will include various cultural experiences events appropriate to our location
within the host country.
SOCI 320: Aging and the Life Course
This service learning seminar course will examine these processes of aging as they
affect individuals, families, cohorts, and societies and how the aging process is
affected by psychological, historical, political, economic, and cultural factors.
Students explore the dynamic interactions between people and their environments,
and the ways in which society's beliefs, values, and attitudes are reflected in
the aging experience. Special attention is given to the impact of social policy
on the lives of older individuals focusing on how racial, ethnic, class, and gender
differences shape the nature of health and human service policy and delivery on
behalf of older persons.
SOCI 381: Refugees and Transnational Migration
This course incorporates service learning and community collaboration by matching
students with opportunities for civic engagement. Randolph-Macon students, in conjunction
with Catholic Relief Services, work as mentors, ESL (English as a Second Language)
instructors and tutors as they assist recently arrived refugees in integrating to
the United States. The course includes content on immigration and refugees and applied
sociological and anthropological field methods such as participant observation,
field notes and critical analysis.
SOCI 383: How We Move People
This course examines how we move each other through the lens of social movement
theories that investigate the origins, sustenance, and nature of social movements
such as local, national, and global efforts against inequality, racism, the abuse
of native peoples, sexism, the abuse of corporate power, and war. Students, working
with social movements and activists in the area, design and carry out semester long
projects within their area of interest.
SPAN 236: Service-Learning in Spanish
This course offers intensive practice in conversational Spanish through the study
of current issues relating to Latinos in the U.S. and a service-learning component.
Students will explore issues in Latino immigration, politics, linguistics, and culture
through authentic print and film media and will participate in community placements
speaking Spanish and working with the Latino communities of Ashland and Richmond.
SPAN 381: Special Topics: Central American Culture & Civilization
Study of the culture and civilization of Central America from a variety of viewpoints:
historical, literary, sociological, anthropological, and political. Extensive use
of audiovisual materials. Home stay and service-learning component while abroad.
More information about that course in Costa Rica: