Faculty Spotlight Dr. Phyllis Ryder

Nashman Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Phyllis Ryder

Professor Ryder is an Associate Professor of Writing specializing in service learning, composition, academic literacy, faculty librarian partnerships for teaching academic research, rhetoric of democracy, public and community writing. Itohan Amu, a Community Engaged Scholar at the Nashman Center, sat down with Dr. Ryder to learn more about her work.

She has two current publications. The first is a book, Rhetorics for Community Action: Public Writing and Writing Publics https://www.amazon.com/Rhetorics-Community-Action-Cultural-Pedagogy/dp/0739137662 . The second is an article about her evolving understanding of the community partners that she works with, From Reciprocity to Interdependence: Mass Incarceration and Service Learning available here http://proxygw.wrlc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eue&AN=121172789&site=ehost-live

We asked Professor Ryder how she incorporates service learning into her courses. She allows “students to work with organizations in DC in order to have a context to really think about language, writing and communication and also because it sparks some questions that students will often research”.  She made clear that she likes it because it helps people to understand that there’s a deeper purpose for the scholarship that happens at the university and understand the amount of impact that the students can make on the community by answering real world questions. Over the years, Professor Ryder has worked with over 20 community partners including: Life Pieces to Masterpieces, DC Central Kitchen, Free Minds Book Club, US Dream Academy and many more.

During the course of her class, Professor Ryder talks about what’s actually happening among community organizations and how they conceptualize social change while doing their work and what it means to bring a community together. Professor Ryder believes that it is important for GW students and professors to be involved in the community because it forces them to keep testing their assumptions. It’s important for them to understand the issues happening today and the new layers that come with it. She stated that “what’s happening on the ground is dynamic and if we’re not plugged into that, then scholars and teachers are not necessarily doing their scholarship fully and are teaching in a limited way. Having that engagement with community keeps them humble and keeps them to adapt theories and goals.”

The Nashman Center appreciates Dr. Ryder’s work as a Nashman Affiliate, she chairs the Black Lives Matter Faculty Learning Community learn more about their work here and community engaged work in her course which you can learn more about here.

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Nashman Faculty Spotlight: Erin Wentzell

Erin Wentzell is an assistant clinical professor in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences Department of Health, Human Function and Rehabilitation Science and the Academic Director for Pediatric Physical Therapy Residency between GW Physical Therapy program and Johns Hopkins Hospital. She is part of our Nashman Affiliated Faculty and recently Itohan Amu, a Scholar with the Nashman Community Engaged Scholarship team sat down to learn more about Wentzell’s work.

As an instructor Wentzell teaches a community engaged service-learning course called “Interprofessional Community Practicum”, which discusses health equity, social determinants of health, and how health is impacted by community and socio demographic factors. Professor Wentzell incorporates service learning into her course, her students work with community partners in the DC area who work with underserved populations. Students hear about the communities in class but are able to see it face to face and understand it better through their service and partnership.

Professor Wentzell and her course work with community partners that look at health in a broader sense in underserved populations. Catalysts sports, Whitman Walker Health and Youth Services, Washington Senior Wellness, Department of Defense, HSC Kids in Action adaptive sports program, NRH adaptive sports and boxing program, The Playtime Project, the National Park Service just to name a few. While teaching this course, professor Wentzell has learned that she’s not the only one out there doing community engaged scholarship. She is motivated by the amazing people in the DC area with a level of passion and engagement. She noted that while “it takes a lot of upfront work to set up partnerships, there is nothing compared to it, because students end up learning from it, the community benefits from it, and we are proud of it at the end.”

Wentzell believes that it is important for GW professors and students to be involved in the community because they need to realize that we are all neighbors and part of the Foggy Bottom community. However, she notes it is also important that we ensure it is reciprocal relationship, the community helps the students grow and develop and we can make an impact in the community and that makes the community a better place for all of us.

Wentzell imparted some healthy wisdom to an outside of GW audience recently check out her quote in w Outside magazine https://www.outsideonline.com/2393660/ask-your-doctor-if-nature-right-you

Colleen Packard Wins the Nashman Prize

Colleen Packard, a Master’s student pursuing a degree in Master's of Public Health in Community-Oriented Primary Care, has won the Nashman Prize for her Community-Based Participatory Research! Undergraduate and graduate students who present their research at the annual GW Research Days event are invited to submit for consideration for the Nashman Prize, which recognizes excellence in Community-Based Participatory Research.

Read more about her research below, and read more about the Nashman Prize here.

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Colleen’s Project: Parent & Student Knowledge, Attitude, and Perceptions of Youth Sports Injuries the Feasibility of Expanding Athletics Activities Diversity in a Community Non-Profit Organization will be presented at the Nashman Symposium on April 26th sign up here to attend https://givepul.se/nrvz0

Colleen did research with Beacon House, a community non-profit organization located in the Edgewood Commons complex of Washington, DC whose mission is to close the education achievement gap for children in Ward 5. Beacon House’s athletics program is a signature offering of the organization, and the tackle football program is the largest and most successful of the sports offered.

However, with increased awareness of concussion risk in youth sports, Beacon House requested this research be done in order to adequately inform any future action by its administration. The purpose of this study is to conduct an assessment of parent and student perceptions of youth sports injuries. The study also surveys Beacon House parents and students to see how the athletics program could potentially expand in the future. The mixed-methods study utilizes survey measures and focus groups to measure both parent and student knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of concussions. The athletics interest form will furthermore show which sports parents and students are interested in playing, either in lieu of or in addition to tackle football. All methods were reviewed by Beacon House before beginning data collection, and Beacon House staff are integral to participant recruitment.

Learn more at beaconhousedc.org.

IJRSLCE Call for Papers on Service Learning and Community Engagement

Paper Proposals due May 15th!

IJRSLCE Editorial Board has released a request for manuscripts they are seeking submissions, conveying the extent of scholarship in the field of service-learning and community engagement that represent a range of methodologies.

Author Guidelines are presented on the IJRSLCE website. To submit a manuscript, you must register on the site. Papers are due May 15, 2019. For more details and information, please email Glenn Bowwn (gbowen@barry.edu) and Clayton Hurd (churd@compact.org).

Next Steps for Students

As we near the end of another semester, our students often need help identifying their next steps, given the significant learning experience they have had. Below are a few suggestions to forward to them.

November Faculty Spotlight: Maranda Ward

Our November faculty spotlight is Nashman affiliate faculty, Dr. Maranda C. Ward from GW's School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS). She is currently teaching two Nashman designated Community-Engaged Scholarship courses.  One is an online course where she serves as the course director and has integrated IRB-approved research funded by the GW SMHS Center for Faculty Excellence, HSCI 2110: Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.  The other is funded by a Nashman course development grant, HSCI 2195: Applied Health Equity.  Nashman's Community-Engaged Scholar, Emebte Atanaw, sat down with Dr. Ward to ask about her role as an Nashman affiliate faculty and her newest course offering.  

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New Course, The Autism Experience: A Public Health Perspective

PUBH 6299. 13 The Autism Experience: A Public Health Perspective

2 credit hours Friday, 10:10am - noon

Open to graduate and upper level undergraduate students

Instructor, Sean D. Cleary, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor of Epidemiology sdcleary@gwu.edu

A public health perspective of the autism experience is explored through service learning and community participatory research methods engaging autistic young adults, their parents, researchers, clinicians and other service providers. The course covers the science, viewpoints, and experience of autism with a focus on young adults transitioning to adulthood. Collaboratively with community advocates, students will explore research relevant to the autistic community.

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Storytelling as Scholarship: Exploring Digital Stories, PhotoVoice and Other Methods

The 2019 Nashman Faculty Learning Communities (FLC) are forming now. These small inter-disciplinary/inter-professional groups meet monthly for one year to discuss and learn collectively about their topic of interest. All GW faculty and administrators are welcome. Click here for information about other FLC's forming for 2019.

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