The School of Education, Human Ecology, and Sports Studies offers vibrant, nationally accredited programs with an emphasis on practical experience. In addition to our many undergraduate programs, we offer over a dozen graduate programs, including the M.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics, offered entirely online; and M.S. degrees in School Counseling, Special Education and Literacy Education, Educational Technology Specialist (K-12) (online).

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Recent Submissions

  • A Retrospective Chart Review to Determine the Prevalence of Malnutrition in the Elderly and the Effects of Nutrition Interventions

    Riddle, Emily; Isaacs, Cheyenne (2022)
    Background: The prevalence of malnutrition in elderly patients continues to increase with an aging population. Patients with malnutrition are at risk for longer hospital stays, increased risk of frailty, at higher risk for having a poor quality of health, poor health outcomes and increased mortality. Objectives: Evaluate the effectiveness of new nutritional interventions to help correct malnutrition diagnosis criteria. Setting: Presbyterian Home and Services an Acute Rehab and Long Term Care Nursing Facility Participants: 27 elderly patients initially met the malnutrition criteria, at the time of the interventions there were only 20 patients Study Design: Retrospective Study to evaluate the effectiveness of nutritional interventions. That data was utilized to help develop new nutritional interventions. Methods: The newly developed interventions were implemented and the data was collected over a 3 week span. data was collected on weight change, Pre and Post-BMI. The data was analyzed utilizing SPSS Software. Intervention: A high calorie diet was implemented for patients that met the criteria for malnutrition, patients with BMI of 23 were screened to prevent BMI <22, whole milk was programmed in house diet in place of 2% milk Results:100% of the patients had a beneficial wt gain of .10 to 1.25#. This was clinically relevant as evidenced by the score of the paired T-test. During the time frame of the interventions none of the patients had their malnutrition criteria diagnosis corrected. Conclusions: Early screening and implementing nutritional interventions can help prevent malnutrition. Once a patient is diagnosed with malnutrition it is difficult to correct.
  • Effectiveness of Education on Knowledge and Participation in Community Programs

    Riddle, Emily; Patricelli, Isabella; Griffin, Matthew; Corgel, Isabelle (2022)
    Introduction: A Quasi-experimental study was performed to determine if education in the form of handouts would increase participant use in the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP Ed) programs. Methods: Participants were recruited for this study the day of the intervention. The effectiveness of this study was based on changes in pre- and post- questionnaire responses. Participants completed a pre- questionnaire prior to the intervention, and a post questionnaire 3 weeks later. Results: There was a significant change in the number of participants who stated they received education/information on LIHEAP, and SNAP Ed (p = 0.023). All other results were not statistically significant. Conclusions: Further studies should be completed to evaluate the effectiveness of education on increasing knowledge, and participation in community programs. While this study provided insight to the benefit that education may have on community program participation, there was limited significance in results and further studies should be altered.
  • Mental Health-Focused Nutrition Education Intervention in Secondary School

    Riddle, Emily; Kelley, Lindsey G.; Parker, Jacqueline (2022)
    Many high schools in the US have insufficient nutrition education programs to inspire behavior change, resulting in a nutrition knowledge deficit in adolescents. School-based nutrition education programs typically do not cover the association between nutrition and mental health. The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to evaluate the change in nutrition knowledge and behaviors of secondary school students following a nutrition education intervention. Students enrolled in their required health course received a two 80-minute session nutrition education intervention. Student nutrition knowledge and behavior changes were assessed in the intervention group (n=56) and a previous needs assessment control group (n=8) using a nutrition knowledge survey and food frequency questionnaire. Compared to the needs assessment group, the intervention group had improved nutrition knowledge test scores (28% vs. 68%, p=0.000). Nutrition knowledge test scores among the intervention group was correlated with confidence in reading food labels (r=.351, p<0.001) and choosing healthy foods (r=.453, p<0.001), but was not correlated with confidence in macronutrient (r=.183, p>0.05) or micronutrient knowledge (r=.167, p>0.05). The intervention group reported low intake of breakfast, vegetables, fruit, and simple carbohydrates. This study did support the effectiveness of inclusion of mental health in a nutrition education intervention to improve nutrition knowledge and behaviors.
  • Effectiveness of a Nutrition Intervention in Older Adults Aged 55+

    Riddle, Emily; Williams, Emily R.; McGee, Patty (2022)
    Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention designed to improve behaviors, knowledge, and self-efficacy around chronic disease management in older adults. Design: Quasi-experimental design with one intervention group of older adults Methods: Participants were recruited for this study via an email from facility director, Joan Scotti and other marketing tactics. Effectiveness of the study was evaluated based on changes in pre and post survey questionnaires Setting: Slingerlands, NY Participants: 18 participants completed the study Intervention: The intervention included two days of instruction. Topics discussed included adequate intake to combat malnutrition and easy ways to prepare nutritious foods. The second day included a cooking demonstration. The intervention was conducted over two days one week apart. Participants completed pre and post survey questionnaires which included questions related to general nutrition knowledge, confidence reading nutrition fact labels, and preparing fruits and vegetables to assess the effectiveness of the intervention Results: Quantitative data was analyzed using Mann-Whitney U tests in SPSS. Participant confidence in using and interpreting food labels, confidence including fruits and vegetables in meals and snacks, and familiarity with different methods of cooking fruits and vegetables significantly increased (p<0.05). Conclusions and Implications: A hands-on nutrition intervention and cooking demonstration can be effective at increasing nutrition-related knowledge and self-efficacy in older adults living at an independent senior living center.
  • Community Marketing and Recipe Distribution Project to Improve Food Security and Food Choices

    Riddle, Emily; VanAmburg, Katherine; Perl, Sandra (2022)
    Introduction: This study sought to evaluate the effectiveness of a two-part community intervention on fresh and frozen produce access and self-perceived diet quality among participants of a local food pantry through a Quasi-experiment design. The study took place at The Living Well Mission in Penn Yan, New York which consisted of 10 selected participants. Social media marketing efforts took place to advocate for fresh and frozen produce donations over the course of four weeks. Three recipes per week, totaling 12 recipes, were also provided with the required ingredients and tips for substitutions. Methods: A two-part intervention consisting of marketing efforts and recipe distribution was examined through a pre and post-survey to examine the changes in pantry food donations as well as nutrition intake and self-perceived efficacy of meal preparation and diet quality. Results: Four participants did not partake in the post-survey intervention. Low level marketing efforts had no impact on food donations. The weekly grocery supplies and recipes did not significantly improve intake of fresh or frozen despite no waste being reported by post-survey participants. The intervention did prevent hunger during the last week of the month for one participant. Conclusion: The intervention did not reveal significant results. Low level marketing efforts were ineffective towards changing food donations and recipe and ingredient distribution did not improve self-efficacy and diet quality despite similar studies finding significant results. Recipe sampling or more nutrition education may be necessary in future studies.
  • The Effectiveness of Nutrition Education in Seniors Over the Age of 65 in Leading a Heart Healthy Lifestyle

    Riddle, Emily; Ziomek, MaKayla M. (2022)
    The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a nutrition educational program on increasing individual knowledge in leading a heart healthy lifestyle among seniors aged 65 years and older. The design of the study was Quasi-experimental and was completed at the Amherst Senior Center, Amherst, Massachusetts. Participants were recruited through paper flyers as well as verbal recruitment during an exercise program at the senior center. Participant knowledge was assessed utilizing a pre-and post-test which included a Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ). Duplicate tests were given prior to an educational session and two weeks post-education. Participant performance was evaluated by comparing test grades and results from the FFQ. Five men and women over the age of 65 years were included in the study. Data analysis was completed using IBM SPSS Statistics 26. Results showed participation in the educational session increased test scores by 24.6% (p<0.005) on average. There were no significant results between pre-and post-test FFQ between educational sessions. This indicated no significant difference in dietary changes. This limitation may be related to the number of education sessions that were conducted. Ideally, nutrition education sessions can be tailored to individual, or group needs, with the idea that these programs can be repeated for future use leading to positive health results.
  • Overcoming Barriers to Mindful Eating in Adult Women

    Riddle, Emily; Kauffmann, Danielle A. (2022)
    Objective: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention designed to improve the knowledge and behaviors related to mindful eating in study participants. Design: A quasi-experimental study design was used in this experiment. Methods: Participant knowledge was evaluated by using a pre and post Mindful Eating Questionnaire (28-item self-report validated instrument), the Hunger and Fullness Scale, and qualitative observations. Quantitative data from the Mindful Eating Questionnaire and Hunger and Fullness Scale were compared using a Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test using IBM SPSS Statistics 26. Setting: This study was conducted virtually. Participants: 11 adult women who are followers of Toni Marinucci participated in this study. Intervention: Participants attended one, 45-minute zoom (virtual) group coaching session each week for a total of 3 weeks. Results: The coaching calls did not significantly increase knowledge and behavior change. The coaching calls were well received and positive feedback was given. Participants noted that the barriers to implementing mindful eating included time, bad habits, and distraction. Conclusions and Implications: The three mindful eating group coaching calls were not effective in increasing knowledge and behavior change in regards to awareness, distraction, and overeating.
  • Changes in Knowledge, Beliefs, and Behaviors Following a Remote Diabetic Education Session Among Adults Living with Diabetes in a Rural Community

    Riddle, Emily; Sheerin, Mary A. (2022)
    Introduction: The incidence of Type 2 diabetes has been a rising concern for Americans since 1994. According to the CDC, in the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled as the American population has aged and become more overweight or obese. Health services are struggling with the morbidity, mortality, and cost associated with the complications of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support (DSMES) services have been shown to have a positive impact. United Health Services (UHS) in New York State offers in-person diabetic teaching classes in the form of a DSMES service. To date, there is no official educational program for patients unable to attend in-person diabetic teaching classes within the UHS hospital system. The purpose of this study is to evaluate any changes in knowledge, behaviors, and beliefs of a rural population after have completed a remote diabetes education session to help identify if patients would benefit from a formal remote education class. Methods: This study was conducted remotely in February 2022 using patients from the UHS database. The total number of rural participants was 4. Participant knowledge was evaluated by comparing scores on a pre-test and post-test. A Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used for all statistical analysis as neither of the data being assessed had normality. Qualitative data were thematically examined. Results: The most common theme for barriers related to exercise and dietary change were "work" and "physical limitation". Seven of the 14 questions included in the questionnaire were assessed for statistical significance and despite seeing some data shifts; the diabetes education intervention did not produce a statistically significant change in test scores (Z= -1.342, p = .180). BMI and HbA1c were also tested for statistical significance. Participants appeared to have lost weight between the time of the needs assessment and the intervention as the mean BMI measurement from 2022 is less than the mean BMI from 2021. Although this may seem favorable, there was no significant change in BMI from when the needs assessment was conducted in October, 2021 to the completion of the education intervention in February, 2022 (p = .854). Participants had a reduction in their HbA1c after starting this study as the minimum value for HbA1c is lower in 2022 when compared to data in 2021. Again, despite this observation, there was no significant difference in average blood sugar measurement between 2021 and 2022. Conclusion: This study showed that the diabetic education intervention conducted over the telephone did not elicit a statically significant change in test scores, weight, or HbA1c among the rural participants with type 2 diabetes. Despite observing some data shifts the sample size was simply too small to show any significant change. Although this study did not use sophisticated technology to conduct interviews and deliver education, it opened up the opportunity to possibly introduce a more enhanced way of communication, especially for those unable to attend in-person diabetes teaching classes.
  • Effectiveness of an Online Nutrition Course on Emotional Health and Energy Levels

    Riddle, Emily; Ward, Christine Nicole; Stote, Kim S. (2022)
    Mental health is an extremely important component of health that is not discussed enough. Emotional health, a component of mental health, plays an essential role in an individuals overall health status. Studies have shown that there is a positive correlation between poor diet, obesity and the development of poor mental/emotional health. Therefore the aim of this present study that was to determine the effect an Online Nutrition Course that promoted healthy eating habits had on the Emotional Health and Energy Levels of SUNY Empire college Staff.
  • Online Weekly Educational Newsletters Improve High-School Athlete’s General and Sports-Related Nutrition Knowledge to Prevent a Risk of Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport

    Riddle, Emily; Shannon, Caroline; DeLorenzo, Theresa (2022)
    Objectives: To assess the effectiveness of educational nutrition newsletters on nutrition knowledge in high school athletes, designed to reduce the risk of relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S) through improved dietary habits. Design: Quasi-experimental. Methods: General nutrition knowledge, sports nutrition knowledge and eating habits and patterns in high school athletes were compared using pre- and post- surveys. Athletes’ nutrition related knowledge was evaluated by comparing final grades of the surveys. Athletes’ eating habits and patterns were evaluated by comparing specific survey questions. The intervention was developed utilizing the social cognitive theory. Setting: New York (online/remote). Participants: 6 high-school athletes scored on the pre- and post-surveys and received the weekly newsletters. 4 athletes were female, and 2 athletes were males. Intervention: A series of 4 weekly newsletters were emailed to participants at the start of each week. Topics of the newsletters pertained to RED-S and included an overview of RED-S, carbohydrates, protein, and vitamin D/calcium. Intervention: A series of 4 weekly newsletters were emailed to participants. Topics pertained to RED-S and included an overview of RED-S, carbohydrates, protein, and vitamin D/calcium. Results: Weekly newsletters significantly increased high school athletes’ knowledge pertaining to RED-S, general nutrition, and sports related nutrition (p < 0.05). 33% of participants showed an improvement in dietary habits and behaviors. The weekly newsletters had no significant effect on improving eating habits or eating patterns (p > 0.05). Conclusions and Implications: Online weekly educational newsletters utilizing the social cognitive theory is an effective mass media teaching technique to significantly improve high school athletes’ general and sports nutrition knowledge. Further research is needed on interventions to improve dietary habits.
  • Eat Right, Think Bright! Nutrition Changes in 5th and 6th Grade Students

    Riddle, Emily; Robinson, Lindsay M.; Futtner, L. (2022)
    Body image dissatisfaction has risen in recent years in children and adolescents. Changes in eating behavior can be a result of dissatisfaction with one's body. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention designed to positively impact body image and nutrition knowledge in 5th and 6th grade students. This quasi-experimental design with intervention included pre & post surveys and focus groups. Participants included 46 students, ages 10 - 12 years who were in 5th and 6th grade. All students were attending Randolph Elementary School and were recruited by their health educator. Data was collected pre- and post-intervention through Kahoot quizzes, body image surveys, and food frequency questionnaires. This 3-week intervention was based on social cognitive theory and included presentations, videos, handouts, and food demonstrations related to food groups, intuitive eating, and body image. Changes in nutrition-related knowledge, body dissatisfaction, and body image were evaluated using paired t- tests and Wilcoxon signed-rank tests. After the intervention, both student knowledge and body image significantly increased (p<0.001). A Spearman correlation was used to evaluate the association between changes in knowledge scores and changes in body image scores. No significant association was found between the two scores (p = 0.53). These results indicate that a 3-week program integrated into the school curriculum can improve body image and nutrition knowledge in 5th and 6th grade students.
  • More with Less: Evaluating the Impact of Altered Purchasing Strategies and Community Outreach on the Nutritional Content of Food Provisions Distributed by the Community Food Pantry of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown

    Riddle, Emily; Albert, Jonathan S. (2022)
    The Community Food Pantry of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown provides food provisions to community members facing food insecurity in southern Westchester, NY. A desire to increase the nutritional value of the provisions provided to the patrons of the food pantry was expressed by pantry board members and by patrons via a previously conducted needs assessment. Additionally, increasing demands for food relief related to the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for the food pantry to adopt economically sustainable practices. An intervention study was conducted in two-phases to assess whether the nutritional value of the provisions offered to the pantry provisions could be improved while maintaining or minimizing associated costs. Phase-1 was characterized by proposing 4-tiers of changes to purchasing strategies the food pantry could implement to improve the nutritional value of the provisions purchased monthly while maintaining or minimizing associated costs. Phase-2 of the intervention was characterized by publishing an informational pamphlet to the food pantry’s website to improve the nutritional value of the foods donated to the pantry by community members and organizations. All 4-tiers of interventions presented in phase-1 succeeded in supporting the proposed hypothesis by demonstrating the ability to increase overall nutritional value of the purchase orders while maintaining or minimizing associated costs. Phase-2 of the intervention revealed mixed results by showing improvement in nutritional value for some nutrient categories while displaying unfavorable results in other categories. Overall, the results of this intervention study reveal that changes made to purchasing strategies for emergency food relief organizations can result in improved nutritional value of the provisions while maintaining or minimizing costs. Additional research is warranted to study the impact that improvement in the nutritional values of provisions offered to food pantry provisions has on the health and nutritional risk of individuals that utilize these services.
  • Evaluation of the Effectiveness of a Nutrition Education Program for High School Students

    Riddle, Emily; Mielnicki, Hayley A. (2022)
    Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of nutrition education interventions on the knowledge level and behaviors of high school students. Design: Series of nutrition education interventions with pre and post-intervention assessments. Setting: Oneida County, New York Participants: Twenty high school students (ages 14-18) at Sauquoit Valley High School in Foods & Nutrition class. Intervention: Four, thirty-minute, nutrition focused education sessions delivered in person by a Registered Dietitian. Outcome: Nutrition-related knowledge and behavior changes. Analysis: Results of the pre and post-intervention surveys were analyzed using multiple Mann Whitney U tests to determine the significance in the change of nutrition knowledge and behaviors. Results: A majority of the students displayed an increase in knowledge levels after the intervention was implemented. Conclusion: Although beneficial changes were seen from the pre to post test, statistical significance cannot be verified for this study.
  • Nutrition Education Intervention Increases Dietary Knowledge and Fruit/Vegetable Consumption Among 2nd Grade Students

    Riddle, Emily; Magurno, Jacklyn M; Riddle, Emily; Fenton, M.E. (2022)
    This study evaluated the effectiveness of nutrition education intervention on nutrition related knowledge and dietary eating habits of a 2nd grade class. The design included mixed methods including a quasi-experimental study. Data collection includes a pre and post test and FFQ, MyPlate, Eatrightpro educational handouts. The study took place in the Town of Webb Union Free School District, Old Forge, NY from 2021-2022 and included 15 2nd grade students ages 11-13 years old enrolled in the study and received a 6-week nutrition education intervention. A 6-week nutrition education intervention was utilized with lessons covering MyPlate, Food Groups, fruits and vegetables and related nutrition activities. SPSS and Excel were used for data analysis. A paired t-test was performed to analyze pre and post test results and a P value of <0.05 was used to determine statistical significance Post test scores were significantly higher than pre-test scores. The nutrition related intervention significantly increased nutrition related knowledge and healthy eating habits of the 2nd grade. The short 6-week nutrition education intervention was found to be effective in increasing nutrition related knowledge in 2nd grade students in addition to promoting healthy dietary eating habits.
  • Non-Cognitive Skills in US and Kenyan Mathematics Curriculum

    Kamina, Penina (2021)
    Is mathematics taught in one country different from another one? How do concepts such as division, multiplication or facts like pi or mathematical conventions such PEMDAS/BODMAS compare from one country to another? True that mathematical content is the same regardless of the global location. The context and method used to present the concepts may vary from one place to another but the idea and notion stays the same. Aside from content, there are other learning found in mathematics classrooms that are not cognitive-oriented but very crucial and fundamental in preparing students to thrive as citizens of their nation and beyond. This presentation highlights the non-cognitive skill sets or soft skills, found in the US and in Kenyan math curricula—talk describes the attributes of the soft skills found in both countries as well as compares and contrasts these curricula. Presently, Kenya is on its fifth year of implementing competency-based curriculum where one of its main foci is on building capacity in communication and collaboration, self-efficacy, critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and imagination, citizenship, digital literacy, and learning to learn. The discussion explores how these seven non-content based core competencies look like in mathematics classrooms plus their implications in education. On the other hand, currently several US States have adapted the Common Core mathematics, which has two types of standards; that is, the mathematical content standards and standards for mathematical practice (SMP). The SMP are soft skills and core practices that Pre-K up to grade 12 students must be well versed in by the time they move to tertiary education. There are eight SMPs, which the presentation will focus on. The SMPs include: make sense of problems and persevere in solving them; reason abstractly and quantitatively; construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others; model with mathematics; use appropriate tools strategically; attend to precision; look for and make use of structure and look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning. The presentation shades light on these important soft skills, by making them more explicit. Note that the non-cognitive skillsets embedded in math classrooms carries more significant weight of learning; way much more than mere memorizing of procedural routine of finding an answer to a math problem. For instance, the aftermath of solving a math problem to its end to a solution set, is crucial since the ensuing attributes of endurance, determination and resiliency are examples of non-cognitive skill sets that will carry one outside the mathematics classroom, or in problem solving real life opportunities and challenges or in service to a country.
  • Why We Should Theorize about Families

    Rombo, Dorothy (2021)
    The purpose of the presentation is to showcase the role of theories in understanding families to challenge lay interpretations of family life experience and add the voice of expert knowledge in a field of study that can easily be detached from such realities. Conversations about families are privatized and individualized. There are examples of contradictory statements that are sometimes applied to express behaviors associated with family and intimate relations. For example, a friend might confide in another regarding her experience in a romantic relationship saying that they are worried about being in a long-distance relationship and quip that hearts grow fonder when people are apart or add that out of sight out of mind may explain why they are worried. Another example is accounted for in mate selection where at times we make statements to the effect that opposites attract or birds of a feather flock together. These are contradictory statements that theorize about family and intimate relationships. Likewise, it is likely that when friends consult one another about family or relational issue the response is often based on individual experience or assumptions made from a very narrow world view. After all we might have just one family life experience for reference. Sometimes including even contradictory statements. This is an attempt to make an argument for differentiating personal experience from expert knowledge to justify theorizing about families to debunk layman and individualized interpretations of family life. Drawing on examples ranging from metaphors and analogies and selected relatable theories of family, the presentation will justify the role of theory in explaining family life.
  • Midnight Bouquet

    Aultman, Jody (2021)
    Gold work is embroidery using metal threads and bullions. It is thought to have been created in Asia nearly 2000 years ago. In the Middle Ages England developed a style called Opus Anglicanum, which means “English work.” It refers to embroideries in ecclesiastical hangings. (Pile, 2018) Many were worked on linen showing religious themes. (Bumpkin, 2015) The 12th century saw a decline in goldwork embroidery due to the plague killing half of the population. The 16th century saw a revival of the technique of heavily embroidered garments which were used as attire for the rich, creating a status symbol for the wealthy. (Pile, 2018) Early 19th century disappeared from fashion with a limited use in haute couture. Today goldwork embroidery is used for military pieces, religious and ceremonial purposes. (Bumpkin, 2015) Today goldwork is no longer privileged to the church and the wealthy, although it is very time consuming with stunning looks. The goldwork attracts attention from embroiderers going in new directions with the art. The larger meaning of this project is to create a garment using goldwork embroidery. I have used many embroidery techniques throughout my life and have had many students approach me wanting to learn. Since we do not have anything like this in our curriculum, I do independent studies with the students. While I was searching for different embroidery supplies and to see what was new or different, I came across the goldwork embroidery. I would like to create a garment using goldwork embroidery on black silk charmeuse evening dress. My plan is to make an evening gown out of black silk charmeuse, with a full skirt and tulle to help hold the shape. On the bodice of the dress, I plan to use different gold threads, Flatworm, Gimp Cords, Grecian Twist, Purl Threads, etc. to design a pattern. I will also use some gold on the skirt in various places, but not too much as the gold is heavy and can weigh the flow of the skirt down. I think this project will help my personal skills grow in that I can experiment with the goldwork and see what kinds of designs I can create. Once I become more familiar with the gold work embroidery, I will be better equipped to assist students in learning this advanced skill.
  • Integrating Service-Learning is Easier than You Think!

    Solano, Gina L. (2021)
    Are you interested in increasing student engagement as well as promoting social justice in your courses? If you have considered incorporating service-learning into one or more of your classes, but haven’t been sure about how to get started, join this session for inspiration and ideas about how to begin designing service-learning projects. Strategies will be shared about how to design projects that encourage students to become actively involved in the local community as well as how to create your own network of community partners. No matter what your content area is, there is always a way to have your students provide service, which not only reinforces the content and your course’s learning objectives but also benefits students by teaching them empathy, understanding, how to reduce bias, and provides them with an awareness of community issues. Academically, students benefit from service-learning through real-world application of the concepts and skills they are learning in their courses. Their experiences in the community build their resume as well as provide them with opportunities to network and open new doors of possibility. Come learn how to make a local, national, and even an international impact through incorporating service-learning into your pedagogy.
  • Bringing Social Studies alive for Elementary Education Majors

    Jakubowski, Casey (2021)
    NCSS, and other organizations concerned with civic education have announced, researched and reported that social studies is one of the least taught core four subjects in elementary school. As Elementary Education majors are weeded, screened, tested, and valued based upon literacy and numeracy skills, social studies is pushed by schools facing state accountability sanctions to the back of the priority list. Yet we have all gathered civics is crucial, and imperative in conjunction with the other four identified key social studies inquiry areas. The NCSS, and New York State have charged a new course, with the C3 (College, career and civics life) standards at the national level, and the new New York State Common Core Learning Standards aligned social studies frameworks, designed to refresh the New York State 2001 state learning standards frameworks. While the legislation, Commissioner’s regulations, and secondary testing elements of the Regents exams in Global History and Geography as well as the United States History and Geography exams weigh heavily on secondary teachers, elementary teachers found conflict with the demands of ELA and math, and limited time during the day. Further, Elementary Education majors, when surveyed, found social studies one of the least interesting subjects, and often were, in their own opinions, unprepared to teach classes after the General Education courses required for a bachelor's degree. This research is based on action research of my own instruction into the Inquiry Design Method (IDM), pioneered by the C3 teachers. Essentially, the practice asks teachers to engage their students in “big ideas” and “big questions” by deep diving into events and happenings which dramatically impact the narrative created for social studies. I take this a step further, and ask my students in methods classes to focus on the love of investigation. Over the course of the semester, we have examined how the social studies K-6 frameworks intersect with other disciplines, and their cross curricular integration and purpose. I describe this work in my now under contract work Engaging the Citizenry (Edumatch 2022). As a class we investigate centers, designed around the five senses. We examine how family histories are part of the “Grand narrative” of the past. We implemented a living history day comparing tools, cooking, and shelter of different time periods from the Paleolithic to the Civil War. As a class, we remember that subjects should not be isolated, and that the “core four” create the scaffold for every learning experience each student has. In this day and age of information overload, we stop, and we reflect on critical questions: Why do you think? What do you wonder? How can we investigate?
  • Together We Grow: A Thriving Community Garden Initiative in the City of Oneonta

    Virk-Baker, Mandeep (2021)
    The City of Oneonta has a higher prevalence of food insecurity (12.0% vs. 10.5%), and a higher poverty rate (29.0% vs. 13.7%) as compared to the US. Majority of the city population (53%) lives in food desserts that are lacking access to fresh and healthful whole foods. Purpose of the project was to test the feasibility of Oneonta Community Gardens Initiative and provide opportunity for the residents to grow healthful and affordable fresh food and participate in creating green space. Methods: The City of Oneonta donated land and provided needed resources for the community garden. The garden is divided into 30 spaces and has options for handicap accessibility. Various stakeholders including local elected officials, city employees, residents, and local volunteer groups worked collaboratively for setting up the garden. The City of Oneonta created guidelines for organic-only gardening, and an application process for the residents to obtain permits for gardening at the community garden. Results: The Oneonta Community Gardens initiative began with 30 organic gardening spaces. A total of 12 households participated in 2018, and the participation increased to 22 households in 2019. The participation during the COVID19 pandemic reached its full capacity with 30 households in 2020, and 30 households participating for the 2021 gardening season. Conclusion: The initiative has been well received by the local community and demonstrates the feasibility of a successful community garden. The project could serve as an example for other cities and municipalities with high food insecurity and areas with high poverty rates.

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