2015-2016 Faculty Fellows

Melissa Hart, Associate Professor and Director of Byron R. White Center for the Study of American Constitutional Law, School of Law. Course: LAWS 8785:  Access to Justice: The Provision of Legal Services for Middle- and Low-Income People.

The learning objectives of the proposed course are: 1) to give students insight into the significant gaps in access to justice for middle- and lower-income people in our legal system; 2) to provide students with hands-on experience about the challenges and rewards of working to address these access gaps; 3) to help students develop tools for representing lower-income clients that they can carry with them into their professional lives.  The academic content of the course includes reading on the constitutional, ethical, economic, and social consequences of the significant justice gap in our nation.  There is a growing body of empirical legal scholarship focused on the effectiveness of different proposed solutions at remedying the justice gap, and students will do readings not only about the causes and consequences of the gap but also about the efficacy of different solutions.  Possible community partners include Metro Volunteer Lawyers, an organization that provides free legal assistance through volunteer attorneys for indigent people with civil legal needs and/or the Supreme Court Administrative Office, which runs offices for self-represented litigants in courthouses around the state.   

Veronica House, Associate Director for Service-Learning and Outreach, Program for Writing and Rhetoric. Course: WRTG 3020: Food and Culture

Food and Culture is a writing and rhetoric course in argumentation that will enhance students’ understandings of academic and community-based genres and give them practice producing them. We will focus on the communication strategies and genres the drive the food movement in particular, and academic and community writing in general, as students shape their writing and speaking so that their points are compelling, persuasive, supported with evidence, and audience-specific. This course will consider how language is a mechanism for generating social change and how and why certain discourses gain collective status that represent communities while others are ignored.  We will work with three organizations, Living GREEN Foundation, Local Food Shift, and Bridge House, studying how to apply rhetorical theories in a variety of public writing projects to be determined by students in conversation with the community partners.

Jill Litt, Associate Professor, Environmental Studies and Public Health & Tori Derr, Senior Instructor, Program in Environmental Design. Course: ENVS 3526: Healthy, Resilient Cities Praxis

This course will represent an interdisciplinary, non-traditional educational experience where students will build on ENVS 3525: Health and Built Environment and take learning outside the University to where people live, work and recreate to address real-world community priorities. Students will engage in community-level health assessment and planning processes to identify and respond to community perceptions of resilience. Because this is a community-engaged learning proposal, the issues that the students focus on for this course will be informed over the course design and planning process. Issues may include community parks, active transportation for children and adults, community resilience networks, income inequities, access to affordable housing, or access to health and affordable food. The course’s community partners are City of Boulder’s Community Planning & Sustainability Department and Growing Up Boulder.

Beth Osnes, Assistant Professor/Director of Graduate Studies, Theatre. Course: THTR 4073: Performing Voices of Women

The goal of this course is to explore the ways of examining, understanding, and embodying women’s voices in performance as to enrich students’ scholarly, creative and socially engaged work. The objective for CBL is to apply theory and practices from class to (1) assist our community partner in achieving their organizational goals and (2) to provide student experience using applied performance as a tool for reaching organizational goals. Part of this design process will be learning how to assess our community partner’s needs and to design how performance as a tool for meeting those needs. This group project also allows us to experience how performance can be used as an empowering process, beyond performance as a product. This CBL experience guides students in putting their theoretical readings into practice by designing and facilitating creative activities that support the workshop objective of increased vocal empowerment for workshop participants.  Students will collaborate with Cumbre Summit to design and facilitate an all-day vocal empowerment workshop.  Students will work throughout the semester with Genesister to co-design the workshop.

Colene Robinson, Clinical Professor of Law and Co-Director of Juvenile and Family Law Program, School of Law. Course: LAWS 7115: Juvenile Justice.

A goal of this course is for students to grapple with the complexities of effective and just lawyering in the juvenile court.  Through various simulation exercises, students will practice client counseling, fact investigation, case analysis, theme and theory development, oral advocacy, and legal research and writing skills. This course examines legal responses to minors who break the law.  We will discuss the development of the American juvenile court, consider jurisdictional issues (e.g., when does the juvenile court have the authority to act; when and how do adult criminal courts assert jurisdiction over minors) as well as questions concerning the application of traditional criminal law rules and doctrines to offenses by minors.  Law students will learn what constitutional rights apply to juveniles.  Students will collaborate with LYRIC (Learn Your Rights in Colorado) to develop a curriculum, including teaching materials, handouts, and assessments, to teach these rights to youth in nearby high schools.

Samantha Strife, Part-time Instructor, Psychology and Neuroscience & Sona Dimidjian, Associate Professor, Psychology and Neuroscience. Course: PSYC 4931: Field Placement Internship Course

The overall aim of the proposed CBL course is to provide undergraduate students with experiential opportunities to engage in community-based learning and research with a focus on the implementation of the Body Project preventive intervention in partnership with the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) and specifically Fairview High School. The Body Project is an evidence-based cognitive dissonance intervention that has been demonstrated to help adolescent girls and college-aged women increase body image confidence and prevent eating disorders. The learning objectives of the proposed CBL course are to support students in working collaboratively with partners in the BVSD to implement the Body Project with local area adolescents and in this context to gain knowledge and skill such that by the end of the course they can demonstrate 1) core competencies of a peer leader for the Body Project and 2) core knowledge of community-based clinical research methods. Students are trained as peer leaders for the Body Project. They are expected to help recruit participants, run the 4-hour prevention program throughout the semester, and seek feedback from participants. They also are expected to work collaboratively with partners in the school district to engage in project implementation. This will involve both formal and informal conversations/assessment to ensure that the partnership between CU Boulder and Boulder Valley School District is both beneficial and reciprocal.