KOKOMO, Ind. – Can a class project that does not focus on community service actually influence student attitudes about serving in the community?
A research assignment in Christina Downey’s general psychology classes explores this issue, and a display detailing the study will be featured among student and faculty research projects after the installation ceremony of Chancellor Michael Harris on Friday. The displays will be located in the Library immediately following the event until 2 p.m
Alese Bennett, a senior majoring in psychology and Downey’s research assistant, will be on hand to present “Encountering Heroes: The IU Kokomo Partnership Project,” to the public.
“I’m really excited to be part of this. You can’t have psychology without research,” said Bennett. “I am considering going to graduate school, and working with Dr. Downey will help me prepare for that next step in my education.”
Bennett has been busy distributing initial community service surveys to each class and explaining the process. One class will have the opportunity to sit down and talk with a group of veterans, while the other class will make observations about everyday behaviors by watching people in public settings.
Bob Ladd, commander of the local Disabled American Veterans office, has helped by contacting local veterans and arranging the interviews for the students. These veterans will be surveyed as well on their impressions of college students – both before and after meeting with the students
Once the students have completed their interviews or public observations, they will be surveyed a second time on the importance of community service and citizenship. By the end of this semester, Downey said the data will show if there is any measurable change in the student attitudes toward community service, depending on what project they complete this term.
“I expect to see some difference between the two classes in their attitudes about community service connected to their research projects,” Downey said, adding that basic research methods will be used in following the class curriculum. “Even though we are in the middle of our research, I am delighted the students have an opportunity to share what we are working on in class.”
The research will be completed by the end of the semester.
Other student research displays to be featured at the installation event include:
- East Bank Village to provide a self-sustaining community for previously homeless women—Jenni Kimm (The Innovation Symposium)
- An ophthalmological referral and treatment program for those who can’t afford care—Ann Andrzejewski (The Innovation Symposium)
- An insurance benefits awareness program for displaced workers—Cameron Huffman (The Innovation Symposium)
- A fitness and nutrition program designed to combat childhood obesity by teaching kids how to cook nutritious food and providing them camps for fun workouts—Nicole Jackson(Innovation Symposium)
- An outdoor interactive family language education program providing English education for Hispanic families—Norma Garrido-Saenz (The Innovation Symposium)
- A science pavilion/education center project so IU Kokomo education and science majors can tutor local middle-schoolers in environmental science—Jonathan Guse and Matt Russell (The Innovation Symposium)
- Art display by Wes Plantenga working on a mural for a downtown wall The mural will be on the corner of Buckeye and Sycamore on Mark Dabrowski's law office downtown Kokomo (in the display cases outside the Art Gallery)
- Student Government Association
- Radio Free Kokomo
- From the Well House literary and art magazine
- An Analysis of Air Quality after the Fire (Noblesville) by Greg A. Wyant
- The Effects of Parental Attitudes on Children’s Mathematical Attitudes and Achievement by Joanne Philhower
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.