Service Learning at Sage

What is Community Service Learning?

Service learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service into courses to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility and strengthen communities. The Sparrell Service Learning Fund, established in 2017, has ensured that students across departments, majors and levels of study partake in service learning courses at Russell Sage College.

Service Learning courses at Sage have recently worked with the following community partners: Capital Roots, YWCA, YMCA, Joseph’s House, Susan O’Dell Taylor School, Harmony Hill School, Troy Public Schools, Schenectady County Child Advocacy Center, Unity House, Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County, Public Elementary School 14, Sage Food Recovery Network, Community Health Visiting Nurse Association, Dialysis Units, Regional Food Bank, Brighter Choice Charter School, Cross Culture Market, Carol Hill School, Lansingburgh Boys and Girls Club and others.

Spotlight on Service Learning Courses

A few of Professor Emilly Obuya’s students traveled to Kenya to pilot a water filtration project. They applied their knowledge around green chemistry principles, nanotechnology and public health to develop a catalyst that will be used to provide safe drinking water. Partially supported by an EPA Phase 1 P3 grant, this project gives students an opportunity to engage in national and global research and apply their knowledge toward finding solutions to complex environmental and public health challenges.

Professor Obuya’s students also worked with River Haggie Outdoors to analyze water quality for Rensselaer Land Trust’s stream sampling project.

Students in Professor Eileen Lindemann’s Humanities 201 course, “Food Culture and Nutrition,” worked with refugee and immigrant communities to assess the availability of culturally appropriate foods in the Capital Region. The data they collected contributes to Capital Roots’ ongoing Food Assessment Project, which seeks to increase access to healthy and culturally appropriate food, and ensure that food is distributed throughout the region in an equitable manner.

Professor David Baecker’s acting students wrote and performed a monologue at the YWCA of the Greater Capital Region in honor of the YWCA’s founding women and in celebration of the building’s 100-year anniversary.

Students from Professor David Baecker’s “Tennessee Williams’ Women” theatre class mentored middle school students at the Student Odell Taylor School as they read The Glass Menagerie, helping them develop production notebooks and final creative projects.

Service Learning News

September 08, 2022

Nutrition Professor and Grad Student Partner with United Way’s Summer Meals Collaborative on Research

Russell Sage College Associate Professor of Nutrition Sonya Irish Hauser, Ph.D., is leading research to help the United Way of the Greater Capital Region’s Summer Meals Collaborative ensure it is meeting community needs. Nutrition graduate student Samantha Monks joined Professor Hauser’s research team as a summer associate with support from the AmeriCorps VISTA program.   The […]
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July 25, 2022

Recent Sage Grad, AmeriCorps Summer Associate, Helps Resettled Refugees Learn English 

Nana Owuso-ofori Created Intercultural Cafe During an Internship and Expands it During AmeriCorps VISTA Service Nana Owuso-ofori ’22 is part of the 2022 AmeriCorps VISTA summer program, which places civic-minded individuals in summer positions that address community needs. As an AmeriCorps summer associate, Nana has been able to grow the Intercultural Cafe, which she established […]
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September 08, 2021

The Women’s Institute Announces Partnerships, Hands-On Projects to Support Female Refugees

In keeping with its goal to lead with action and not just discussion, The Women’s Institute at Russell Sage College is embarking on a multi-year project to provide direct support to female refugees and their families in New York’s Capital District.  The institute, with Sage’s Office of Service Learning, is working with the U.S. Committee […]
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Assistant Professor of Geography & Director of Service Learning and Community Engagement