Service Learning at Sage

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 Fall 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, MVP and others.


Russell Sage College Awarded AAC&U Grant to Spur Civic Learning in Student Majors

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced that 24 departments from institutions across the country received mini-grants to advance civic learning and social responsibility as expected dimensions within students’ majors. Sage received grants for Chemistry and Mathematics.

AAC&U received 134 mini-grant applications, indicating widespread interest in rethinking departmental disciplinary designs for learning, life, work and citizenship.

Spotlight on Service Learning Courses

Dr. Emilly Obuya's with students in Kenya

A few of Dr. 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 Eileen Lindemann's Humanities 201 class

Students in Professor Eileen Lindemann’s Humanities 201 course, “Food Culture and Nutrition,” worked with local 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.

Russell Sage College students performing at YWCA of the Greater Capital Region

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.

Dr.  Emilly Obuya’s Chemistry 248 students are working with River Haggie Outdoors to analyze water quality for Rensselaer Land Trust’s stream sampling project. The students are working with samples from the Hudson River to test for various levels of contaminants and developing outreach based on their findings.

Students from the Odell Taylor School with Sage mentors

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.

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Assistant Professor of Geography & Director of Service Learning and Community Engagement