The IU Office of the Bicentennial supports initiatives to document the history of all IU campuses. During the Spring 2018 semester, IU Bicentennial intern Maureen Girdler is researching the History of Community Engagement at the IU East campus. Maureen is an online student majoring in Communications, who will graduate in May 2018. She is collaborating on the project with IU East archivist Beth South and library director Frances Yates.
To accomplish the task of learning about the variety and extent of more than 40 years of community engagement, Maureen is interviewing students, alumni, faculty and staff. She is also utilizing an index to the Pioneer Press, which was the original student newspaper at IU East. Additionally, there are photos to explore through the IU East Campus Archives online albums.
Maureen is organizing content for online access via Omeka, which is a web publishing platform for sharing digital collections and exhibits. The site will include photographs, infographics, timelines, and narrative from historical documents as well as current interviews.
IU East has a rich history of community engagement, and this semester we are focusing on the themes of Arts & Culture, Business & Economics, and Health & Science. For the Arts & Culture theme, Maureen has interviewed Spanish and History faculty Dr. Moneypenny and Dr. Nemcik about the international engagement offered in some Spanish courses. They travel to the Dominican Republic with their students to make and distribute ceramic water filters, to help provide clean drinking water for the community.
Opening Minds through Art (OMA) is a continuing community engagement program that Maureen is featuring in the Arts & Culture theme. Maureen reflected on her experience interviewing current IU East students Stephanie Eikenberry and Kyle Brown, who are long-time OMA participants, “It was so nice to hear how enthusiastic Stephanie and Kyle are, not only about OMA, but about all of their engagement with the community through various programs. Stephanie and Kyle are both working on becoming teachers. It was great to learn that the Opening Minds through Art program has changed the way they think about Alzheimer’s and dementia. They have come to realize that the elderly people just want to have a friend to talk to and connect with.”
Throughout the Spring semester, Maureen will continue to research the many ways that IU East has had an impact in our community. If you have an experience you would like to share about being involved in a community engagement project, we’d love to hear you story! Please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org