Reflections from Past Participants

“Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!  This was a wonderful experience, and I will highly recommend it to colleagues. I now feel that I am a part of a project of utmost importance to furthering the mission of the University.” —Matthew Capdevielle

“The JJC visit was devastating and inspiring.  La Casa comprehensive and practical (please return to both sites).” —Andrea Topash-Rios

“I thought all of the site visits were great.  We were able to see the wide variety of work that is going on in South Bend, as well as how various actors (non-profits, government, the University, schools, coalitions) are involved with community development.  I appreciated how eager everyone was to share their stories with us and how open they were to involvement from Notre Dame faculty, staff, and students.” —James Creech

“Some educational aspects of the visits were related to getting a deeper understanding of what we can do to improve the community, serving is not necessarily time consuming, even though it requires commitment and dedication, and we can all contribute with our personal skills or just the willingness to serve others.”  —Ives Menes

“The institute was wonderful and extremely eye-opening. Although I was aware of CBL and many of the community sites in the South Bend area, spending three days learning about these programs in depth and seeing what they do by visiting them and meeting their directors really made community engagement exciting for me. Thank you for offering such a helpful institute and allowing me to take part in it.” –Participant 2012

“I was surprised by how moved I was by the content of the sessions. This has been a powerful experience. After a long dry spell, I am excited about my job again because of CBL. The Institute makes it all very real and possible. My sincere thanks to all the organizers and participants.” –Participant 2012

“I really liked the tour at Sister Mary Brannick though it was perhaps the furthest from my intended course. I thought the visits provided a representative variety of the kind of volunteer work that was happening in the community, very interesting!” –Participant 2012

“As part of the Spanish cohort, visiting Robinson, La Casa and El Campito were some of the highlights of the Institute. I feel that visiting these sites helped support all the theories and practices we discussed throughout the Institute through a practical lens. Not only did visiting these sites further my understanding and visualization of the point-by-point needs of these partners (as they gave is tours and were able to talk extensively without too much time constraint), I also felt I was (semi) walking in the shoes of future students who will be going to these sites for the first time…it was nice to see it from a student’s perspective and to know that they will (hopefully) be in good hands outside of the classroom and into the community.” –Participant 2012

“The site selections were great for me in that they offered an opportunity to visit sites that I knew would consider for my class (La Casa, Center for the Homeless) as well as one I hadn’t considered but was really impressed with (Robinson Center). The transportation arrangements were smooth, and the presentations gave me both a sense of what my students could do and what I could actually do in SB—just great!” –Participant 2012

“This experience was humbling, for good. I was pretty satisfied with my CBL work coming into it, and by noon of the first day, I realized that there was a wealth of resources for me to dive into and think about more carefully. First, the Institute lent me a a great list of colleagues to consult. It also helped me accumulate a greater arsenal of vocabulary/jargon related to CBL and CBR.” –Participant 2012

“I have done minimal direct service in the last several years and look forward to getting involved more actively once again. I am very motivated to organize and better administrate/facilitate the CBL component of the course I teach now. New, however, is my desire to teach a CBL course (not just include a CBL option).” –Participant 2012

“I definitely feel that my community engagement objectives are beginning to evolve as a result of the institute. I believe that the institute has lit a spark of excitement in me that I cannot wait to share with my students this Fall. I have now visited several sites where my students can easily take part in CBL, and I have learned how beneficial these relationships are for everyone involved. Although I am only teaching courses in which CBL is optional this Fall, I have high hopes that the number of students who choose to participate in the community will be noticeably greater than in previous semesters because I have so much information and enthusiasm to help guide students more effectively than in the past.” –Participant 2012