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A Study Abroad Course Leads to Service Learning Project

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Study and Research Abroad

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Charles McIntyre Indiana University-Purdue University of Indianapolis

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Charles McIntyre is a Professor and Program Director of the Construction Engineering Management Technology Program at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). He received a Ph.D. from Penn State in 1996. Prior to joining IUPUI, he was a faculty member and former chair in the Department of Construction Management and Engineering at North Dakota State University in Fargo.
Dr. McIntyre’s current research includes sustainable construction, green building, and industry-academic collaborations. He is an active member of the American Society for Engineering Education and the American Council for Construction Education. Dr. McIntyre has served on the ASEE Board of Directors and is an ASEE Fellow.

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Ryan A. Camp Indiana University-Purdue University of Indianapolis


Patricia Fox Indiana University-Purdue University of Indianapolis

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Professor Patricia Fox is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Technology Leadership and Communication in the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Pat has been a member of the faculty for over 35 years. She has previously served as Associate Chair and Associate Dean in the School. Pat teaches leadership, ethics, sustainability, and study abroad courses. She has held a number of leadership roles in the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) including four terms on the ASEE Board as well as serving two times as the Chair of Engineering Technology Council. Pat is a Fellow of ASEE. Her research interests include sustainability and study abroad education.

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Shawn Patrick

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Shawn Patrick is the Faculty Development Program and Evaluation Director of the Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine Dean's Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development. Shawn is also an associate faculty in the Department of Technology Leadership & Communication through the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI where he teaches courses in organizational leadership and technical communication. In his director role, Shawn supports faculty in their leadership, teaching, and research development. His research focuses on college teaching, faculty development, and the experience of minority faculty in STEM fields. Shawn teaches courses in ethics and leadership through OLS. Shawn holds a MA from Ball State University, and a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and is pursuing his PhD in Urban Education through IUPUI.

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Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis study abroad students, who learned about sustainable practices in businesses, industries and municipalities in Germany returned to Indianapolis to assist a community partner to start a recycling project in Indianapolis.

Germany like some other European countries have been working on sustainable issues in businesses, industries and within their municipalities for decades. The country’s results are impressive in sustainable urban structures and planning, renewable energy usage, national recycling, sustainable transportation systems, and green policies all at the local, state and federal levels, which in turn has led to economic growth and innovation within the country (Buehler, Jungjohann, Keeley, & Mehing, 2011).

Service learning is defined as “course-based, credit bearing educational experience in which students (a) participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs and (b) reflects on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility” (Bringle & Hatcher, 1995).

This past summer’s study abroad students had the opportunity to participate in a service learning project. The project was to incorporate a recycling program for a local church’s festival, which is held for three days in the month of July. The study abroad students had just returned from learning about a society that spends enormous efforts in the area of recycling, reusing, and reducing. Students that volunteered were to work with the local recycling facility to acquire the right type of containers for the project, work at the festival assisting with the recycling program, and observe the other festival activities during the three-day event to research other opportunities for sustainable practices for the next year’s festival or church campus as a whole.

In this paper will describe the students experience of studying abroad and learning about sustainability and then applying that knowledge in a service learning project back home. In addition, this paper will describe the ongoing student research project recommending a sustainable approach for the church and school on the whole campus.


Buehler, R., Jungjohann, A., Keeley, M. & Mehing, M. (2011). How Germany Became Europe’s Green Leader: A Look at Four Decades of Sustainable Policymaking. Solutions. Vol 2, Issue 5.

Bringle, R. & Hatcher, J. (1995). A Service Learning Curriculum for Faculty. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning 2, 112.

McIntyre, C., & Camp, R. A., & Fox, P., & Patrick, S. (2018, June), A Study Abroad Course Leads to Service Learning Project Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29725

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