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Establishing Partnerships for Global Service Learning in Engineering

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2016 ASEE International Forum


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 25, 2016

Start Date

June 25, 2016

End Date

June 25, 2016

Conference Session

Concurrent Virtual Sessions

Tagged Topic

International Forum Virtual Presentation

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Jeffrey R Seay University of Kentucky

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Dr. Jeffrey R. Seay is the PJC College of Engineering Professor and Associate Professor of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Kentucky at Paducah Extended Campus. Dr. Seay joined the University of Kentucky in 2008 following a twelve year career in the chemical industry. Dr. Seay completed his B.S. and Ph.D. from Auburn University and his M.S. from the University of South Alabama, all in Chemical Engineering. His primary research area is process systems engineering focused on sustainability, green chemistry, biofuels and appropriate technology for underdeveloped regions.

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John Christopher Higgins University of Kentucky

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John Higgins is an undergraduate Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Kentucky College of Engineering, Paducah Extended Campus. John works for the University of Kentucky Appropriate Technology and Sustainability (UKATS) research team as an undergraduate researcher.

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Chandni A Joshi University of Kentucky

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Chandni Joshi is an undergraduate Chemical Engineering student at the University of Kentucky College of Engineering Paducah Extended Campus. Ms. Joshi joined the University of Kentucky Appropriate Technology and Sustainability (UKATS) research team in 2013 and has traveled with the group to Cameroon, Gabon, India and Uganda to implement their research.

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Sarah Frances Willett University of Kentucky

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Service learning experiences can be life changing events for both engineering students and faculty. These courses can provide educational context for the impacts – both positive and negative – that engineers have had on the developing world. However, non-traditional education abroad experiences in developing countries can be a challenge to organize and benefit greatly from strong partnerships with organizations in the host country.

The [University Name] Appropriate Technology and Sustainability (ACRONYM) research group is an undergraduate, service learning and sustainability focused research group at the [University Name] College of Engineering [City] Extended Campus Program. This group has established successful partnerships with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) in Cameroon and India as part of a non-traditional study abroad course in Global Service Learning in Engineering. The service learning projects undertaken by the [ACRONYM] research group as part of the Global Service Learning and Engineering course are focused on the development and dissemination of technology based on the principles of appropriate technology and sustainability – particularly the societal impacts of the projects on the local communities.

This contribution will give an overview on how these partnerships were developed and describe the importance of strong in-country partnerships for successful service learning experiences. In particular this contribution will describe how the need for community interaction is critical to the success of any project in a rural or developing community. The experiences of the [ACRONYM] group with the African Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology (ACREST) in Cameroon and the Organization of Development Action and Maintenance (ODAM) in India will be described. In addition, lessons learned regarding properly preparing students for service learning based education abroad experiences will be described.

Seay, J. R., & Higgins, J. C., & Joshi, C. A., & Willett, S. F. (2016, June), Establishing Partnerships for Global Service Learning in Engineering Paper presented at 2016 ASEE International Forum, New Orleans, Louisiana.

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