Asee peer logo

Service Research and Service Learning: Developing Collaborative Research and Education Between a University and a Non-Profit

Download Paper |


2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Technical Session

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1284.1 - 22.1284.8



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Kristen Osterwood University of Pittsburgh

author page

Amy E. Landis University of Pittsburgh


Jason Douglas Monnell University of Pittsburgh

visit author page

Dr. Monnell is a Research Assistant Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department at the University of Pittsburgh. He obtained his bachelors degree in Biochemistry from Union College (Schenectady NY) his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Penn State in 2005. He investigates chemical and physical interactions between surfaces and their environments. He is especially interested in heavy metals, chacogen containing molecules, and catalytic materials. Dr. Monnell teaches Environmental Chemistry and Environmental Chemical Analysis. He is a member of the American Chemical Society, and the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors for which he serves on the Governmental Affairs Committee.

visit author page


Chris Koch GTECH Strategies

visit author page

Chris has worked in major cities around the country on systemic economic development projects in the private and public sectors. Her background is in the areas of Community and Economic Development, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Project Management, and Social Enterprise.
Chris has provided expertise on urban blight reduction strategies and social entrepreneurship to organizations such as the Brookings Institute, Great Lakes Urban Exchange, and Princeton University. Chris holds a Masters of Public Policy and Management from the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University, and a B.S. in History from the same. In 2008, Chris was named an Echoing Green fellow for her work with GTECH out of 1500 applicants worldwide.

visit author page

author page

Maureen Copeland GTECH Strategies

Download Paper |


Service  Research  and  Service  Learning:  Developing  collaborative  research  and   education  between  a  university  and  a  nonprofit.   Amy  E.  Landis*,  Kristen  Ostermann**,  Jason  Monnell***,  Chris  Koch$,  Maureen  Copeland$$    *Assistant  Professor,  Department  of  Civil  and  Environmental  Engineering,  University  of  Pittsburgh   **Graduate  student,  Department  of  Civil  and  Environmental  Engineering,  University  of  Pittsburgh  ***Research  Assistant  Professor,  Department  of  Civil  and  Environmental  Engineering,  University  of   Pittsburgh   $Chief  Operating  Officer,  GTECH  Strategies   $$Community  Programs  Manager,  GTECH  Strategies     Abstract  submitted  to  American  Society  for  Engineering  Education   2011  Annual  Conference  and  Exposition   June  26  –  29,  2011  –  Vancouver,  BC,  Canada    The  principles  of  service-­‐learning  are  expanded  to  create  a  model  of  service-­‐research  that  is  employed  in  a  collaboration  between  the  University  of  Pittsburgh  and  a  Pittsburgh  nonprofit,  GTECH  Strategies.  Service-­‐learning  is  a  well  known  strategy  that  integrates  meaningful  community  service  with  instruction  to  enrich  the  learning  experience  by  providing  practical  experience,  to  teach  civic  responsibility,  and  to  strengthen  connections  with  communities.  We  define  service-­‐research  in  a  similar  manner:  research  that  integrates  meaningful  community  service  with  research  activities  to  enrich  the  learning  experience  of  the  service  partner  as  well  as  the  researchers.      GTECH  (Growth  Through  Energy  and  Community  Health)  Strategies  is  a  nonprofit  dedicated  to  fostering  community  and  growing  the  green  economy  through  creative  community  revitalization.  GTECH  Strategies  nurtures  community  growth  through  green  job  creation  and  the  elimination  of  blight,  specifically  through  growing  biofuels  on  abandoned  lots  within  the  city  of  Pittsburgh.  Dr.  Landis’  research  team  at  Pitt  is  exploring  the  potential  to  utilize  marginal  lands  for  biofuel  production  and  are  evaluating  the  comparative  environmental  impacts  of  biofuels  grown  on  marginal  lands  with  other  fuels.  Naturally,  a  mutually  beneficial  research  collaboration  was  formed.      This  paper  describes  a  service-­‐learning  and  service-­‐research  collaboration  between  the  University  of  Pittsburgh  and  nonprofit  GTECH  Strategies.  Through  our  collaboration,  we  employ  service  learning  at  multiple  scales  (involving  communities,  high  schools,  college  students,  and  professors)  as  well  as  integrate  research  into  service  projects  with  the  aim  of  increasing  community  awareness  of  research  and  higher  education.  Based  on  findings  from  evaluating  our  collaboration  and  student  participation,  we  discuss  a  model  of  service-­‐research  for  graduate  programs.        

Osterwood, K., & Landis, A. E., & Monnell, J. D., & Koch, C., & Copeland, M. (2011, June), Service Research and Service Learning: Developing Collaborative Research and Education Between a University and a Non-Profit Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18903

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2011 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015