New service learning classes announced

Colleen Dulle

The service learning program at Loyola has been updated this semester with the appointment of a new director and five new service learning courses.

Jennifer Jeanfreau is the new director of the Office of Community Engaged Learning, Teaching and Scholarship. Taking over after the departure of the office’s former director, Kelly Brotzman, Jeanfreau said she hopes to improve the service-learning program by increasing the number of courses being offered.

“I plan to continue to build on the successes that OCELTS had under Kelly Brotzman and, I hope, increase the number of service learning courses being offered and the number of faculty participating in community engaged scholarship,” Jeanfreau said.

Five of the 22 service learning courses being offered this semester are new.

These courses include “Fundamentals of Criminology,” “Violence and Democracy,” “Islam, Spain and New Orleans,” “Survey of Spanish Literature II: Technology and Literature” and a criminology course called “Program Planning and Evaluation,” Jeanfreau said.

Jeanfreau said that the partner organizations for these courses range from the 22nd Judicial District Court to Puentes New Orleans, an advocacy program for Latino families.

Artemis Preeshl, associate professor of theatre, incorporates service learning in her “Voice and Movement II” course.

Preeshl’s students work with their service learning clients to help them communicate effectively.  The students’ work celebrates the clients’ diverse accents, while helping them to articulate their words more clearly.

“They hear and see New Orleans accents and action firsthand,” Preeshl said.

She explained that students identify clients’ needs and then plan and implement a coaching program to improve clients’ oral communication skills.

For Rachel Comeaux, sociology junior, the experience she gained from service learning her freshman year was invaluable. She said she is now taking courses in Loyola’s teaching certification program to prepare her for a job in elementary education.

“Not only did I have the opportunity to give my time and energy to a well-deserving cause, but in return, I made great friends, learned from the people I worked with and discovered my passion for teaching,” Comeaux said.