October 5, 2009

Dr. Marybeth Lima, PE, a professor in Biological and Agricultural Engineering at LSU, has recently co-edited a book on the subject of service-learning. The book is entitled The Future of Service-Learning: New Solutions for Sustaining and Improving Practice.

The chapters in the book discuss important questions about the institution of service-learning, including what value it presents to universities and how it is affected by factors such as globalization. Multiple authors write about the different issues at hand, such as better connections with communities and new plans for funding with the ultimate goal of self-sustainability. This summer, the book was a topic of discussion at an international teacher education conference in Ireland.

In the acknowledgements, Lima dedicates the book to Jan Shoemaker, director of the LSU Center for Community Engagement, Learning, and Leadership, whom Lima describes as "the heart and soul of service-learning at LSU and an alchemist. She finds carbon in the rough and molds, blends and polishes to create gems of community engagement."

The cover art for the book is by Bill Hemmerling, a local artist from Ponchatoula who died a few months before the book was published. A self-taught artist, Hemmerling rose from poverty to eventually show his works at places like the New Orleans Jazz Fest, the New York Art Expo, and the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. His works fetch up to $20,000 in the present day. In 2008, he generously agreed to donate proceeds from a limited edition giclee reproduction of one of his paintings to one of Lima's service-learning playgrounds.

A portion of the proceeds of the book will be donated by the authors and Stylus Publishing to a service-learning program in New Orleans called Each One Teach One. Funds will be used to partner New Orleans 5-8 grade students with Hamline University and Avalon student mentors to encourage students to stay in school and improve academic achievement.



Article by Colette Burke, LSU College of Engineering, 225-578-5706, mlavall@lsu.edu


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