2005 Excellence in Engagement Grants
Increasing Public Horticulture Volunteerism and Horticulture Education through Technology-Enhanced Learning ($55,000)
Jennifer Pope, Research Associate, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; Partners: Stephen C. Myers, Chair, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science; James A. Chatfield, OSU Extension, Cuyahoga County, and Ohio 4-H; Brian E. Holley, Executive Director, Cleveland Botanical Gardens
This partnership between the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, OSU Extension, and the Cleveland Botanical Gardens developed a technology-enhanced public horticulture certification program in the areas of volunteer training and personal development. The first Public Horticulture Volunteer (PHV) and Green Gardener (GG) class at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens was delivered online using Moodle software. It enrolled 18 students; 16 completed the course; 12 received PHV certificates and 4 received GG certificates. Following a focus group evaluation, online content was revised and transferred to OSU’s Carmen system. The second course enrolled 24 students; 21 completed the course (10 PHV and 11 GG). Overall, only five students had previously taken an online class and many had never attended college. The course produced highly trained horticulture volunteers, increased volunteer retention, and exposed the volunteers to new ways of learning and developing skills. As a result of the partnership with OSU, CBG received a grant for the Green Corps program, in which OSU horticulture faculty and students will mentor inner-city youth in the development of horticulture skills. The Green Gardener and Public Horticulture Volunteer Certificate programs at Cleveland Botanical Gardens were expanded in 2008 to two courses per year.
Living Jerusalem—Living Columbus ($44,500)
Amy Horowitz, Lecturer and Program Specialist, The Melton Center for Jewish Studies, College of Humanities; Partners: Amy Shuman, Associate Professor, Department of English, College of Humanities; Tamar Rudavsky, Professor, Department of English, College of Humanities; Marcelita G. Haskins, Director, Educational Services, WOSU Stations; Mazhar Jalil, Islamic Foundation of Central Ohio; Norman Hosansky, Congregation Tifereth Israel
Living Jerusalem: How do people of different cultures share knowledge of their heritage and practices across the borders between ethnic spaces, especially in disputed territories? Living Columbus: If Columbus were to become the model for religious understanding among Jews, Muslims, and Christians, how would we get there and what would our model look like? This initiative was designed explore outreach across several types of boundaries locally in Columbus and among Columbus-based OSU students and Jerusalem-based Al Quds and Hebrew University students in a virtual community across religious, national, and ethnic divides. Three outreach and engagement projects were conducted:
- Fifth-grade students and their teachers at Sunrise Islamic Academy, the Columbus Jewish Day School, and St. Joseph Montessori School (Muslim, Jewish, and Catholic day schools) participated in “Living Columbus: The Salaam, Shalom, Peace Project.” The students learned how to document and think about and present their own religious practices by creating and hosting tours of their schools. The students also learned about the traditions, cultural experiences, and religious observances of the other two schools.
- Offered in spring 2006, 2007, and 2008, the International Studies 501 course (Living Jerusalem: Ethnography and Bridgeblogging in Disputed Territory) allowed Ohio State students to interact electronically and then travel on a brief mini-study tour of Jerusalem where they met their classmates at Al-Quds University, a Palestinian institution, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, an Israeli institution, both located in the contested city of Jerusalem. The students communicated through weblogs and video conferencing, and one component of the course was an examination of how the building of a virtual community facilitated the travel of culture and ideas and even understanding across hostile borders. (onCampus article: http://oncampus.osu.edu/article.php?id=1063)
- In the Ohio Interfaith Foodways Project, community partners from the Islamic Center of Central Ohio and the Tefereth Israel Synagogue helped organize dinners hosted by Muslim, Jewish, and Christian families, featuring foodways enjoyed by the host religious group and a brief program on food and religious culture and observance. Recipes were collected for inclusion in an interfaith recipe book now in progress and all dinners were videotaped in anticipation of a short documentary that will be completed.
In addition, Palestinian, Israeli, and U.S. scholars attended Jerusalem: Cultures and Communities in Contention, a November 2006 working conference sponsored by the Living Jerusalem Project and hosted by the Mershon Center, Melton Center, and the Middle East Studies Center. One focus of the conference was on re-envisioning an edited volume on Jerusalem begun in the mid-1990s. The working team reassessed essays written in the 1990s in light of developments over the past 12 years.