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Articles Tagged with community

Evangelical Africanist

An interview with Robert Baum, Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies

Being a religious studies professor means that Robert Baum is frequently asked about his own religion, to which he responds cheerfully, “I’m an Evangelical Africanist,” a remark that reveals his “deep commitment to make sure Africa is included whenever we talk about the world.” Running through all of Baum’s work—whether teaching, research, or outreach—is a value on religious literacy, the desire to promote a better understanding of the world’s major religions.

Celebrating Service

An interview with Anne-Marie Foley, Director, Office of Service-Learning and Honors College Community Involvement Program

A study published in 1990 showed students less engaged in community service than ever in American history. “I found this a devastating and sad fact,” explains Anne-Marie Foley. Her original charge for the Honors College in 1990—to develop innovative programming for honors students—has expanded from “a desk and a phone” and a handful of students to a program that involves 10% of the MU undergraduate population. Drawing upon her own personal commitment to working with the elderly, Foley started gathering groups of students from the Honors College (“bribing” them with free pizza) to share their views.

Audio and Video Tagged with community

Arts Organizations and Civic Engagement

From an interview with Mirae Kim, Assistant Professor of Public Affairs

Dr. Kim describes the interest in the arts field about civic engagement, and discusses her research on arts organizations and community engagement.

Fieldwork in Senegal

From an interview with Robert Baum, Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies
In 1974, Baum received a Thomas J. Watson fellowship to study Diola religion in Senegal. He lived in a southern Diola community, learned the language, gained the community’s trust, and has returned there over the years to conduct historical and ethnographic research. “I learned the language, learned how to wrestle, how to work in the rice paddies, how to climb palm trees, how to harvest palm wine, [and do] some of the dances.” Baum never used an interpreter. Only after participating in the community for a year, and learning the language, did he feel ready to begin doing interviews. Baum recollects the process: “I kept going back, and by that time I’d been adopted by my family and was considered part of the community. I had a Diola name and nicknames, I publicly danced sacred dances, I wrestled, and was thrown to the ground—which is certainly a way of winning acceptance in a community and defying certain stereotypes of what it means to be white or European in an African culture.”

Peace Corps in Columbia

From an interview with Peace Corps Fellows, MU's Peace Corps Fellows Program

After two years of volunteering in a foreign community, the returned Peace Corps Fellows now turn their attention to a service project in the local community. Convening to discuss their vision and mission, the group gathered ideas about possible community service projects. “And one of the things we agreed upon was that we were interested in food—not a surprise for Peace Corps folks,” Craig Hutton said.

After many months of meeting with key organizations in Columbia, the Peace Corps Fellows identified food security as the issue to be addressed. Partnering with Sustainable Farms and Communities (SFC), a local nongovernmental organization, they plan to implement a research project in order to assess food security in Columbia. The group has been working with key community leaders –from non-governmental organizations and churches to businesses and city government—to design a survey to assess food security. When the survey is finished, it will be used by SFC to apply for a grant to build a pavilion on the site of the Columbia Farmer’s Market, which will function as a community center hosting health, cooking, and nutrition classes.

Amish Quilting

From an interview with Jana Hawley, Assistant Professor, Textile and Apparel Management

Amish women’s quilting practices and codes for in-group use and out-group use; how the process of creating reflects community values whether creating “for hire” or “for family.”