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Service conference aims for global impact

International Symposium on Service-Learning runs next week at UIndy

BACKGROUND: What is service-learning?

Nearly 200 participants from eight nations will attend the sixth biennial International Symposium on Service-Learning, taking place next Thursday through Saturday at the University of Indianapolis.

Under the theme “Service-Learning as a Global Movement: Transforming Communities and Higher Education,” the event aims to strengthen ties among higher education institutions and community partners around the world and to advance service-learning as an innovative teaching tool that promotes engaged citizenship among students.

The symposium is organized and sponsored by UIndy and Stellenbosch University of South Africa, with co-sponsors Indiana Campus Compact and Bellarmine University and additional support from and Follett’s UIndy bookstore.

The three-day program includes more than 80 presentations and education sessions in a range of formats designed to spark dialogue among the academics, students, community partners and other professionals in attendance. Activities begin Wednesday with a pre-conference session, a peace service, an opening ceremony and a service project in which attendees will join forces with Pro(ACT) Community Partnerships and Pack Away Hunger to pack up an estimated 30,000 meals for distribution to the needy in Indiana, Guatemala and Haiti.

This year’s keynote speakers are:

  • Barbara Ibrahim, Ph.D., founding director of the John D. Gerhart Center for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement at the American University in Cairo and member at the Institute for Gender and Women’s Studies.
  • Gerburg Garmann, Ph.D., assistant dean of Assistant Dean of Interdisciplinary Programs & Service Learning at the University of Indianapolis.

More information on the International Symposium on Service-Learning is available at