Bell Tower and CSUCI skyline

American Democracy Project


Environmental Science and Resource Management (ESRM) 464: Land Use Management -Don Rodriguez, CSUCI

Students worked with community partners (CPs) to develop a plan for the restoration of a section of Calleguas Creek. Community partners educated students about restoration techniques and project objectives. Students gathered data to assist in CPs planning efforts.

Business/Sociology 336: Social Entrepreneurship - Dennis Downey, CSUCI and Andrew Morris, CSUCI

Students engaged in a semester long community service project with a local non-profit organization, Habitat for Humanity. Students were  asked to generate a social change proposal.  Specifically, students  developed a creative plan/strategy to address a social problem that they are personally interested in. Each student individually researched a societal problem that matters to them;  wrote a paper outlining their recommendations on how to reduce the social problem;  and orally present their plan to the class. 

Art 499: Senior Capstone - Matt Furmanski

Art has been shown to positively impact children’s academic achievement, attitudes and behaviors, and self-concept. Yet schools are finding less time for this form of creative expression. To offset this lack of art in the school Art Capstone students built an art program based on their expertise and skills. Working with Cabrillo Economic Development (CEDC) the Capstone students brought art classes to the children of Villa Victoria housing community in Oxnard, one of thirteen managed by CEDC. Each week for 1.5 hours children, ranging in age from 2 years and up, gathered in the community room to work with pastel, paints and other art mediums.  

Organic Chemistry 1 (CSUCI) and General Chemistry (Ventura College)- Phil Hampton, CSUCI, and Joy Kobayashi, Ventura Community College

The rapid urbanization of Ventura County resulted in new communities being constructed adjacent to agricultural areas.  Phil Hampton Professor of Chemistry at CSUCI, and Joy Kobayashi, who teaches Chemistry at Ventura College utilized their respective chemistry classes to investigate whether communities adjacent to agricultural areas utilizing  chemicals, to control weeds and pests experience the problem of pesticide drift.  This faculty team  purchased an air “sniffer.”   to analyze air in and around the Ventura College and CSUCI campuses to determine whether and what kinds of chemicals can be detected in the air.  Students were able to interact in person and remotely through CSUCI visualization software.  They presented their findings to their community partners: Pesticide Action Network of North America (PANNA) and Community & Children's Advocates Against Pesticide Poisoning (CCAAPP), prepared information  about the dangers of methyl iodide to share with citizens and the California EPA.

English/Gender Studies 433: Introduction to Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Studies - Julia Balen, CSUCI

In this introduction to lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, intersexed, and transgendered lives students in spring 2007 gathered oral histories from LGBTIQ peoples who had lived in Ventura County for at least five years.  To continue this project students edited these transcripts as a class project.  Students and stories were grouped into teams to analyze the transcripts and develop questions that they would like to ask the interviewees.  Then interviewees were invited to class to meet with students to answer the questions they raise in small groups.  The goal of the project was to edit all of the materials into a publishable format for the use of the Ventura County Rainbow Alliance.

Communication/ESRM 443 Environmental Communication - Tracylee Clarke, CSUCI

Students engaged in a service-learning beach clean up and camping trip at the Angeles District Malibu Sector of Pt. Mugu Leo Carrillo State Park (approximately 20 miles from CSUCI). Students participated in an interpretive hike/discussion co-led by a Ranger and a Park Interpretive Specialist. After the hike reflection took place in the form of a  discussion focused on the place and responsibility of humans in the greater eco-system and the importance of involvement in environmental advocacy and civic engagement.

English MO1A - Mimi Kairschner, Moorpark College

Students in one section of English MO1A. Introduction to Composition, focused on the environment and donated time and service to the organization of their choice.  The project included approximately 8-10 hours per student of required service and culminated in a small group presentation to the class, followed by a formal persuasive essay, the focus of which will included reflection upon the service each student has given to the chosen organization and to the community.

Biology10/ESRM 1: Introduction to Environmental Issues - Elzbet De Leon,  Ventura College

Students worked with VCCooL, a grassroots group dedicated to fighting climate change and engaged in The Carbon Diet Project, that  allowed them to  form groups called Carbon Rings of ~6 households. The Carbon Ring forms a support group as students went through a program to reduce their carbon footprints.  The group’s data was logged onto a community webpage that grows as the program spreads through Ventura. Students were not required to make any changes in their personal lives for their grade—only to go thorough the process and turn in the forms.

English 1B - Gwendolyn Alley, Ventura College

Students worked on the Writing Life Speaker Series to bring poets & other writers to campus to read during lunchtime as well as volunteer for other literary events in our community including the LA Times Book Festival. Students  also assisted English 2A students (see below) to organize Earth Action Day 2008 at Ventura College.  Students created a blog about the event and about local service learning projects, wrote media releases, developed PSAs, wrote and designed flyers and other PR,  and planned and executed activities.

English 2A - Gwendolyn Alley, Ventura College

Students worked together  (as individuals and in groups, during and outside of class) with college and community groups to organize Earth Action Day 2008 at Ventura College. The event will targeted college students and the community, especially children from local schools and the Ventura College Child Development Center.  Students created a blog about the event and about local service learning projects, wrote media releases, developed PSAs, wrote and designed flyers and other PR,  and planned and executed activities.