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September 8, 2006

ULM faculty and staff encouraged to attend conference Sept. 14, 15

ULM faculty and staff will have a chance to learn about the importance of service-learning at the University of Louisiana System’s Service-Learning Conference on Sept. 14 and 15, 2006 in Baton Rouge. Tony Byers, professional development director of the National Youth Leadership Council, will provide the keynote address.

Service-learning is a teaching method that enriches learning by empowering students in meaningful curriculum-based community service through a process that is carefully linked to learning objectives.

“Students learn as much outside of the classroom as they do in the classroom. I can’t think of a more powerful approach than getting students engaged in meaningful community service and connecting that experience directly to their academic preparation,” said Sally Clausen, President of the University of Louisiana System. “One prepares students to make a better living – the other prepares students to make life better for others. That’s why we want all of our students to have meaningful service-learning experiences before they graduate.”

Wayne Brumfield, vice president for Student Affairs at ULM, encourages ULM faculty and staff to attend the upcoming conference, which will give them the tools to tackle important issues.

“Service-learning provides a great opportunity for students and faculty to take knowledge and information from the classroom and laboratory and directly apply what they learn to a real world experience,” he said. “These rich learning experiences enhance the educational opportunities for students and build bridges to the community at large.”

The University of Louisiana System recently received a three-year $1.2 million grant from Learn and Serve America to further develop service-learning initiatives within its eight institutions – Grambling State University, Louisiana Tech University, McNeese State University, Nicholls State University, Northwestern State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, University of Louisiana at Lafayette and University of Louisiana at Monroe. In conjunction with the grant, the UL System agreed to hold an annual conference that will feature successful service-learning initiatives, grant writing, community partners, and national insights.

“We’re excited that Tony Byers has agreed to provide our inaugural address,” said Edwin Litolff, coordinator of this year’s conference. “He has a tremendous background in service-learning and is familiar with the current issues we face in Louisiana as the National Youth Leadership Council has been active in rebuilding efforts along the Gulf Coast.”

For more information about the conference, visit or call 225-342-6950.

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