JACKSON, Tenn. – Dec. 11, 2012 – Students in Web Drake’s four Interpersonal Communication classes at Union University completed more than 450 hours of community service in the local community this semester as part of the service learning component to the course.
Drake, associate professor of communication arts, said service learning enables students to interact with people different from themselves and gives them the opportunity to serve others.
“Two of the characteristics of a competent communicator are empathy and sympathy,” Drake said. “Serving others helps students refine these characteristics in a real-world setting.”
The project also helps students reflect one of Union’s core values, Christ-centered, Drake said, noting that “We are most like Christ when we are serving others.”
Each student is required to complete five hours of community service for the class. Students then write reports on their experiences and make presentations to their classes. Among the dozens of organizations where students worked were Area Relief Ministries, Youthtown, the Dream Center, Liberty Gardens and local churches and schools.
“The day they give their reports is always my favorite day of the semester,” Drake said. “Hearing how they have touched lives in practical, tangible ways, some of them for the first time, is an amazing experience.
“Union students have such big hearts,” he continued. “Allowing them this time to impact their community, our community, has rewards that go far beyond the classroom.”