Monday, November 29, 2010

Lorin Ditzler and MaryGrace Weber recently won first prize for a poster they submitted for the Iowa APA annual conference, held in Council Bluffs this year. The poster features the economic development plan they prepared last Spring in the course, International Perspectives: Xicotepec. Others on the research team include graduates Meembo Changula and Sheila Knoploh-Odole and current student Kristin Gilchrist. The service-learning course serves as an introduction to providing service to communities in underdeveloped countries through discipline-specific projects to improve community life. The experience, done in collaboration with Rotary International, also offers cultural and professional preparation for team work in an international environment. Based on background research and over 100 interviews with Xicotepec residents during Spring Break week, students in the course prepared a comprehensive plan for improving local economic opportunities,  A Vision for Economic Development:  Xicotepec, Mexico. The winning poster Ditzler and Weber created summarizes their work in the course and may be viewed here.