Message from the Faculty Director


Picture of Nina RobertsMay 2019

As we end another incredible academic year at SF State, it’s a great opportunity for reflection and gratitude. With many success stories and achievements, there’s also room to explore what we can do better.  ICCE is both balanced in our approach and expansive in our thinking, yet realistic with our capacity.  Hence, nobody can do it alone; for us, we extend thanks to those who supported us this past year, and offered their time and talents to help us keep moving forward.  Our Advisory Council, for example, continues to be amazing, our student assistants and civic engagement fellows are devoted to this work and their own learning, and I’ve had the pleasure of being surrounded by a remarkable, committed staff.  Part of why I wanted to come to SF State 14 years ago is because of its action and reputation around civic engagement and service-learning.  To be part of an Institution that changes lives and values community service where students gain innumerable benefits, including developing skills in problem-solving and critical thinking, has been tremendously rewarding.

At its core, SF State students involved in service-learning partake in progressive education, meet real-life challenges in local communities’ head on, and use multiple intelligences to gain new knowledge and abilities. Our Community Service-Learning (CSL) faculty remain steadfast in their objectives, and their teaching, coaching, and mentoring students continue to be extremely valuable. For the last couple of years doing this work, I’m pleased to connect with other faculty campus-wide exploring how and where CSL could fit into their curriculum as they consider designating their classes. Additionally, we’ve hosted more faculty development workshops, collaborated with departments/colleges across campus to focus on discipline specific efforts, and have awarded another year of Call-to-Service grants to outstanding faculty. We also continue to showcase the incredible engaged scholarship of faculty university-wide and the first-ever faculty survey on engaged research and scholarship has been completed and is in the works for distribution in the near future.  Communities need and deserve to be provided with reliable data that can be shared and used across neighborhoods. We even partnered with USCF where I presented to their faculty about community-engaged research during their annual “In the Mix” gathering.  There is no shortage to report regarding how ICCE is making new strides.

From supporting faculty/lecturers as they include research and creative projects in their courses to facilitating service-learning and research projects with community-based organizations around the world, ICCE strives to enhance the educational engagement of our students and instructors, alike. Congruently, our dedicated faculty continue to amplify the international service-learning reputation of SF State!

I would be remiss if I did not provide a heartfelt “thanks” to my Graduate Student Assistant, Jissel Poblete, who has been studying education, equity and social justice in the College of Education.  We worked closely together all year long, and I’m deeply grateful for her remarkable attitude and exceptional competency. She will be moving on after this semester and ultimately graduating in December. We know Jissel will have a successful career and wish her the best of luck!

We hope you have an enjoyable and playful summer filled with special moments and new memories! #GetOutdoors #GiveBack #iConnectSFSU

With appreciation and respect,
Nina S. Roberts, Ph.D.
ICCE Faculty Director