White FHU Logo
White FHU Logo
HomeAcademicsAcademic ResourcesEngaged Learning InitiativeEngaged Learning Initiative Projects

Engaged Learning Initiative Projects

Read more about what FHU has accomplished!

Recent Special Projects

In the summer of 2023, Senior CSD major Elizabeth Roberts spurred an engaged learning initiative with classmates from other majors to find ways that our students can interprofessionally learn about healthcare and culture through vocational formation as Christians. Mary Katherine Walker (biology), Zachary Roberts (nursing), and Dalton Shumate (psychology) explored the origins of western medicine, universal healthcare systems, & diversity & religiosity in care with Dr. Meagan Spencer as their sponsor. The group spent 10 days between Nashville and London engaging with various hospitals, attending special lectures, and visiting sites that stage our conceptualization of patient care.

It’s not every day that you get to go to a lecture in Westminster Abbey to attend a lecture by Professor Anthony Reddie, Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion discussing Christianity and culture in Black Lives Matter or a seminar by Dr. David Antcliffe, professor at the Imperial College at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital’s ICU unit on new sepsis treatment research.

Patient care is everybody care and while not a healthcare major, Mary Katherine Walker, was intrigued how her studies fit into the narrative while learning about plant constructs & the culture of modern medication at the Chelsea Physics Garden.

Zachary Roberts stated that, “this trip extended to me the opportunity to learn more about the medical ethics, intrinsic religious care styles, and general healthcare principles of London compared to the U.S. The largest differences to me were the ethics in the UK compared to ours. We specifically learned about ethics in testing new medications for sepsis. We saw how in the U.S., the healthcare styles are intrinsically Christian in the core values of caring for patients as equal human beings, and how patient care is everyone’s job. We saw the difference of national healthcare style in the UK compares to U.S. healthcare, and how that affects the quality of care given, and waiting times in emergency rooms. We attended an event at King’s College at which we learned more about other countries healthcare. My personal favorite part about the trip was visiting the Florence Nightingale Museum and learning about the early roots of nursing.”

While discussing leadership, clinic services, and how dynamic teams work together in the US system with Dickson Community Clinic, TriStar Horizon Medical Center, TriStar Skyline Medical, Tristar Natchez, and Harris & Frazier Lobbying Firm, Dalton Shumate started to mold his own career interests by seeing how mental health is a powerful tool in the dying art of general practice and he might like to pursue a career in community care.

All of these students saw the power of the spiritual gifts of serving others in vocation and how they can influence the future of service and research.

 A group of eight Freed-Hardeman University Communication Sciences and Disorders majors had the opportunity to travel to New Orleans, Louisiana to attend the National American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Conference. While at the conference, the students were exposed to various ASHA speakers, exhibits, and discussion that highlighted recent advancements in the field to which they are studying to practice. The students participated in session debriefs, in which critical analysis of how early exposure to careers, graduate education, and research at the undergraduate level influences their program of study.
Networking and research were two primary goals for the students that were fulfilled through participation in a Career Fair and Graduate School Fair. While at the Career Fair, each student received assistance in creating a resume and spoke with an array of prospective employers. The Graduate School Fair allowed the students to research various graduate and/or PhD programs to learn more about their program goals, curricula, clinical experiences, and research opportunities. Each student left the conference with a network map of professionals from across the nation that will enable them to advance their future education and career goals.
As part of their obligations to attend the ASHA conference, the students will conduct presentations at FHU’s 2024 Scholar’s Day, as well as, at the Tennessee Association of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists convention.

Faculty: How did you see your students grow or change?

Meagan Spencer: Most of these students had never been to a large city outside of Nashville, so it was neat to see them grow both personally and professionally. They learned how to navigate, street safety, and talking with researchers and professionals on their own. They were very tired, but very excited at the end of each day. We would have dinner and do a round table to share the day’s sessions and activities reports. This activity further encouraged our students to participate in some of our state level research and advocacy activities such as helping pass a new occupation license bill in Tennessee, exploring research in the honors college and other ELI opportunities, and pursuing some of the graduate schools to which they applied.

Students: How did participating in the project benefit you?

Elizabeth Roberts: We got to see all the different job opportunities for SLPs and audiologists and speak with different companies about them. I really liked hearing about various experiences that people have had in their careers and even in grad school. Going to the sessions was interesting because we had not been exposed yet to some of the advanced practice techniques and it was exciting to learn about additional skills and certifications. New Orleans is a lot different than Henderson. I had never been and learning to navigate a city and new culture was interesting.

In the summer of 2022, Dr. Margaret Payne, Molly Clemons, and Rose Duke explored the literature, landscape and architecture of Romantic England. Their adventures were in connection with Dr. John Mclaughlin’s Spring 2022 Romantic Poetry and Pose class. The group of 22 spent two weeks exploring England through hikes and various tours through famous writers’ homes.

Student Rose Duke prepared for the trip through extensive readings surrounding the foundational Gothic novels written during the romantic period. Her focus was to explore ways that the Romantics’ use of the Neo-Gothic intersected with theories of ecocriticism to further expand on how writers such as Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Austen, and the Shelleys used their surroundings to fortify the works they created. While visiting England, she captured a visual rendering of Neo-gothic architecture and its ties to literature by documenting the experience through a reflective and descriptive photo journal.

English major Molly Clemons embarked on the journey to examine the unique relationship between the writings of William and Dorothy Wordsworth and the nature of William’s poems in relation to Dorothy’s journal entries. Following this experience, Molly further her studies by completing an independent studies on Jane Austen and Dorothy Wordsworth.

Dr. Payne’s embarked on this adventure with her students to continue her extensive research into women authors on ritual in women’s literature.

As a part of the travel, the team visited the following:

  • The home of John Keats
  • The Victoria and Albert Museum
  • The city of Bath
  • The Jane Austen Centre in Bath
  • The village of Chawton
  • Bolton Castle and Bolton Abbey ruins (in Yorkshire)
  • The village of Haworth (home of the Brontes)
  • Stonehenge and Stourhead Gardens, the market town of Bakewell, a slate mine, Lake Buttermere hike, Stanage Edge hike, Cat Bells hike
  • Day tour of the home and life of Beatrix Potter
  • Seminar and visit to Dove Cottage; visit to Rydal Mount

Both Molly and Rose presented their projects during FHU’s Scholars Day in fall 2022.
Dr. Payne has used her new found knowledge and experiences to enrich her classes by exposing students to new ideas, text, photos, descriptions, and stories through class discussions and lectures.

In the fall 2022 semester, FHU students had the opportunity to interact with the celebrated author and poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil who gave an evening talk to the campus and community and provided a poetry workshop for English majors and poetry contest winners in the afternoon. There were several goals of this project, the first being the exposure of FHU students to a nationally acclaimed author. Other goals included the formation cross-disciplinary discussion of the themes and issues connected to the poet’s work, to provide writing students with a poetry workshop with a renowned poet, to shape discussions in Comp I and Comp II classes, and to provide a focus on the wonders of God’s creation and an attention to our responsibilities to the environment. As a result, this project had a direct connection to at least 300 FHU students (including students in ENG 101 and 102—on campus and dual enrollment students, students in Creative Writing, honors students, and those from a number of science classes. Ayers auditorium was filled for the evening session, 17 students attended the poetry workshop, and roughly 150 students engaged in discussions and writing projects in ENG 101 and 102. Two Professors on Poetry sessions were conducted in connection with this project including one that featured interplay between English and science faculty members; that event was attended by roughly 25 students.
This project resulted in a number of outcomes:

  • Comp I students enjoyed the readings in the book World of Wonders before the author came to campus so the conversations in classes were already more lively and students were visibly engaged. They related to the stories that the writer tells about her childhood, family, and children. They enjoyed the perspective that she brings about creatures in nature that inspire “wonder.”
  • Comp II students had a tangible starting place for their discussions and construction of arguments for research papers based on their reading of World of Wonder.
  • Science students drew connection between the arts and their respective fields of science as a result of their reading of World of Wonders.
  • Students in Creative Writing were exposed to a number of poems in different forms useful to the instruction of how to write poems by reading her poetry collection Oceanic; the style of Nezhukumatathil’s work provided examples, themes, and discussion board topics.
  • Even though we intended to plant 1000 bulbs on campus as well as a butterfly/bee garden using students during University Servants Day, to early fall is not the right planting time for these projects. The butterfly/bee garden has been put on hold until planned changes are made to the cross-country field. However, since we did not have the help of 100 students, the bulb planting was reduced to around 300, and those are sprouting and beginning to bloom as of February 2023.

Overall, this project was an incredible experience for FHU students. The author remained after the public talk until every book was signed. She posed for selfies for every student (and faculty member) who asked. She engaged them in conversation and replied to their social media posts. The conversations of the night were wide ranging and included family, race/ethnicity, writing, nature, and happiness. Our students asked intelligent questions and were granted exciting answers and interplay in response.

Recent Special Projects

In January 2023, a group of fine art majors had the opportunity to spent time in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania exploring some of our nation’s finest museums and art collections, viewing masterpieces from art history to find inspiration that will influence their own creative works. The student photographers in the group also spent time creating a personal series, shooting stranger portraits, street photography, and self-portraits.

During the 5-day adventure, Studio Art and Photography majors were exposed to Philadelphia’s Museum of Art, the Rodin Museum, the Barnes Foundation, and Philadelphia’s rich landscapes and people. Students learned about the history of one of our nation’s most historical cities, the impact and ethics of the art market on our culture, and the biographies and contributions of major artists from history.

Studio Art majors documented their experience by creating a sketchbook of what they found inspiring about the city, its residents, and culture. The student created sketches stimulated thought about why the students chose art as their subject matter. These sketches will be exhibited during the 2023 University Scholars Day.

The student photographers created a personal series by shooting strangers’ portraits, street photography, and self-portraits. The students expressed their newfound knowledge and the impact of the experience through written research papers about a portrait photographer, street photographer, a favorite artist from their museum visits. The students’ photography will be displayed in a gallery showing in the Troy Plunk Gallery during the 2023 Scholars Day.

Faculty: How did you see your students grow or change?

Brian Bundren: Students were able to converse more deeply about art and their own personal philosophies regarding art making. Students grew in their artistic skills and found inspiration to bring into the new semester.

Jud Davis: My favorite part of any trip is to see students with a camera hanging from their neck and to see them overcome an introverted personality to walk up to a complete stranger and say, “may I take your photo.” Whether Philadelphia or New York, the confirmation that comes over them when someone says yes, and they take their photo, and then show it to them, is priceless. That feeling alone is worth any trip.

Students: How did participating in the project benefit you?

Libby Rominger: I loved the trip to Philadelphia. It gave me so many opportunities to grow as a photographer and explore places I’ve always wanted to go. I overcame a lot fears about approaching people, posing people, and taking pictures of complete strangers. I never thought I would do those things, but this trip allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and create some great images.

Callie French: City was big.

Author unknown: Trips like this allow me to grow closer to people in my program I would have never met on campus. As a senior, I was able to connect and share with people of like interests, like faith and like minds who were younger than me, yet very much still like me.

People often describe baseball as a game of inches. It is described this way due to the propensity of a game to change drastically on one close play. Because of the nature of a baseball game, baseball coaches are always looking for any way to get an advantage over their opponents in hopes of swinging close games in their favor. The use of technology in baseball has exploded over the past five to seven years, with pitchers and hitters using all kinds of equipment to improve their skills and ability to play at a high level. This project allowed the team use a laser timing system to test our coaches’ baserunning theory and determine if our method is the best way to teach baserunning to our baseball players at Freed-Hardeman.

There are many theories and disagreements on how to teach baserunning. Most baseball coaches have a particular method they prefer because a coach taught them or they have seen success with a specific process in the past. While an individual team or player might succeed in baserunning a certain way, there is usually no scientific data to support their approach and no way to know if they are maximizing their abilities on the basepaths. This ELI project explored and tested our baserunning philosophy and allowed the data collected to challenge our current beliefs. It also shaped our opinion of the best way to teach baserunning so that we can exhaust our talents when running the bases.

The project funds supported the purchase of a Dashr timing system with three timing gates to get two times for each run. The gates were set up where a player typically gets his lead off first base, halfway between first and second base, and at second base. The first gate represented our starting point, the second gate represented the estimated location of where athletes reach top speed, and the third gate represented our ending point. The placement of the gates allowed us to measure two different times, allowing us to record the time it takes for a player to get to top speed and the time it takes them to get from their leadoff position to second base.

The project took place as athlete monitoring during baseball practice during the Fall of 2022. Athlete monitoring is the regular assessment of player performance and adaptations to various training techniques. This project assessed the baserunning times of the FHU Baseball players at the beginning of fall practice to get baseline times. The baseball coaches then taught the players our normal baserunning philosophy throughout the semester. The players were reassessed halfway through the semester and again at the end of the fall to measure the players’ progress.

The results of this study will allow players and coaches to evaluate the current baserunning technique taught by FHU Baseball coaches for years to come. The Dashr data will continue to determine if the coaching philosophy needs to adapted as different players join the team. The evaluation process will also allow our baseball coaches to give our players better instruction in the future and help them to achieve more individual and team success.

StudentHow did participating in the project benefit you?

As an FHU Baseball player, this study allowed me to connect academics and athletics, engaging my previously acquired academic knowledge with an athletics challenge. Biomechanics and Anatomical Kinesiology, two classes I have previously taken, provided me with a basic understanding of the human body and how it moves. Doing this study presented a new experience that will help me better understand how different training methods produce adaptations. This deeper understanding enriches my current athletic experience, as well as my intended future profession. Engaging academics and athletics is also a positive for Freed- Hardeman University because it creates a sense of inclusion for two departments generally seen as separate entities.

This ELI grant provided funds for students to exercise their desire to serve others through remote medical care. Students were able to get involved with helping others in a very personal way through Remote Area Medical clinics (RAM). RAM is a nonprofit provider of free pop-up clinics whose mission is to provide quality healthcare to underserved and uninsured individuals. This ELI project permitted eight FHU students the opportunity to travel to Mayfield, KY and Springfield, TN to work with RAM to serve those in need through volunteer service. Through the Remote Area Medical clinics, it was also FHU’s desire that the students would be able to gain a new perspective on the disparities existing within communities across the country.

Eight FHU students from a variety of healthcare majors spent between three to six days at the Mayfield, KY and Springfield, TN Remote Area Medical clinics. The students observed healthcare disparities in underserved communities, which allowed the students to reflect on these disparities and build a desire to serve in the future once the students become a healthcare provider. While at the clinics, the students offered their time and talent serving in a variety of areas within the clinic, including the vision section where they performed pretesting and acuity tests, dental sterilization where they helped to clean dental instruments, and/or patient check-in or check-out. In addition, the students were able to assist in the organization, execution, and clean-up process of the clinics, which will help to prepare them in their efforts to lead the Henderson, TN RAM clinic in fall 2022.

Faculty: How did you see your students grow or change?

Wendy Gean: From a pre-health arts advisor perspective, I constantly hear students say “I want to help people” as their motivation for wanting to enter healthcare. While that is a noble reason to enter the profession, it is only a statement. This ELI grant provided funds for students to exercise those desires and learn how to help others. Students were able to get involved with helping others in a very personal way through these RAM clinics. These funds allowed many students who would not be able to help due to financial constraints to travel to and from the summer clinic sites. In conversations with several who were involved in the summer travel, they have found these to be eye opening and have bred a deeper desire to serve others once they become a healthcare provider.

Students: How did participating in the project benefit you?

Cameron Kuhl: The opportunity to serve struggling communities allowed me to look at American cities and towns from a new perspective. It is easy for me to pass through little Southern towns and ignore the need that a large portion of that town’s population has. I have gotten used to ignoring that need and, as a result, have forgotten that the people who need the services the Remote Area Medical provides not only exist but exist in large numbers. These trips to clinics confronted me with the faces of this portion of the American population, forcing me to relate to them on a personal level and serve them. This project put these struggling people into my life and allowed me to show Christ’s love to them in one of the most fundamental ways: helping them feel better physically.

Ben Dedeyan: Serving the community through Remote Area Medical has been very beneficial, both mentally and academically. It allowed me to reflect on my own place in the world as someone who can serve, and it reinforced my desire to enter the medical field. I’m so thankful for the ways I’ve been able to help people!

This bridge-experience provided an opportunity for students to travel to Santa Ana, Honduras to assist in several projects that aided in improving the health and lives of the Hondurans. While in Honduras, the students had the opportunity to be the “hands and feet of Jesus” by providing physical and spiritual care while also sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Their work was in cooperation with TORCH Missions and Clinica de Esperanza (Clinic of my Hope).

Nursing students from Freed-Hardeman spent their 2022 Spring Break in Honduras immersed into the Honduran culture, exploring how to identify, initiate, and sustain medicine and housing to enhance the quality of life in a poverty-stricken, third world country. Students were involved in a variety of projects that promoted a holistic approach to healthcare, setting up remote clinics in outlying villages, building a house, assembling and distributing food bags, and educating on the importance of clean water while providing water filtration systems. They were also presented with opportunities to work in local hospitals, the school for the deaf, and the school for the blind.

The mission of the FHU nursing department is “to provide graduates with a foundation of Christian values on which nursing knowledge, skills, and attitudes are learned for the purpose of providing holistic care to individuals, groups, and communities in need and for succeeding in the dynamic and challenging discipline of professional nursing.” Traveling to Honduras allowed students the opportunity to provide holistic care to the Honduran community. Under the supervision of FHU’s instructors, Linda Hodges and Dr. Sarah Pierce students put into practice skills they had learned in the classroom to assess the physical and cognitive growth and development in children.

While in Honduras, students saw firsthand the poor health care systems and had the opportunity to engage in service learning while also gaining valuable experience and on-the-job training by providing basic medical care, housing, water, and food to Honduran citizens. Students used critical thinking skills while treating patients without adequate medical resources. They also saw firsthand how medication or absence of disease is only part of overall health. People also need food, clean water, and housing to truly maintain a healthy life. Students were exposed to many diseases that are also seen in the US including scabies, intestinal worms, malnutrition [starvation and dehydration], hypertension, diabetes, burns, fungal infections, otitis media [ear infections], urinary tract infections, and sexually transmitted infections.

While there, the students were exposed to extreme poverty and had the opportunity to provide basic needs to the Honduras citizens. A major focus of TORCH Missions is to build houses for families who are homeless. During the trip, FHU students and faculty were connected with a family who was homeless and in one day were able to build them a safe place for them to call home.

Recent Special Projects

Freed-Hardeman junior nursing students had the opportunity to travel to Peru in 2020 to show kindness and the love of Christ by providing physical and spiritual care to the people of Cusco.  Their work was in cooperation with CerviCusco, a medical clinic that specializes in the prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment of cervical cancer in Peruvian women. While on site, the students were immersed in the Peruvian culture as they explored how to identify, initiate, and sustain medicine ventures that enhance the quality of life of those in need.

The people of Peru are very humble and gracious towards those seeking to help them. They rely on the services of organizations like CerviCusco to receive medical treatment in the region. During the students’ trip to Peru, they were able to aid in this wonderful effort effort and learn more about the population of Cusco and, in the process, more about themselves.

This experience is unlike any available in the United States, where seemingly small healthcare services are often overlooked or under-appreciated. In Peru, healthcare is looked at as an act of beneficence rather than a necessity, and it is because of this point of view that students were provided the opportunity to show the heart of a servant while witnessing genuine gratitude and humility in the face of medical and economic adversity while caring for the citizens of Cusco.This medical mission trip set Freed-Hardeman nursing students apart by allowing them to provide care for those who are in great need both physically and spiritually. Traveling to Peru provided a valuable opportunity to focus on a community much different than their own, especially regarding different illnesses or disorders that are not present in the United States. They were able to see other cultures at work and minister to one of the most vulnerable populations in the world: children. While in Peru, the students had the opportunity to serve at a pediatric neurological hospital, taking care of children with several of the rarest diseases in the world.

This trip provided valuable experience in doing medical mission work in foreign countries. It will also gave the students the opportunity to see a clinical setting that does not have all of the resources that are available in the United States. Working with limited resources in Peru challenged their critical thinking skills, strengthened their nursing abilities, and expand their medical knowledge. This experience will be applied to each patient that they may encounter throughout their future careers, ultimately improving the quality of care that each patient receives.

In January 2017, nine FHU nursing students and two nursing faculty members traveled to Thomazeau, Haiti, for seven days to serve on a medical mission team with LiveBeyond.
Prior to the trip, the students spent months preparing a teaching project; learning about the Haitian culture, and third-world medicine; getting to know team members and obtaining passport and necessary vaccinations and medications for trip. While in Haiti, the students were introduced to poverty beyond anything they could have imagined. Through this poverty, the students were able to be the hands and feet of Jesus as they healed physical ailments and shared the story of the “Great Physician.” Students spent their mornings in a fast-paced medical clinic and their afternoons making house calls to those unable to come to the clinic.

Students were, most importantly, to learn these things:
Students were able to use the skills they learned in the previous semester including physical assessment, pharmacology, therapeutic communication, diagnostic reasoning, critical thinking and documentation to care for the Haitian people.

FACULTY: How did you see your students grow or change?
I saw the students gain confidence in their nursing skills and their ability to think critically through each medical scenario. I also saw my students grow in their spiritual walk with God as they were faced with a country stricken with open satanic worship and practices.

STUDENT: How did participating in the project benefit you?
Rebecca Neel: “Going to Haiti benefitted me in so many ways. I never imagined I would learn more in a third world country than I have at an American university about what it means to be a nurse. I learned how to minister to my patients’ physical needs, but more importantly, how to minister to their spiritual needs. Working in the LiveBeyond clinic allowed me to practice assessment techniques and to gain experience communicating with my patients. I also had the opportunity to hear several lectures from Dr. David Vanderpool regarding third-world problems such as clean water, HIV, and maternal mortality rates. Going to Haiti has made me a more compassionate person, and I will carry that quality into my nursing practice.

Meredith Goodman: “The trip to Haiti impacted me in ways I was not expecting. LiveBeyond is an awesome program that is truly empowering the people of Haiti. I was humbled by the citizens of Haiti and their living conditions; however, I learned so much about faith, love and service through the staff of LiveBeyond. I also learned so much from Mrs. Linda Hodges and Dr. Sarah Pierce. They showed us firsthand how to interact with patients and care for them. I feel more confident going into a clinical setting and interacting with patients because of this trip. I also feel more confident in how to assess patients and develop treatment plans for them. Most importantly, this trip made me grow closer to God and opened my eyes to ways I can bring more people to Him.”

The goal of this project was to expose students to biological topics such as diffusion, fermentation, metabolism, pH, plant biology, food source sustainability, muscle structure, blood viscosity, lipid transport, biomolecules, water, the scientific method and G protein coupled receptors in a novel way. To do this, students in BIO 110 explored these topics by performing experiments using the kitchen as a classroom and laboratory in the Fall 2016 semester. Student perception of learning gains in this course was assessed, and the results will be presented to the SENCER Summer Institute in 2017.

During most weeks, a short lecture was followed by activities that were planned for students on a weekly basis, which allowed students to experience various principles of biology on a deeper level. Students performed experiments and completed lab reports answering questions about their results. Students also kept a lab notebook. For the final project, students used the scientific method to “dissect a recipe.” This involved making a favorite recipe three times. First, a control was made with no changes. Then, two variables were tested. In one experiment, students made a change to an ingredient, and in another experiment, students made a changed the cooking method. Students then reported their findings to the class.

Student learning was positively impacted by this approach. Students reported making “moderate,“ “good” or “great” gains in all of the major concepts covered in the class on the assessment of learning gains. Student comments from the survey instrument are included below:

“It helped me learn hands-on, and I like that better than just hearing someone talk for a long time.”
“I can now relate my cooking in the kitchen to science and understand better/worse cooking methods for certain foods”
“I never liked biology in high school, but using cooking to show certain concepts made it easier and more fun to learn.”
“My understanding has changed. We took common biology principles and expanded on our knowledge by relating it to cooking.”
“My understanding of this subject has increased greatly.”
“The hands-on part of the class makes the student want to go back to class and learn more about biology, or at least I did.”
“Doing a lab right after our lecture was very helpful because it was easy to recall what we had just learned.”
“Through the cooking labs, I was able to recall concepts more quickly than if it had been a lecture-only class.”
“We used foods that tasted amazing and thinking back on those labs I can remember how the different taste in certain things was able to help me relate it to my biology notes.”
“The labs performed in this class helped me remember all of the key ideas. It was very beneficial!”

Faculty: How did you see your students grow or change?

This course was challenging and exciting to teach. It presented opportunities to introduce concepts that students were not familiar with (e.g. how emulsifications work) and attach it to concepts they were already well acquainted with (e.g. what mayonnaise looks like). In addition to learning principles of biology, students became more familiar with culinary terms and how to operate equipment, such as a stand mixer, in the kitchen.
Student: How did participating in the project benefit you?

Mary Emilee Lussier: “By having a cooking lab every day, I was able to understand the concepts taught in a more everyday lifestyle way. It made the concepts easier to remember and more fun to learn.”

Help-Portrait was founded by celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart and Kyle Chowning in 2008. Each December, photographers, hairstylists and makeup artists around the world find people in need and take, print and deliver portraits — free of charge.

FHU’s part in this project was to serve as a location of Help Portrait. The students drove a little less than a mile to Southern Oaks Assisted Living Center to take photographs of the residents Wednesday, Dec. 7. They photographed about 15 residents and had a wonderful visit with them. The project continued Dec. 9-11 in the campus studio. More than 30 families were photographed during that time. Once the photos were completed, prints and frames were purchased and delivered Dec. 22, by the faculty member responsible for the project.

Fifteen students, including one prospective photography student, gave their time and talent to photograph those in attendance.They were to assist in delivering photographs, but most had gone home for Christmas break by the time the prints arrived.

Students were, most importantly, to learn three things:
1. How to engage and photograph a photography client.
2. How to appreciate those who may not have as much as others.
3. How to converse/engage/appreciate the elderly.

Faculty: How did you see your students grow or change?
I saw our students walk into an assisted living center and move from an awkward gathering to a loving moment with some wonderful people who were so thankful to see young people. Students began to understand the power of photography and to appreciate that magical moment when a person stands in front of a camera and automatically smiles. That smile translated into affection and something that transcends the camera. This continued as family after family came to our studio to have their photo taken. As I delivered the photos, I gained an appreciation for my own blessings. Trailers and apartments housing large families were many times run down and dilapidated. When I knocked on some doors, I was greeted with harsh words until they recognized me and saw their photos. They were ALL so thankful and appreciative.

Student: How did participating in the project benefit you?

Prospective student Ellis Osborne: “One family stood in front of my camera and posed for a picture. Soon after, the wife said, ‘I have never had a family photograph or a personal photograph taken. This is really wonderful.’”

Recent Special Projects

In August 2016 FHU photography majors traveled to New York City where they learned from professionals at MILK STUDIOS located in the city’s artist-centered Chelsea neighborhood. The Engaged Learning Initiative (ELI) provided students enrolled in ART 299/399 Fashion Photography the opportunity to step outside of the classroom and experience the life of a professional photographer.

Eleven students participated in the one-week trip, which included class lectures and visits to the Guggenheim, Museum of Modern Art, China Town, Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, Times Square, NYC Subway System, B and H Photo and several other major locations.

In addition to spending 10 hours in the studio, students took portraits of strangers in Central Park and New York City models. They were given the opportunity to capture life on city streets and seek inspiration from New York museums, professional photographers and producers.

Each student presented a series of 20 images from each exercise along with a research paper about a famous photographer from a specific genre of photography. They also had to write a reflection paper about each exercise and how they dealt with each experience.

Faculty: How did you see your students grow or change?
“So many students come into our program lacking the confidence to have a conversation with a complete stranger. This trip allowed them to face the awkwardness of engaging someone, for the first time, face-to-face, to persuade them have their photograph taken. I saw several students gain more confidence not only in their ability to photograph, but also in their ability to interact with others. That skill is so important when managing your own photography business.”
Student: How did participating in the project benefit you?

Savannah McGraw: “The New York trip helped me to become a better photographer by teaching me that every single photograph you take should tell a story. When people see a picture, they should be able to feel the emotion or what it was like to be in that very moment. I had the absolute time of my life. What an amazing experience it was to walk the streets of New York with fellow photographers, taking in all of its people, buildings, music, lights and even smells. It was so fun getting to learn about photography while exploring with your friends.”

Abby Jones: “The understanding, training and maturity that I gained from this trip has and continues to affect my photography and my life significantly. I could not ask for better people to grow with, or for a better experience. I will take this trip in my heart wherever I go, and for the rest of my days.”
Josh Sells: “Friday was the best part of the entire trip. We got to shoot in MILK Studios with actual models, equipment and tech people. This was the day that I think I grew the most as a photographer. I learned a lot about what it would be like to shoot as a fashion photographer, which is what I’d really like to do one day. I also discovered that I’m actually pretty good at working with and befriending models. One of the top models, Clare Crawford, and I became best friends. Through my friendship with her, I have been able to make great contacts in the industry. This part of the trip was a huge self-esteem boost for me and gave me the confidence I needed for taking on my future career.”

In August 2016, a group of Freed-Hardeman University students participated in a sports marketing course that gave them the opportunity to gain real world experience.

The first week of the course was spent in the classroom learning how sport franchises operate as a business. The following week was spent visiting different sport venues and meeting with their marketing executives. The class took a weeklong field trip that included visits to Turner Field, Phillips Arena and the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, as well as Talladega Speedway in Alabama.
The course seeks to provide students a hands-on experience that equips them with skills they can use after they graduate.

Reflection on this Engaged Learning experience by professor Lee Hibbett:

“The first week of class was spent in the classroom laying the educational groundwork with lectures, group activities, exams, etc. The second week connected the material from week one with the application of that material in several real-world settings. We found ourselves not only observing sports marketing, but also being immersed in it. As an instructor, it was gratifying to watch the students enter Turner Field for the Atlanta Braves game, and get excited as they pointed to different promotions and exclaimed, ‘Look! Chick-fil-a and Coca Cola have branded space like we talked about in class!’ What had only been learned concepts and theories before, came to life as we engaged in activities like joining thousands of other fans doing the ‘tomahawk chop’ with the Chick-fil-a Cow, crossing the checkered finish line at Talladega in the FHU bus, and discussing the buzz and news coverage of the recently released Atlanta Hawks ‘All Emoji’ schedule with the social media manager who had created it. In addition to bridging the textbook with the real world, the experience also bridged FHU and our students with sports organizations and professionals in the field of sports marketing. Internships and even full-time employment possibilities have been enthusiastically offered to our students through these connections. Finally, it was exciting for me to build relationships with my students and watch them gain valuable insights by interacting with sports marketing professionals-insights I certainly could not have provided in the classroom.”

In July 2016, FHU students participated in the third FHU Abroad trip in Madrid since 2013. Excursions are a vital part of the immersion experience in Spain. Most of the excursions were guided tours, with one of the professors from the University of Madrid in attendance. Weekend excursions and day trips allowed for extended forays into the heart and soul of Spain. As a means of evaluation, students completed a reflective journal as part of the requirement for the immersion credit designated as SPA 367.

This group of students was very eager to experience all that they could in the time they were in Spain. Their comments on a daily basis were evidence to me that they were absorbing and analyzing a great deal about the culture and history of the setting.  Some of the group saw movies in Spanish, some attended a Spanish production of “The Lion King,” and one attended a concert by the Madrid Symphony featuring a young opera singer from Valencia. All the students commented about how much their language skills had improved, how much they had learned about Spain and Spanish culture, and how much it had changed their perspectives on many levels. I was impressed by their increasing level of transparency in our devotional talks on Sunday evenings. This was not only a journey of discovery about the larger world but also one of self-discovery. It was my pleasure to have been part of their journey.