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Updated 10:00 AM February 19, 2007




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Rodriguez receives state community service honor

The State of Michigan's highest award for faculty and staff has been awarded to Maria Rodriguez, lecturer at the Residential College.

The Michigan Campus Compact (MCC) granted Rodriguez the award based on her contributions in service-learning and community service. The award recognizes her work with students to encourage involvement in community service or service-learning. She was nominated by Jeffrey Howard, associate director for service-learning at the Ginsberg Center.

For the past seven years, Rodriguez's students have actively been involved with summer migrant workers in Southeast Michigan. A passionate teacher who inspires students to make a difference in the migrant community and their own learning, Rodriguez's students developed a number of projects involving creative arts in the migrant camps and English as a Second Language (ESL) teaching modules on health issues.

One of those students was Nayana Dhavan who, with a grant from the Ginsberg Center, developed teaching modules for learning how to talk about health issues in English. "In order to talk about aches and pains to a doctor in English you need to know the body parts, some basic conversational vocabulary and how to reference time," Dhavan says.

With the encouragement and support of Rodriguez, Dhavan not only developed a handbook for ESL teachers but created all the necessary materials needed for the activities associated with the project, so the program can continue through other teachers.

The MCC promotes the education and commitment of Michigan college students to be civically engaged citizens, through creating and expanding academic, co-curricular and campus-wide opportunities for community service, service-learning and civic engagement.

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