Dr. JoAnn Phillion receives Purdue Service-Learning Award for Honduras study abroad program.

Dr. JoAnn Phillion, Professor of Curriculum Studies in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Purdue University’s College of Education, recently received a Purdue Engagement Award for her work as a Service-Learning Fellow. The award recognized Dr. Phillion’s work coordinating the  College of Education Honduras study abroad program. The Honduras study abroad program is the longest running study abroad program offered in Education, with more than 200 students participating since 2003.

Dr Phillion says, “I feel that what is unique about the Honduras Study Abroad Program is the reciprocity that has been the foundation of the program since its inception. Over the years we have developed strong, mutually beneficial relationships with the communities, schools and people we work with in Zamorano.”

“Building on prior years when College of Education faculty helped develop the curriculum in the small bilingual school we visit each year, for 17 years Purdue undergraduates have been able to have a field experience focused on goals of social justice, service learning and global outreach. They have learned from community members about the issues and concerns faced by families and students and the role of education in reaching for a better future.”

She says that students have had the opportunity to visit rural schools and engage in service-learning projects focused on community needs (such as planting fruit trees, developing oral health projects, using art for communication across languages and cultures), and in turn, four Honduran teachers have come to the College of Education and received their PhDs.

Dr. Phillion plans on using her grants and scholarships to continue her documentation of these experiences and engaging in research with graduate students. While these outcomes are important, Dr. Phillion thinks that the real gifts of the program have been the long-term relationships that continue to flourish to this day.

Under the leadership of Dr. Phillion, Purdue students work directly with rural schools, teachers, families, and communities. The students also take part in service-learning projects that are co-designed with community members in Honduras based on the community’s identified needs.

Dr. Phillion has engaged in research on the program and the participants since 2006, focusing primarily on the preparation of socially aware educators, and the roles that the concepts of service and service-learning play in that preparation.

Learn more about Dr. JoAnn Phillion: https://www.education.purdue.edu/faculty-profiles/name/joann-phillion/

Learn more about the Honduras Study Abroad program: https://www.education.purdue.edu/undergraduate-students/study-abroad/honduras/

Learn more about the Service-Learning Award: https://www.purdue.edu/engagement/engage/awards/index.php
Source: Dr. JoAnn Phillion, phillion@purdue.edu, (765) 494-2352

Writer: Kathryn Elisabeth Cockerill, kcockeri@purdue.edu