Office of Service Learning

Service Learning Associates

Housed in the Office of Service Learning, the Service Learning Associates (SLA) program engages 8 to 10 undergraduates each semester as student leaders to their peers in service-learning courses. Each associate works intensively with one professor to support a service-learning course which aligns with the associate's academic background and interests. The associates meet regularly with both faculty and fellow associates throughout the semester and attend professional development trainings facilitated by the Office of Service Learning.

The SLA program at Fairfield began in the spring semester of 2011. Past and current associates have had the opportunity to engage with professors and courses across academic fields, from education to information systems to economics. For more information about the SLA program or the application process, please contact Karen Parkinson, program coordinator.

Spring 2015 Service Learning Associates

osl_camp Name: Molly Camp
Class: 2016
Major: Psychology, Minors in Educational Studies and Peace and Justice Studies

SLA History: First Year Experience Service Learning Class and ED 200: Explorations in Education

Why you do service learning: With Service Learning courses, students are able apply what they learn in the classroom and use it to better the community. The idea of having a service experience within a class is what makes students grow inside and outside the classroom.

Hobbies: Spending time with friends and family, listening to music, and traveling

Favorite Class: PO115: Introduction to the Study of Peace and Justice with Professor Cassidy

Name: Solanlly Canas
Class: 2017
Major: Psychology, Minor(s): International Studies, Educational Studies

SLA History: I have been a SLA for 3 semesters.

Why you do service learning: Service Learning is a unique way to help others in need. As a SLA it is amazing to be able to help students see that they are able to make a difference by using their knowledge and skills to help people in need and it is also great to be able to support the most vulnerable individuals of our society.

Hobbies: Zumba, hiking, drawing

Favorite Class: Developmental Psychology


Name: Chloe Scherpa
Class: 2017
Major: English (Education and Women’s Studies minors)

SLA History: ED 329 Educational Philosophy with Dr. Kohli

Why you do service learning: I participate in service learning in order to become more involved with my community and enhance my experience with the education program here at Fairfield.

Hobbies: Rowing, running, reading

Favorite Class: African American Women’s Writers EN 263 with Dr. Garvey


Name: Ally Niccoli
Class: 2017
Major/Minors: English major, concentration in Teacher Education; Spanish and Educational Studies minors

SLA History: Student in ED 200 Exploration in Education, ED 329 Philosophy of Education, and ENW 290 Writing and Responding

Why do you do service learning: I love service learning because it is a great way to connect classroom learning with experience in a community. In my opinion, there is a huge difference between learning about something in a classroom and actually going out and experiencing it for yourself. This hands on experience is a great opportunity for students to learn and make a difference in a community. My favorite service learning experience was when I went on a spring break service trip to New Orleans with my ENW 290 class.

Hobbies: Scrapbooking, spending time with friends and family, traveling.

Favorite Class: ENW 290 Writing and Responding with Dr. Boquet


Name: Eileen Plaehn
Class: 2018
Major: Business

SLA History: First Year Experience Service Learning Class

Why you do service learning: My FYE class last year and the Jesuit values, that Fairfield University teaches, taught me a lot about myself and what I want to do in the future. Service learning enhances in-class teachings through experiential engagements. Service learning speaks to the principle men and women for others. I believe in the importance of learning others' needs and how to solve problems within the community.

Hobbies: Photography, singing, traveling, playing tennis

Favorite Class: EN 12

Previous Service Learning Associates