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 2014 Service Learning Associates

Name: Solanlly Canas
Class: 2017
Major: Psychology
SLA History: First Year Experience Service Learning Class
Why you do service learning: service learning incorporates course material with helping the community. Students get encouraging knowledge that does not only benefit them but the community as well. It is a great experience to be able to use your knowledge to support others.  
Hobbies: dancing, zumba, hiking and writing 
Favorite Class: Introduction to theatre 

NameLaura Johnson
Class: 2014
Major/Minors: English major, concentrations in Literature and Cultural Studies and Teacher Education; Spanish and Educational Studies minors
SLA History:Student in EN 126 American Social Protest Literature, ED 200 Explorations in Education, ED 329 Philosophy of Education, and EN/W 339 Grant and Proposal Writing; SLA for EN 172 Literacy and Language and EN/W 339 Grant and Proposal Writing
Why do you do service learning: I believe service learning to be tremendously inspiring in that it shows students how the knowledge they gain from a course can directly and positively impact others and teaches the value of connecting their skills and interests with helping the greater community. These are both ideas I feel privileged to help students appreciate.
Hobbies: Reading, playing the piano, and spending time with family and friends
Favorite Class: EN 200 Edith Wharton & Her Circle with Dr. Emily Orlando


Name: Marie Matta
Class: 2015
Major: Politics major; Minors in English and Marketing
SLA History: ED 200 Explorations in Education
Why you do service learning: I believe that service learning allows students to broaden their horizons, and integrate in-classroom learning with hands on experience within an outside community. Service learning creates a dynamic where students learn from unique individuals, all the while contributing to the betterment of society in various ways.
Hobbies: I enjoy spending time with friends and family, writing, drawing, and meeting new people.
Favorite Class: Intermediate Arabic


Name: Jesus Nunez
Class: 2014
Major: Communication
Minor: Environmental Studies
SLA History: Took CO130: Mass Media & Society and ENW339: Grant & Proposal Writing. Will be an SLA for PJ398: Peace & Justice Capstone.
Why do you do service learning?: I feel that students students better appreciate what they learn in class by applying their knowledge, and having a reciprocal relationship with a service site.
Hobbies: Painting, Gardening, Bee Keeping, Hiking, doing LGBTQ advocacy through Alliance
Favorite Class: CO329 - Organizational Communication: Conflict


Name: Ashley Paholski
Class: 2016
Major: English/Pre-Law, concentration in Literature and Cultural Studies, minors is Mathematics and Education
SLA History: ED 200 Explorations in Education
Why do you do service learning: After taking my first service learning class, I had a completely new outlook on how to apply concepts learned inside the classroom to an outside setting, thus realizing how my future would be impacted by such a well developed hands-on experience. In choosing to be an SLA, I want to inspire other students to draw these connections and encourage them to make the best of their experience. The interaction the students gain through service learning is exceptionally valuable and I hope to be there as a guide/mentor throughout the course.
Hobbies: Soccer, Running, spending time with friends and family
Favorite Class: EN 351 Intro to Literary Theory


Name: Alan Pelaez-Lopez
Class: 2015
Major: Professional Writing and Sociology; Minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies
SLA History: Grant and Proposal Writing
Why you do service learning: Because I think that learning should be experienced outside the classroom as well. Being a college student is a significant privilege, so service learning opportunities allows students like my classmates and I to share our resources with our community.
Hobbies: Poetry, making jewelry, and eating!
Favorite Class: Caribbean Women Writers

Previous Service Learning Associates