Hiram College Fall 2011 : Page 23

with faculty to organize a charity soccer game, which will charge a small admission price and include basket raffles and other activi-ties to raise money for relief. At Hiram, each club might be issued a challenge to think of ways to generate funds for the organization as well. She also hopes to host a collaborative fundraiser during spring semester, bringing students and faculty from each participating school together. Jotte notes that she would have been unable to take her ideas to this level had it not been for the overwhelming support she has received from faculty members at Hiram and at other institutions. “Everyone has been fantastic. I have had so much help, it’s unbeliev-able. I wouldn’t be talking to you if it weren’t for the people who believed in what I was doing.” Instead of learning about philanthropy, ethics, or entrepreneurship within the borders of a classroom, she is taking those principles and applying them to a very real issue in order to make a change. Even at 19, Jotte is taking her intimate learning experience and extending her boundaries to a global reach. She feels she is making a difference. And she’s not likely to stop anytime soon. After Hiram, she plans to go into Case Western Reserve University’s water engineering pro-gram. She hopes to return to Ethiopia and improve the education and health of her country. Her involvement in the project has truly been a transformative learning experience. Her involvement personifies the goals of civic engagement at Hiram College: awareness, reflection and action. Her project intends to create awareness for ongoing issues in eastern Africa; encourage students to reflect upon the luxuries with which they have been bestowed; and create a means for the community and the world to take action. “I feel no guilt when I eat food now. I feel like I’m doing everything in my power to make things right.” Over the summer, several Hiram students got hands-on learning in their disciplines by developing independent projects. These projects were supervised by faculty members, and the students presented their findings at the Celebration of Research event in September. Among the event’s participants was senior physics major Pyie Phyo Aung who stated, “Since both industries and graduate schools pay at-tention to students’ research experiences, my research is a big portion of my post-undergraduate plan.” Aung and the rest of the students who completed independent research developed their senses of their own interests and established the kind of skills that will help them to succeed where a simple in-class grade won’t cut it. Cara Battaglia ’12 , Allison Fox ’13 and Amy Morton ’13 hope to spread autism awareness and understanding this year in their Exploration of Disease by Performance: Autism course. Taught by Brittany Jackson ’04 , the course aims to instill the three students with a more complex and fuller understanding of the disease so that they can share their knowledge with their community. The course is more of a collaborative project than an academic class. The students read several fictional and nonfictional works about autism and discuss the disease in their group to get a better grasp on what it’s all about. The fall 2011 semester concluded with the students writing a performance piece reflecting their newfound knowledge. That piece will be performed in several Northeast Ohio locations March 1-11, 2012. www.hiram.edu/diseasebyperformance FALL 2011 23

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