The Center for Community and Civic Engagement (CCCE) at The University of Southern Mississippi recently announced the first recipient of the Conville Service-Learning Development Award, a $2,000 grant for graduates of USM’s Faculty Fellow Seminar on Service-Learning to pursue new service-learning initiatives.
The 2016-17 award recipient is Dr. Charkarra Anderson-Lewis, associate professor in the Department of Public Health, who, as part of a three-semester course sequence for graduate students, will implement a Mobile Produce Market “Fresh Food on the Move Mississippi.” This program will bring mobile produce markets to people who would otherwise struggle to access and afford fresh fruits and vegetables. The produce will be offered in conjunction with fun and educational programming about healthy eating.
The need for a mobile market became clear during a needs assessment conducted by graduate students in Dr. Anderson-Lewis’ Community Organization course. Research showed there was a lack of grocery stores in many communities and that it could be difficult to buy affordable or good-quality fresh food. Graduate and undergraduate students, along with assistance and input from the community, will continue their work during courses this spring, summer and fall semesters.
“I am extremely excited to receive the Conville Service-Learning Development Award to implement a Mobile Produce Market “Fresh Food on the Move Mississippi,” said Anderson-Lewis. “Many people are not able to eat enough fresh fruits and vegetables because there are too few stores with good fresh produce in their neighborhoods and the prices are often times too high for people with limited means. I hope that this award will be the beginning of an initiative that will be able to serve our students and communities for many years to come.”
The Richard L. Conville and Mozella P. Conville Center for Community and Civic Engagement Fund for Excellence provides one $2,000 grant each year to past graduates of USM’s Faculty Fellow Seminar on Service-Learning for the purpose of developing or redesigning a service-learning class, conducting or developing community-engaged or service-learning research, collaborating on an inter-collegiate service-learning initiative, advancing and promoting service-learning at USM and integration service-learning into a college or department degree plan. The 2016-17 award will be the first of many granted to USM faculty and departments to advance service-learning at USM.
“Projects like the Mobile Produce Market are exactly what the Conville Development Award aims to fund,” said Christy Arrazattee, director of CCCE. “It’s an irreplaceable learning experience for USM students and an impactful program in our community.”
The Center for Community and Civic Engagement promotes community service and service-learning on The University of Southern Mississippi campus and throughout the Hattiesburg community. To learn more about the CCCE at Southern Miss, call 601.266.5074 or visit www.usm.edu/center-community-and-civic-engagement.