Organizations convene at expo

SMU’s second Engaged Learning Expo took place Thursday in the Mack Ballroom of Umphrey Lee. The Expo hosted over 40 on- and off-campus organizations.

The purpose behind Engaged Learning is to involve students in internships, volunteer work and projects that will educate them outside the classroom. Susan Kress, director of Engaged Learning, came up with the idea of hosting an expo to showcase the possibilities available to SMU students.

“Engaged learning is a university-wide initiative that supports the idea that students learn beyond the classroom,” Kress said. “Within the classroom, students have a course catalog. The expo is like the course catalog for outside the classroom.”
The expo serves as a place where students with a project idea can come and make connections in the community. At the expo, students currently working on Engaged Learning projects were celebrated.

Fashion media and finance major Ashley Wali ’15 began her internship with Engaged Learning her first year at SMU. She is currently working on a project making kits for victims of domestic abuse. Wali’s project is one of 70 Engaged Learning Projects
for 2013.

Psychology major Addie White ’17 attended the expo because she hopes to start her own program at SMU for people with disabilities.

“The Engaged Learning Expo can help me get started,” White said. “I came here to
make connections.”

In addition to projects, the Expo also serves as a place to find volunteer and internship opportunities. Lori Hudson, volunteer resource director for Girls Inc., is grateful for the existing relationship it already has with SMU women but knows more volunteers can always be helpful.

“Of course we need volunteers, like homework helpers,” Hudson said. “But we also need interns for copy right, social media, and graphic design”.

Chrissie McBryde, senior outreach architect for Reading Partners, is excited for the networking opportunity provided by the expo.

“It’s a good opportunity for engaging students as volunteers and interns and to share what we do with the SMU campus,” McBryde said.

Freshman biology major Meghan Patel decided to attend to get information on different research and internship opportunities to be apart of.

“It’s difficult to get out there and find things to do so the expo makes it a lot easier,” Patel said.

The ability to provide students with these types of opportunities is why Kress decided to organize the expo.

“We want students to see the breath of possibilities available to them,” Kress said. “And for campus programs to see how they can connect with the community.”

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