project finds UNCP students in Washington
Womack confers with Renee Simmons
As a service-learning
project, Dr. Leslie Hossfeld's sociology class at
UNC Pembroke will go to Washington, D.C., on March 30.
losses in Robeson County is the issue the class will take to the nation's
lawmakers. The UNCP students are participating in a larger project,
organized by local community groups, called "Jobs for the Future."
One class member
summed up the mission to Washington.
"Our goal is
to keep jobs here and to help small businesses expand in our region,"
said UNCP sociology major Christina Pridgen of Hoke County. "We
will speak on behalf of displaced workers who have seen their jobs go
"I know people
in my community who have lost their jobs," Pridgen said. "It
affects the entire community."
Not only will the
UNCP group speak for displaced workers, they will ride with them to
Washington. Pridgen and 22 classmates organized the trip with help from
Dr. Hossfeld and the Center for Community Action, a Lumberton community
Four busses will
leave at 12:30 a.m. and return at 11 p.m. on the same day. The itinerary
includes visits with Congressmen, Dr. Hossfeld said.
"The big news
is that Congressman Mike McIntyre is behind this project with even greater
emphasis than before," Dr. Hossfeld said. "During our day
in Washington, we will deliver a Congressional briefing on job losses
at 2 p.m., followed by a press conference at 3 p.m."
Dr. Hossfeld will
speak at the briefing. The sociology professor, with assistance colleagues
at UNC Wilmington and North Carolina State University and UNCP students
in her class, provided research for the Jobs for the Future project.
my students in Research Methods conducted in-depth interviews with agency
representatives about the impact of job loss in Robeson County,"
she said. "This semester, my Community Development class has done
a brilliant job organizing the March 30 event by working closely with
the Center for Community Action and other groups in four phases - grant
writing, planning, publicity and community organizing."
is the practice of integrating community service into the classroom
to enhance student learning. Dr. Hossfeld said students apply what they
learn in class to real issues in the community.
students participate in field research by conducting in-depth interviews
with displaced workers," she said. "These students will have
the applied experience of community organizing during the first half
of the course, and then match their experiences with theory and other
case studies on community organizing during the second part of the semester."
Dr. Hossfeld said
students learn from experiences like this.
the organizing experiences and academic training these students receive
will benefit them in any job they choose, but, most importantly, it
will make them engaged members of their communities," she said.
"For myself, it helps me blur the boundaries between teaching,
research and service, the essence, I believe, of what being a sociologist
is all about."
And, Dr. Hossfeld
said, "It helps UNCP live up to its mission statement of being
part of community teaching and service."
Dr. Hossfeld's class recruit community volunteers to travel to Washington
on four busses (one bus is sponsored by UNCP's Student Government Association)
and raise funds to pay costs of the 24-hour sojourn.
To learn more about
the project, email firstname.lastname@example.org
or go to www.povertyeast.org/jobs/.
to University Newswire