Featured Projects: EL Lab Workshops

Lessons from Beyond the Classroom

October 15, 2021
By Karen V. Lovett

"Professional skills," "getting out of our comfort zone," "public speaking," "finding my passion."

These notes, written on the dry erase board during our EL lab workshop today, summarized students feelings about the "real world" experiences they've had, such as education abroad, internships, and co-ops. The group of students who joined our workshop today reminded me once again of how transformative hands-on learning is for individuals in college who are figuring out what they like - and what they don't like.

Representing majors as diverse as sustainability, finance, and chemical engineering, these students shared how its not always easy to jump into a new learning opportunity and possibly risk feeling out of place. Their words are comforting especially for younger students, for whom the vast number of paths and possibilities presented to them may feel daunting.

College age students experience great pressure as they make choices about what they want to do and what comes next. Our EL lab workshops, facilitated by student leaders and EL ambassadors, guide students through a roadmap activity in which they draw a map of their experiences and lessons learned.

Every time we gather with a new group of students, I learn something new. The greatest joy I experience in my work is listening authentically to their voices and supporting them at whatever stage they are in their unique journeys.

For more information about EL Labs hosted by the Office of Experiential Learning, follow the link below.

EL Lab Workshops

Featured Projects: Experiential Learning Major Maps

Connecting Students with Experiential Opportunities

October 14, 2021
By Karen V. Lovett

Upperclassmen college students often tell me they wish they had known about a particular internship, research opportunity, or leadership program in their first or second year, rather than finding out about it when it's "too late."

"If I knew about this opportunity early on I would've gotten involved."

In response, the Office of Experiential Learning is working on a new "EL major maps" initiative with campus partners, including colleagues in the areas of advising, vocation, and career services. EL major maps are developmental maps that offer students suggestions for getting engaged in experiential learning throughout their time at the University.

With the help of my talented Graduate Assistant, we've developed a set of draft maps for different majors, including Marketing, Criminal Justice, English, and Marketing. Our hope is that these maps can evolve into tools that advisors can also utilize when helping students navigate EL opportunities.

As we refine these maps we'll keep you updated on the EL website (linked below). Stay tuned!

Image credit: Education Advisory Board

Featured Projects: Working towards Gender Equality at the University

Exploring Pathways and Priorities for Equality

By Karen V. Lovett
October 14 2021

As a member of the President's Commission on the Status of Women at the University of Dayton, I work with colleagues and leaders across campus to identify opportunities and recommendations to achieve greater gender equality. Our group advocates for inclusivity, diversity, and appreciation of intersectionality.

As a Latina I am especially proud to represent female minorities on campus.

On October 13, the Commission met to discuss priorities including promoting Women in leadership roles; fair and equitable work loads and salaries; and caregiver support and resources, among others.

Read more below about gender equity at UD and the wonderful initiatives taking place at our Women's Center.


Sharing Stories about Learning through Experience

Karen V Lovett
Director of Experiential Learning; Editor and Author; Professor; Cultural Anthropologist

About me: I'm a learner who is curious about human experience and interaction. I gather and share stories that focus on the important moments in our lives when we gain deeper insight into ourselves and the world.

As a cultural anthropologist of education I study peoples' reflections and narratives about learning and teaching. My academic work and research documents impactful and transformative education that occurs in diverse contexts, including higher education and the workplace settings.

I'm also a traveler; mother; animal rights advocate; coffee lover: recreational singer & figure skater; I like to run, take photos, dance; I try to live passionately and authentically.