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International service learning focus of workshop

For three years, CSU Monterey Bay students have traveled to rural communities in the province of Leon, Spain. The students spend the month of June learning research methods of data collection and analysis and getting service learning experience.

The service learning involves working with the Leon chapter of the Red Cross in a variety of ways.

Mr. Ceferino Gil Benito and Mrs. Mercedes Babé of the Spanish Red Cross, their counterparts from Monterey County, students and faculty members are meeting on campus April 9 to evaluate the summer program and come up with ways to improve it.

The revised program will enable students to develop skills by working with the Monterey County Red Cross and then share those skills with their summer hosts in Spain. Then will also bring back to the local area skills they acquire during the summer.

From the Monterey County chapter, for example, students may learn how to prepare for disasters, and then share that information with volunteers in Spain. They will bring back with them what they learned about assisting the elderly during their month in Leon.

“This experience is a remarkable opportunity for students, community partners and faculty members to enact the best values of our academic community,” said Dr. Juan Gutierrez, director ofthe summer program.

Dr. Gutierrez has a great deal of experience with international programs. He represents CSUMB on the CSU Council for International Programs; led the university’s first international program, in Mexico, in 1996; has promoted exchange agreements with numerous universities in Latin America and Europe; and was resident director of the CSU international program in Spain from 2005 to 2007.

The university community is invited to participate in the workshop from 8 to 10 a.m., April 9, at the Service Learning Institute in Pacific Hall.

On April 10, students from last summer’s program will present a photography exhibit at 11:30 a.m. in the Student Center.

Learn about this year’s summer program in Spain.