New service learning opportunity available to students

A group of students participated in a three-credit service learning opportunity this semester in a partnership between the Center for Health and Wellness Education, the College of Nursing and Villanova’s television station, WVTV.

Service learning is a process by which the community benefits from the skills and knowledge of the students and the students gain experience and knowledge in their specific subject areas while continuing to grow as citizens.

A team of faculty and staff, including Dr. Carol Weingarten of the College of Nursing; Stacy Andes and Kathryn Quinlan, director and assistant director of the Center for Health and Wellness Education, respectively; and faculty member and WVTV advisor Brandy Jericho-Beach, came together during the fall semester to create a multidisciplinary program for undergraduate students.

As part of their final semester of clinicals, a group of Villanova nursing students worked in conjunction with several international students from Oman to co-write a script concerning physical fitness and emotional wellness.

“I found the project to be a breath of fresh air because it allowed me the chance to remove myself from the environment of injections, vital signs and bed baths and use my creative side – an aspect that I feel quite often gets lost in the chaos of education,” nursing student Amy-Lauren Sheyer said.

“I loved that the playing field was equal, so to speak, in that we were all peers [both student and faculty/administration], and that I knew that at the end of the day my input and opinions actually mattered.”

A DVD based on a script provided by nursing students was created. This DVD addressed topics relevant to college undergraduates, particularly freshmen, such as homesickness, the importance of regular exercise and stress, both academic and personal.

Current freshman students provided interviews and testimonials about their experiences during their first year away from home.

The DVD premiered in the Connelly Center Cinema on March 27 at a red carpet event co-sponsored by the Student Nurses Association of Pennsylvania.

This collaboration for a health promotion project is the first of its kind in the United States and is now a model for future work at and beyond the University.