The NSOCO Program (New Student Orientation to Community Outreach) is a great way to learn how to make connections. This program provides students with the opportunity to engage in direct service in the Salem community and Willamette Valley, explore various social justice issues, and meet other new students with similar interests. A typical day of NSOCO consists of improving the environment, feeding hungry families and reaching out to youth in need. Students participate in a unique tour of Willamette, get to know Salem better, and share evening social time with the other students in the Jump Start program. Participants build community with each other and the Salem area while living out Willamette University's motto, "Not unto ourselves alone are we born."
This past August, three ASP students participated in the NSOCO program at Willamette University. They have shared their reflections about their experiences below. Click on their names to read about their experiences.
American Studies Program (ASP) students in the American Studies I – Food Culture in the United States, taught by Willamette professor Jennifer Johns, along with the Applied English course, taught by professor Charisa Henckel, visited Willamette University’s Zena Forest and Farm on a class field trip in mid-September.
In this course, the students study regional differences in food production across the United States. They begin the semester with a comparison of the dominant industrial agricultural system with sustainable agricultural practices and revisit these concepts as they investigate food production in each region of the country. They will also make an analysis of traditional and contemporary American values, social institutions, and means of expression.
The students visited Zena Forest and Farm to gain a clear understanding of sustainable agricultural practices. At Zena, they observed many components of organic farming, such as drip irrigation, crop rotation, cover cropping and composting. They also got their hands dirty with some real farm work, harvesting Yukon Gold and Pink Fingerling potatoes.
Click here to see more photos of the farm.
Nine students participating in the American Studies Program had the opportunity to volunteer on August 26 at the Straub Environmental Center. The students pulled weeds and helped out in the community garden, They got a chance to taste some of the vegetables that were ripe!
They also helped work on an exciting art project. The center is creating a 3D mosaic mural. Students were able to create model male and female Chinook and Chum salmon from clay and paint them as well. The pieces will be part of the mural which will be dedicated on October 12.
The volunteer coordinators were great to work with and very helpful. Students had a great time and are invited to come back to the dedication in October.
Click here to see photos from the experience.