Donald Roomes named as Community Engagement Educator of the Year.

Donald Roomes
Donald Roomes

Recognizing his outstanding contributions to service learning, Florida Campus Compact has named Donald Roomes as Community Engagement Educator for 2014. Roomes, senior instructor in Management and International Business at Florida International University (FIU), was honored at the organization’s awards gala on October 15, 2014 at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.

Florida Campus Compact advances the civic purposes of colleges and universities by deepening their ability to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. This annual award, open to educators at all public and private colleges and universities in Florida, recognizes outstanding individuals for their significant contributions in community engagement.

Roomes promotes service learning inside and outside the classroom.

Roomes assisted with collecting data from other service learning faculty and then worked with FIU’s Office of Engagement, which began a focused approach to integrate service learning into the curriculum three years ago.

In three of his courses in the College of Business, Roomes employs what he calls a “service learning pedagogy” to engage students, which is incorporated into team projects and individual reflection papers.

“In the Business Community Leadership course, for instance, one of my learning goals is to help students gain understanding of how to integrate personal growth, enhanced academic learning and civic learning through critical reflection,” he said. “I teach skills that enable citizens to promote civic and social responsibility and require students to reflect on their own learning from service engagement activities.”

This energetic instructor is one of two faculty advisors for Enactus, a business organization that works with academic advisors and business leaders to implement community improvement projects, both locally and globally. Launched at FIU in 2012, the chapter has led sustainable improvements through several projects including advancing financial literacy and helping projects in Colombia, Thailand and Haiti.

Recent projects by Enactus at FIU include co-sponsoring a soccer tournament in October, 2014 that raised $2,860 for the Autism & Music, an organization founded by Enactus member Patricia Kayser. Students are also participating in a beach clean-up project in Key Biscayne on November 15, 2014.

“Our members are also developing a student-led sustainability project as well as a ride-a-thon to encourage usage of the new bike lanes around campus,” Roomes said.

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