Service Learning

Fall 2017

A day of service on campus: 09/09/17

Dr. Ragone and her SPN 211 students (Ethan Clever, Bailey Slusser, Joshua Rosenberger, Bridget Finniff and Abby Stevens) hosted this fall a group of students served by the Migrant Education Program in Chambersburg. Thanks to Dr. Sean Cornell in the Geography department, the group could explore the campus farm and learn about sustainable agriculture. A group of alumni, some visiting for the occasion and some working for the program (Varquidia Rosario, Ilona Burd and Eric Mandell), joined in the fun of this beautiful day where much was learned by this multicultural group with children from Haiti, Mexico, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.

Service Learning SPN 211 oneService Learning SPN 211 two

Service Learning SPN 211 threeService Learning SPN 211 four

Another wonderful activity took place at the Harbor.  Over 20 students from various majors visited the Harbor in downtown Shippensburg to help with painting, organizing and boxing donated clothing and with cleaning the storage unit. The students were accompanied by Mrs. Diane Jefferson from the Multicultural Student Association and Dr. José Ricardo from the Modern Languages Department. Two Shippensburg alumni also participated. The Harbor is a half-way house for recovering addicts which also has an alcohol/smoking free bar open to all members of the community for social gathering and networking.



Dr. Mitaut was at the Shippensburg Public Library which opened its doors for the kickoff event of our weekly French Activities, a 6-week program aimed at introducing children from the community and their parents to French through games, songs, stories and coloring activities. We were kindly welcome by the Library Director Jody Cole and other library staff.
The team
SU students Maria Black, Elyse Keegan, Marisa Rhoads, and Ivan Soto-Velasquez; RA Leader Joey Jacobs; and alumni Mike Parker and Dr. Jodie Driver. 

Thank you to all who helped for their time, effort, and passion for giving back!

France 2017 3France 2017 4France 2017 5
France 2017 2

Events of the Spring 2017

Drs. Mitaut and Ragone had their annual service-learning trip in Haiti this January 2017.  For the consecutive year and under the auspices of the French Program, a double seminar with service-learning in the island nation was offered over the winter break, with courses taught in French or in English.  At the present, the endeavor is the completion of a dispensary for the village of Gros Mangle.  Four students as well as Mr. Jonas Celius, the Haitian facilitator for the project, helped with the construction.  The goal of thyear was to raise the roof of the building and level the terrain around it.  Mission accomplished!!




Events of Fall 2016

Dr. Ragone

Dr. Ragone led a group of seven Freshmen in an Academic Day service-learning activity on August 27th.  The group welcomed fifteen children attending the Migrant Workers Education Program in Chambersburg, PA.  The director of the program, Mr. Eric Mandell, accompanied the children with Ms. Ilona Burd, Shippensburg alumna presently working with Mr. Mandell.  Also present was Ms. Bianca Garcia, Spanish major, who helped with the event.

After the welcoming on campus, a question and answer session followed, introducing the visitors to Shippensburg University.  Dr. George Pomeroy, Professor of the Geography/Earth Science department, took then the group to Burd Run, where he explained to everyone to the ecology of streams and the conservation efforts done in Burd Run.  This presentation was fascinating to all.

After a picnic lunch on the lawn in front of Rowland Hall, the group went on a tour of campus--useful for both the visitors and the freshmen!  The day concluded with a visit at the Corn Festival to see the arts and crafts and enjoy some music.

Thank you to all who volunteered, helped and participated!!

Academic Day 2016  Academic Day 2016--2

Academic Day 2016--3  Academic Day 2016--4

Events of Spring 2016

Dr. Lesman

Dr. Lesman served as interpreter and faculty advisor to the Honors Program's  "Reach Out" Service Learning initiative during a weeklong trip to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in January. Working with the Caminos de la Enseñanza school, students led pedagogical workshops, taught English and Science lessons, took a group of children on a trip to the zoo, and learned about Dominican history and culture. The students raise funds year-round to fund the trip and purchase school supplies. To learn more about the program and how to get involved, visit

Hands Raised Viewing book

Group picture

Dr. Ragone

In January 2016, Dr. Ragone, with the help of Mr. Jonas Celius, led a group in Haiti to continue with Project Gros-Mangles.  The goal of this trip was to raise the walls of the future dispensary.  GOAL ACCOMPLISHED!!  Thanks to the efforts of the very dedicated students (Fallon Finnegan, Angela Davis Nana Sime, Ali Mowers, Laura Hilliard and Andrew Hutchinson) and despite the very rough conditions, the dispensary is on its way to be a reality!

Interested?  Contact Drs. Mitaut ( or Ragone (

Student Carrying Cement Block1 Student Carrying Cement Block2

Student carrying block3 Students building

Students carrying blocks  Students building2

Students building3 Carrying block

Events of Fall 2015

Dr.  Mitaut

On August 22, 2015 a nice group of dedicated SU students (Kaitlyn Andrews, Abbie Bugh, Halima Gbaguidi, Lara John, Samantha Justice, Cheryl Marisa Ngauss), as well as two students from the Shippensburg High school Honor Society (Audrey Goates and Emily Kennedy), volunteered their French skills for the “French Children’s Activities” program at the Shippensburg Public Library. Sysha Irot, Director of Youth Programs for Cumberland Valley, was our kind host and she rallied another wonderful Francophile, Lisa Turchi, to the project. This was a new program designed to introduce local children of all ages to language activities, with a double objective: increase literacy (as reading skills transfer over from English to French and vice versa) and develop familiarity with a foreign language (French in this instance). It is our hope to continue these activities throughout the semester on a weekly basis. The children who came were delightful and demonstrated a great deal of flexibility as they colored, sang, counted, played and listened to stories, all in French. Thank you to all who participated, volunteers, parents and children alike! We look forward to future play and fun activities in French!

Service learning children drawing service learning storybook reading

                              Audrey Goates showing colors and                                             Samantha Justice reading about how

                              animals in French.                                                                            animals sound in French.

service learning boy with truck  service learning girls reading together

                             Amy Diehl and Halima Gbaguidi showing                       Marisa Ngauss and Lara John reading

                            how to say one’s name in French                                       La Chenille qui avait très faim,

                           and a few other phrases.                                                       the French version of Eric Carle’s              

                                                                                                                                The Hungry Caterpillar.

service learning girls sitting

                                                     Emily Kennedy and Kaitlyn Andrews engaging in play activities in French.

Dr. Ragone

Children from the Migrant Education Program were sponsored again by Dr. Ragone for a visit on campus, as she had done in 2013 and 2014.  The purpose of the visit is to show these children what higher education has to offer and let them know how to get to university.  This year the children, originally from Peru, Mexico and Haiti, received first information about Shippensburg University.  They visited then the studios of SUTV were there were shown how to produce movies.  This activity was a success thanks to Dr. Kim Garris and her students in Communications/Journalism who wecomed the visitors.  A picnic on the lawn by the Modern Languages Department followed.  The day concluded with a visit to the football field were a scrimmage game was taking place.

Thank you too to Freshmen Jordan Hagy and Mary Flicker who were part of the welcoming team!

Service Learning A

Service Learning D  Service Learning C

Service Learning B  Service Learning E

Service Learning G  Service Learning F

Fall 2012 

The Modern Languages Department faculty is heavily involved in Service-learning projects and invites you to join them whenever you can. Two projects are in the works for the Spring 2013 semester, one in the Dominican Republic and the other in Haiti. Here are some photos of activities that took place in the Fall 2012 for Academic Day and were made possible thanks to the participation of incoming freshman.

Dr. Lesman

Since 2011, Dr. Lesman has worked with Reach Out: The Shippensburg University Honors Program's Literacy and Leadership Initiative in the Dominican Republic. Each year, students and faculty travel to Santo Domingo to implement new curricular ideas and work with teachers and students at the school. In 2013, the group supplemented their work at the Dominican school with a visit to a batey where Haitian migrants live, a tour of a university that specializes in teacher education, and an exploration of historical sites in Santo Domingo.













Dr. Blandine Mitaut

“Parlez-vous français?Literacy in the 21st Century: English and Beyond” 

The project took place in the context of the Franklin County Literacy Council Literacy Carnival organized each year in the Chambersburg Mall. 









Dr. José Ricardo

Beautifying the Chambersburg Hispanic-American Center 

A group of majors and minors in Spanish and Spanish Education helped improve CHAC new quarters.










Dr. Agnès Ragone

A Future at Shippensburg 

Twelve children in the Migrant Worker Educational Program in Franklin County spent the day at Shippensburg and received information about the University. The children visited the University Planetarium and cheered at a soccer scrimage game.