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Pairing Student Development with Community-based Learning

Are your students ready for a community-based experience? Do they know how to interact professionally outside the classroom?

At this session participants had the opportunity to discuss student development theory and use case studies to talk about how student development and community-based learning come together in comfortable and challenging ways.

Marlene Kowalski-Braun, Assistant Vice Provost for Student Affairs, provided participants with methods to design in and out-of-class activities that align with student capabilities and developmental readiness. Participants learned about relevant student development theories and how to apply them in a community-based learning course, how to identify and define student learning and development objectives for community-based courses, and how to work with community partners to establish realistic expectations for the students engaged in a community-based learning experience. 

Presented by:

Marlene Kowalski-Braun

Marlene Kowalski-Braun

Marlene Kowalski-Braun

Marlene has worked in higher education for the past 20 years and began at GVSU in 1996, she is currently the Assistant Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Director of the Women’s Center.  Kowalski-Braun is involved in a variety of higher education associations. Within the National Student Personnel Association (NASPA), she served on the Center for Women and is the past chair of the National Knowledge Community Chair for Women in Student Affairs (WISA). Outside of NASPA, she was a member of the advisory council for Women’s Centers through the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) and is the outgoing state coordinator of the Michigan American Council on Education (ACE) Network for Women leaders in Higher Education. 

Marlene has received professional honors including the GVSU's Maxine Swanson and Commitment to Diversity Awards and the NASPA National Mid-Level Professional Award. In the community, she serves on the boards of Project Blueprint for United Way, ATHENA International and ATHENA Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, and BLEND (an outlet for young professionals of color to learn, network, grow and become engaged in the Grand Rapids community).

Marlene earned her bachelor’s degree at Central Michigan University, her master’s degree from Ball State University, and is currently working on her doctorate through Western Michigan University.