As we welcome the start of 2018, the importance of community provides an entry point for me. In connecting to human life and promoting faith in action, people become true role models for society. Through community the qualities of committed people whose passion to serve is embodied through the heart—standard-bearers who put the knowledge they have into genuine community action. In community the “habits of the heart” are uncovered, recognizing one’s life and those who are part of it through public offerings and actions.
The manuscripts in this journal communicate what it means to be engaged in public service and actions that benefit other people. What it means to be attentive and live out a commitment to serving other people, perceiving challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. The pages of Volume 6 of Undergraduate Journal of Service Learning and Community-Based Research communicate something that is demonstrated through a genuine commitment to service—in the area of public or volunteer service to community considering such topics as homelessness, poverty, health, and environmental sustainability.
Volume 6 received 22 submissions from students in higher education institutions around the world. Of these, 8 essays were published. All of the authors revised their original submissions. The articles published in this volume represent research and reflections by a very gifted group of undergraduates.
All of the authors who submitted a piece to Undergraduate Journal of Service Learning and Community-Based Research worked closely with a faculty mentor on revising and editing their work. More than 10 faculty mentors worked with at least one submission and student author(s). This mentor-student relationship spanned time zones, institutional settings, and disciplinary boundaries. Faculty mentors dedicated countless hours to students they have never personally met. The faculty mentors’ work demonstrates their devotion to community engagement and student learning. This devotion is one that is unmatched and unwavering, and I thank all of the faculty mentors.
In addition, I want to acknowledge and thank everyone who helped to produce and support Volume 6 of Undergraduate Journal of Service Learning and Community-Based Research:
All of the students who submitted their writing to the journal;
All of the published writers who accepted feedback and worked diligently and professionally on their revisions;
The Undergraduate Journal of Service Learning and Community-Based Research editorial board and faculty mentors;
Editorial assistant Alexandria Yeager;
Faculty who encouraged their students to submit their work;
Jacqueline Cozma, webmaster at Pennsylvania State University, Berks;
Laurie Grobman, founding editor of Undergraduate Journal of Service Learning and Community-Based Research;
Bogdan Hoanca, Interim Dean, College of Business and Public Policy, University of Alaska Anchorage, for the financial support to the journal.
As the editor of Undergraduate Journal of Service Learning and Community-Based Research, I would like to dedicate this volume to the students who strive to make an impact on their community, having their heart and soul truly revealed in a life well-lived.
Christina L. McDowell, PhD
University of Alaska Anchorage