What our Students are Saying about their Experiences

Lacey Lott, Applied Psychology/Communication Arts & Sciences, 2012:

"Working on the Jewish history book was truly the highlight of my undergraduate experience. I was honored to write the testimonies of Holocaust survivors. While working on the book, I learned the story of my hometown and the hard-working people who established it. The project opened doors for me I never would have imagined sitting in class the first day; after working on the testimonies, I spent my summer as an intern for the Jewish Federation of Reading. Without our public scholarship, this treasured experience never would have happened. Through our community-based learning project, I met remarkable classmates, faculty, and community members whose influence will remain with me far beyond my college years."

Jimmy Thelusca, former Berks student currently attending The Smeal College of Business at The Pennsylvania State University:

"Learning outside of the classroom gives students a different educational experience. It allowed me to apply what I learned in class into the real world, while learning new concepts at the same time. Service learning was interesting and it gave me a different perspective on people economically. While volunteering for Friend, Inc., I felt like I was of value to their activities. In addition to working in the food pantry, I contributed to FriendFest by helping to make sure everything was set up and prepared before the festival began. Contributing to Friend, Inc. made me realize that I wasn't doing enough to help in my community. In turn, it has encouraged me to participate in volunteering opportunities that will benefit the less fortunate of my community in the future."

Megan Christel, majoring in Communications 

"By completing the Pagoda Project, I received a lot of new information about the historical context, as well as a new appreciation for the City of Reading. I have lived here my whole life, so I think it is very important to understand the history of the community I grew up in. The Pagoda Project gave me that sense of pride through the acquisition of knowledge and recognition of the place that I call home."

Britany Maack, Communications Arts and Sciences, 2012:

"Producing a photographic history of the Berks County Jewish community was an unsurpassable educational experience. I was able to meet the local Jewish community, decipher their stories, and create an overarching narrative of the Berks County Jewish community. This experience has been enriching in many ways and it has made a wonderful discussion piece in internship interviews. Culminating my undergraduate experience with a project like this is an extremely rare opportunity that I consider myself lucky to be a part of."

Britni Phillips, B.A. in Professional Writing, May 2010:

"I found the "Writing Latino Local History" community-based undergraduate research course valuable while I was enrolled, but I found it even more valuable after completing the course! A lot of the information and ideas we discussed in class were put to use in other areas. I have applied our readings to other papers, I have come up with innovative research questions, and my experiences from CBUR even provided me with a springboard into graduate school!

Community-based research has only recently been implemented at an undergraduate research level, and I am thankful that I had the opportunity to gain knowledge, understanding, and experience in an area that is so important. Most graduate programs have a firm foundation in research, and the CBUR course prepared me with a basis of research experience, leadership experience, and community involvement. If I could, I would take the class five more times ? and I guarantee I would learn something new, intriguing, and useful every time!" 

Jessica Didow, B.A. in Professional Writing, May 2005:

cover of book Woven With Words

"Working on the African American history book as an undergraduate has been a very valuable experience for me. Not only did it increase my knowledge of African American culture in our area, it also gave my classmates and me the opportunity to present our research at the Pennsylvania Historical Museum Commission and has been the basis for my graduate research as well. Additionally, I have forged new friendships and have been presented with amazing opportunities that are a direct result of my work on this project."