Professor Freed is a relatively new professor here at CHS and you can often catch her teaching one of her psychology classes or in her office. We asked her about her experience with the CHS community thus far and how it has compared to other universities or colleges she has taught at. Dr. Freed shared how she liked the level of interaction between the social sciences and natural science here. As future healthcare providers, students should not only focus on natural sciences, such as biology and chemistry, but also understand how important social sciences are, such as psychology and service learning. To Dr. Freed, service learning is the process of expanding your mindset with hands-on experience in your community. While it is easy to go through the motions of service, taking responsibility and engaging with your community is what we should all aim to do to better serve each other.
We also had the opportunity to interview a student at CNU: Evan Chan. Evan is a third year here and he discussed what service learning meant to him. Service Learning is not just about helping or serving others, that’s just volunteering. The lessons and experiences learned while serving your community are vital in understanding how you will implement it is just as important as the act of serving. Evan describes his experience with the CHS community as relatively positive. One thing that Evan mentioned about the CHS community, as ironic as it sounds, is how the CHS community all have the same unique trait. This trait being how all the people within CHS have a goal of going into the healthcare field. As a specialist school, most of the students at CNU have the same goal and it gives a sense of comradery and a sense of community.
It is vital to understand that when we are serving our community by offering resources, we are not operating from a position of power. We need to see ourselves as equal so both parties are able to learn and expand on their skill set. This experience can provide an opportunity for students to begin understanding where their future patients may be coming from. Not only should the individuals’ physical health be considered, but also their emotional and social wellbeing. We should all aim to have a positive impact on our community, and one way Dr. Freed contributes to her community’s wellness is by donating clothes. Rather than just throwing them away, she makes sure they are clean and mended. This action may seem simple, but it is an example of how small actions can have large impacts. Take the time to reflect on these actions and see how you’d like to make a change!