Jessica Apolloni, PhD

Associate Professor of English

Community-Engaged Course Name: English 223 (Second-Year Writing): “Writing, Community, and Social Justice”
Community Partner: Peninsula SPCA, HELP, Inc., Hampton History Museum

Course Description: This course develops writing and research skills through community-based learning. Initial course readings and assignments detail how storytelling has the power to represent, connect, and create community. The class then concentrates on how students’ own writing and research can address social justice concerns in the Hampton Roads area working alongside community partners. Each community partner introduces their organization through co-taught classes with readings and discussions on relevant social justice topics. Student groups work with community partners to gather scholarly research on these topics, conduct interviews and surveys, and synthesize their findings to explain the value of each organization. In addition to providing research that benefits our community, students also develop critical thinking and diverse perspectives on course topics through written reflections.