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Workshops offered by the VT Engage team

Our team offers workshops and presentations by request to the Virginia Tech and New River Valley communities. These offerings include topics around leadership, service learning, and civic engagement, as well as other passion areas from team members.

If you are interested in a presentation or workshop around topic on this list, please contact us. We are also happy to talk to you about designing something around a topic not on this list. Contact our team at or 540-231-9798.

Using Breakaway’s Active Citizen Continuum, participants will reflect on their past service experiences using different reflection techniques they can apply to both their past and future service experiences. Participants will consider different methods for addressing social problems, including charity work, volunteerism, advocacy, activism, and justice.
Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) is a strategy for sustainable, community-driven development that focuses on how to leverage and uplift existing community assets versus framing community issues as “deficits” and “problems”. This presentation includes a comparison of ABCD to traditional community development as well as ABCD’s strengths, challenges, and guiding principles.

This Campus Kitchen initiative works with the New River Valley Agency on Aging’s Meals on Wheels initiative to provide prepared dry meals for the agency’s clients. These meals require only adding hot water, and are easily stored for later use. During a meal packing event, participants learn about the Campus Kitchen program and food security work in our region as they assemble the ingredients for dry meals.

The goal of this session is to engage participants in thinking about how the way they communicate about service-learning work has the power to breakdown stereotypes about the "helping" industry, volunteerism, and service in vulnerable communities. This session will cover ethical photography, particularly asking students to consider how their identities, power, privilege influences the type of photos they take and share on trips. The session will also discuss how to communicate in a more nuanced way about service-learning, including moving away from "savior" language and over-promising the impact of service experiences.
Through this session, faculty will learn about the fundamental components of service learning and learn how to support students in the application of the course curriculum to real-life societal issues. Participants will consider different models of service learning, including traditional service learning, Mitchell’s model of Critical Service Learning, and liberatory service learning. Additionally, participants will learn about VT Engage’s resources to support faculty in developing or redeveloping their courses for greater engagement and impact.
Can service learning be harmful to communities? How are we listening to communities? How are we preparing our students for living a life that embraces Ut Prosim? This presentation will share how to implement responsible service learning in a large classroom format. It will engage students in conversation about what service means to them, how to connect to communities throughout their time at Virginia Tech through their organizations, classrooms, and friends, and it will encourage them to continue to consider how they will connect to communities after they leave college.
This presentation focuses on how to build lasting relationships with community partners with the goal of creating social change. Participants will learn about how to develop community-driven projects as well as how focusing on community assets rather than a community’s “problems” can create stronger partnerships. Participants will discuss how the trend in service of volunteers abandoning projects harms marginalized communities.
Through an interactive systems thinking activity, participants will think through the complexities of social issues, how those issues intertwine with one another, and what the root causes of social issues are. Participants will also be challenged to consider their own privileges and power as they consider what their role is in creating and resolving social issues. Additionally, participants will consider Seemiller’s Student Leadership Competencies and how they can leverage these competencies to become leaders in their respective communities.