CTL: Center for Teaching and Learning

Faculty Spotlight: Connecting Learning to Life

Through strong community partnerships and exploration of our region, instruction at LCSC fosters powerful links between classroom knowledge and personal experience. Here are a few of many examples on campus. If you would like to see a learning experience included on this page, please let us know by emailing the TLC Faculty in Residence, Angela Wartel.

Business Division

Dr. Brett Morris- Promoting leadership through role-play

Prof. Jenny Scott- Connecting learning to community nonprofit organizations

Prof. Jill Thomas-Jorgenson- Learning through simulations and role play

Humanities Division

Dr. Marlowe Daly-Galeano- Exploring Hells Canyon through an interdisciplinary lens.

Dr. Peter Remien, Prof. Nancy Lee- Painter, and Prof. Jeff Petersen- Exploring theater through the annual Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, OR 

Natural Sciences and Mathematics Division

Prof. Jeanette Gara- Considering impacts through the lens of interconnectedness

Dr. Liz Martin and Dr. Michael Edgehouse- Learning about local ecosystems through field experience

Social Sciences Division

Dr. Kerensa Allison- Connecting learning to life on an international level.

Dr. Amy Canfield- Spotlighting Women’s Activism in History

Dr. Rhett Diessner - Supporting our community by partnering with the Area Agency on Aging

Prof. Darci Graves- Connecting learning to service in Costa Rica

Dr. Eric Martin- Learning about history and culture through food

Dr. Amanda Van Lanen- Raising awareness of local history with the Nez Perce County Historical Society 


Dr. Kerensa Allison- Connecting learning to life on an international level.

Dr. Kerensa Allison offers students a unique Anthropology Field School (ANTH 489) experience in Ecuador. Students live with host families in Cuenca, have Spanish classes every morning, visit many museums and archaeological sites, participate in two service learning projects (in 2015, they painted and planted at the San Joaquin elementary school and cleared forest for a community center in Union Venecia), and they travel extensively throughout Ecuador to experience the amazing diversity of this culture.  The Anthropology Field School is offered every other year. The next class will be in the spring of 2017.


  • “I loved every moment of the experience.  I am impressed with the thought and care taken to make every detail perfect and educational.  Thank you so much for giving students this often once-in-a-life-time experience and opportunity for career and educational advancement.”
  •  “It was an awesome experience and I feel like I have grown personally and academically.  I encourage anyone that is serious about learning about a new culture in Latin American to take this course.”
  •  “I thought I liked Anthropology well enough to get a Masters in it, and I absolutely know so now.  I love the field work, attention to detail, and the challenges it provides.” 

Dr. Amy Canfield- Spotlighting Women’s Activism in History

Students in Dr. Canfield’s HIST 424: American Women’s History class in the fall of 2017 became curators of an exhibit featured at the Center for Arts and History from December 2017 through April 2018. The exhibit: Woman Redefined: Women’s Activism in History” told different parts of women’s activism in American history, ranging from women’s work in education to the suffrage movement to Civil Rights to the Women’s Marches of 2017. Students researched, designed, and curated the exhibit. They wrote the text for the panels, tracked down historical photographs, and found material culture items (such as buttons and posters from the Equal Rights Amendment movements of the 1970s). The students also planned an opening reception for the campus and the community. Students considered how history looks different when viewed from women’s perspectives and how women actively shaped their lives and the world around them, effecting political and social changes that we still feel today.

Amy Canfield

Dr. Rhett Diessner - Supporting our community by partnering with the Area Agency on Aging

Dr. Diessner describes his course- "For the last 10 years our course PSYC 415 Positive Psychology has paired with the Area Agency on Aging to make PSYC 415 a service learning course.  Dyads of students are paired with an elder in the local community who visit weekly for 10-12 weeks. The purpose of this is twofold: a) to provide the elder with an enhanced social experience, and b) to provide the students an opportunity to systematically learn from the wisdom of the elder and to unearth the gems of inner beauty in the elder."

Dr. Marlowe Daly-Galeano- Exploring Hells Canyon through an interdisciplinary lens.

Hci Montage

In ID 301A, Hells Canyon Institute, students use a variety of interdisciplinary lenses (scientific, historic, cultural, and artistic) to learn about Hells Canyon through on-campus meetings and a one-week field school in the canyon.  Students work collaboratively and individually to research different elements of this remote region.  Field school activities include learning Nez Perce stories and history, identifying plants in bloom, testing air or water samples, making art out of natural objects, and doing movement activities on the beach.  The course allows students to interact with college faculty from different disciplines and people from the National Parks System, the Forest Service, Idaho Fish and Game, and the Nature Conservancy.  Each semester students work together on a team service project, in which they strive to serve the canyon and the future generations who may come to experience it.  From planting trees to clearing the road to the Nature Conservancy’s Garden Creek Ranch, students have found that the service project develops their community within the class and helps them form meaningful, personal connections to Hells Canyon and the surrounding areas.

Prof. Jeanette Gara- Considering impacts through the lens of interconnectedness

For the second semester, Geology 120, Intro to Earth Systems traveled to Lower Granite Dam.  The Army Corps of Engineers ranger, Dawn Wadel, toured the group through the powerhouse, the lock, the spillway and fish sorting areas.  This experience allows students to consider the impact and management of dams through the lens of interconnected earth systems.


Prof. Darci Graves- Connecting learning to service in Costa Rica

Prof Graves describes her experiental learning experiences, "In August Darci Graves and Sheri Weistaner took ten students to San Jose, Costa Rica, as part of the SW-492 Diversity Abroad course. The purpose of this trip was to participate in a service-learning experience at a children's home. While in Costa Rica students spent four days facilitating a summer camp for 47 children who have been taken in and cared for at Hogar Casa de Pan. Summer camp activities included parachute games, bracelet making, craft activities, and one day a full blown kids carnival! Students also enjoyed singing songs and dancing with the kids every day. When students were not spending time with the children, they were volunteering their time to re-paint and fix up the playground at the facility. This experience allowed students to connect real world experience with classroom learning in topics such as childhood development, childhood trauma, international social work, poverty, and gentrification. In addition to our volunteer work, students had the opportunity to live with a host family and experience Costa Rican culture through dance and cooking classes, museum visits, and a daylong excursion to the beaches of Manuel Antonio. This course is open to all majors and we will be travelling to Costa Rica again over Spring Break of 2018. Please contact Professor Darci Graves if you are interested." 

SW Coastarica

Dr. Eric Martin- Learning about history and culture through food

According to Dr. Martin, "One reason that people enjoy history is because it provides an opportunity to experience another time and culture from the comfort of your living room. The same thing can happen through your kitchen. Since 2014, I have assigned the students in my Africa and the World course (HIST 333) a project in which they research and prepare an African food item for a class potluck. We do not worry about being historically correct, but instead make an effort to find dishes that look interesting that can be prepared with local ingredients.  Students come to class, explain what the dish is, where it is from, how they prepared it and any other information they can find about the dish such as, is it a comfort food or a holiday item. Then we simply come to class and enjoy the flavors of Africa. In the process students wind up at the local international markets, watching African cooking shows on Youtube, and exposing their families to new foods during the preparation. Some of the students have never cooked before and that alone seems like a good enough reason to keep this kind of activity in the classroom."

Eric African Food

Dr. Liz Martin and Dr. Michael Edgehouse- Learning about local ecosystems through field experience

Bio Montage2

A major component of BIOL 292 (Field Experience in Biology) is a week-long field trip where students visit different ecosystems throughout our region.  Destinations range from low elevation river canyons on the Grand Ronde to treeline forest communities in the Wallowa mountains.  At each site, students learn about the natural history of the area, how to identify regional plant and animal species, and how to collect meaningful biological data from the study sites.  Once back in the classroom, students process and analyze their data before reporting their findings in a paper.

Dr. Brett Morris- Promoting leadership through role-play

According to Dr. Morris:

"Students seldom make lasting steps towards critical thinking without cognitive and affective nudges. That’s why students in my classes often face the challenge of leading teams through accidents, business mishaps, and time shifts. It forces them to think differently and to use course concepts. Further, having fun while doing it increases their retention.

The simulations I build all include role-playing components for each student. For example, my BUS 101 students this semester had the opportunity to sell baby formula in Africa to experience how easy it is to create ethical dilemmas and unintended consequences. To their horror, they found themselves using negative practices like those that led to untold infant deaths. Later, they survived an airplane crash in the Amazon. While “traveling” as large corporate groups, partners, or individual proprietors, they faced the challenges of leadership consistent with their organizational type as they fought to keep their teams “alive”. The most recent simulation even involved a shift in the time/space continuum.

In the “Great Orange Marketing Simulation,” students faced a modern marketing challenge with a twist drawn from the late 1800s. It asked them to accept the reality of selling oranges at a rate comparable to historic, local gold rush prices. With inflation, that means between $50 and $150 per orange! This single change forced them to reevaluate the reality of how to sell produce, because an orange was no longer JUST an orange.

After each simulation, most students acknowledged benefits while also showing better scores in objective measures."


Dr. Peter Remien, Prof. Nancy Lee- Painter, and Prof. Jeff Petersen- Exploring theater through the annual Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, OR 

OSU Montage

Dr. Remien describes his course- "Humanities 320 is a 1-credit English/Theater class involving travel to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon, with travel taking place from Wednesday, September 21 to Saturday, September 24, 2016. This year, the trip will be led by myself, Dr. Peter Remien (Assistant Professor of English), with help from Nancy Lee-Painter (Associate Professor of Theater) and Adjunct Instructor Jeff Petersen. Nancy Lee-Painter and I originally developed the course in 2014. We are anticipating a group of approximately 20 students, many of which will be enrolled in my Fall 2016 Shakespeare class (English 320/Theater 322). Over the course of the long weekend, we will see four plays, take a backstage tour of the sets, and participate a question-and-answer session with an actor from the festival. We usually see two Shakespeare plays and two plays by other playwrights. This year we will be seeing Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Twelfth Night, a Gilbert and Sullivan musical The Yeomen of the Guard, and a world-premiere performance of a dramatic adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. 

The one-credit class enables students to attend the largest professional repertory theatre in the US—an opportunity that may otherwise not be available to them—and to learn about careers in acting, education, dramaturgy, tourism, design, and playwriting associated with this and similar festivals. Students also, of course, learn a lot about Shakespeare and his rich and fascinating plays. After the trip, students write a 4-5 page analytical essay critically reflecting on what they learned from the trip. The class has been generously funded by the LCSC Institutional Development Grant, the ASLCSC, and the Theater Activity Fund. The course has a $50.00 course fee and will be offered every fall semester."

Prof. Jenny Scott- Connecting learning to community nonprofit organizations

Prof. Scott describes her course- "The Nonprofit Management course (BUS 392) is a new Business Division elective developed and taught by Jenny Scott. In its first class, 17 students elected to take it in a fully online format, and 6 students chose to take it as a hybrid. In the hybrid format, class sessions often occurred off-campus at a variety of LC Valley nonprofit organizations where the CEO or Executive Director of the organization made a presentation on content the students were reading about that week in their assigned chapter. During the field trip “classes,” students actively engaged with the nonprofit leader and were given a challenge or opportunity for small group discussion toward the end of the session. The groups of students discussed the scenario and gave real-time recommendations to these professionals.

The nonprofits that hosted our class sessions this semester were:

  • Lewis Clark Valley Chamber of Commerce
  • Valley Vision
  • Beautiful Downtown Lewiston
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of the Lewis-Clark Valley
  • United Way
  • CrossPoint Alliance Church
  • Potlatch #1 Federal Credit Union

Topics shared by the nonprofit hosts included:

  • Board governance
  • Executive leadership
  • Capacity Building & Strategic Planning
  • Managing staff & volunteers
  • Marketing & Communications
  • The Follower as the Leader / Leading from the 2nd Chair
  • Financial Management

Students participating in this format of the course also completed individual experiential learning projects that they worked on for 10 weeks during the semester, serving local nonprofits."


Prof. Jill Thomas-Jorgenson- Learning through simulations and role play

According to Prof. Thomas-Jorgenson, “BUS 498 B, Senior Seminar II, allows student teams to act as managers or consultants (hypothetically) for companies publicly traded in the United States. Each class votes on a company. Spring semester 2017 finds one of the classes studying Panera Bread. Students work in groups of three-four members. Their projects start with research using business data bases the Lewis-Clark State College has access to. From the research they develop SWOT analyses, Internal, External and Strategic Factor considerations and determine a strategic opportunity designed to take the company forward. As a part of the project, they develop written reports and present their findings via oral presentations to the Business Division Faculty at the end of each semester. Businesses have told us that understanding the strategic management process, communicating clearly both in writing and orally, and being able to work successfully in teams is essential for our graduates. These considerations were weighed carefully and incorporated into the curriculum for the class.  Our Business Division began teaching BUS 498 B in this experiential manner in the Fall of 2011. Each semester we hear from former students who tell us that the class format helped them to obtain jobs, advance in their current positions, and that it also prepares them well for graduate school.”


Dr. Amanda Van Lanen- Raising awareness of local history with the Nez Perce County Historical Society

Dr. VanLanen describes her course- "Experiential learning is foundational to the study of Public History, so all of our HIST 300 courses involve some kind of student project that allows students to practice history in public. The projects change depending on what kind of need there is in the community or what opportunities are available in the semester the course is taught. Last fall, my students worked with the Nez Perce County Historical Society to develop exhibit plans. The historical society has a small staff and a small budget, so planning new exhibits is often something that gets neglected. The society has a room in the museum that they are hoping to use for rotating exhibits as part of their educational and community outreach mission. Students were divided into groups of 3-4. They were responsible for coming up with a topic, researching the exhibit, and identifying appropriate photographs and artifacts in the society's collection that could be displayed. Students then had to write the text for the exhibit, create a budget, and design the wall panels. The project gave the students valuable experience, and it gave the historical society five new exhibit plans that can be implemented in the future."