Associate Professor of Chemistry
Emmanuel challenges students to become critical thinkers, ethical decision makers, and contributing members of the local community and global society. For me, discovering ways to eliminate the separation between the campus and the community is essential to this goal. This is how the service learning course, "Chemistry of Boston Waterways" was born.
Most students think chemistry is done in a lab, but in "Chemistry of Boston Waterways" we use our neighborhood as the classroom. Positioned across the street from our campus, the Muddy River is an important characteristic of our local environment, as well as a relatively under-studied ecosystem. The course provides opportunities for students to conduct environmental research projects on the water quality of the river and evaluate the impact of man on the environment.
The service learning approach also allows students to develop civic skills and an understanding of how science relates to both global and local issues. With social justice as its root, service learning naturally combines the "life of the mind with habits of the heart."