Service Learning and Community Engagement

This Research Exchange Group brings together people working in the health sciences and in other university disciplines and those who work in community organizations with an interest in health equity. Its goals are to uncover ways we can engage students in creative, meaningful interdisciplinary projects based on the principles of service learning and community-enagaged research.  The group was established to open a dialogue between academic departments and community groups in order to gain a deeper understanding of our mutual interests and the potential for improved partnerships and collaboration. The group is intended to become a catalyst for:

  • improving engagement between community organizations and the university with a focus on identifying and responding to community needs, and
  • identifying, increasing and improving community-responsive service learning and meaningful applied research opportunities for students at Memorial.

The group is co-convened by Dr. Jill Allison, Faculty of Medicine and Elayne Greeley, Partnership Broker with CCEPP.

Group Activities:

March 14, 2019 Ethical Research Engagement between Communities and Academia : Angela Power, and Janine Elliott, with Ally Jamieson

In her work with Choices for Youth, Ally Jamieson wants to bring an ethical research engagement framework to the collaboration between community and academics who seek to work together.  In response to this community call for engagement, Angela Power and Janine Elliott researched and co-authored a paper “Essential Voices and Research Choices: At Risk and Homeless Youth Research Guidelines. This talk will explore potential applications of ethics in research across contexts and methodologies, with particular consideration of intersections between community mental health values and research ethics. Ethics themes in recruitment, informed consent, participant benefits and risks, and confidentiality will frame discussions seeking to identify ways in which community mental health practitioners and researchers might collaborate to develop best human subjects ethics practices in community-based service delivery programs and system. | LINK TO SLIDESHOW

Opportunities at the NL Workforce Innovation Centre. The meeting will feature a presentation by Susanne Dawe, Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator at the NL Workforce Innovation Centre about the NLWIC's collaborative work in employment-- a key social determinant of health. The Workforce Innovation Centre, located at College of the North Atlantic’s Corner Brook campus, partners with business and community organizations to foster innovative approaches and create new opportunities to support the development of a skilled workforce.

ENGAGE & CONNECT | September, 2018 | In collaboration with Sam Fellows, a Master's in Public Health Practicum student, the group launched an online portal  to connect:

  • community, health system and government partners with departments and supportive resources at Memorial University
  • Memorial University faculty and students with community, health system, and government partners
  • students to service learning opportunities in the community

Check it out here:

CONSIDERATIONS FOR ENGAGEMENT | June, 2018| The June 20 meeting featured a report by Sam Fellows, MPH Practicum student, whose activities on behalf of the group included literature review on considerations for better engagement and developing an online portal to connect community and university partners. 

FOLLOW-UP FROM COMBINED EFFORTS WORKSHOP | March, 2018| This graphic was developed after the March 2018 meeting to show members the proposed timeline of activities for the group.

On October 23, 2017 | An interactive community-university workshop at the Cochrane Centre in downtown St. John’s to explore how the university and the community can combine efforts to promote meaningful community service that enriches the learning experience, teaches civic responsibility, and ultimately strengthens communities throughout Newfoundland & Labrador. This event was moderated by SLICE co-conveners Elayne Greeley, Partnership Broker with the Community Employment Collaboration and Dr. Jill Allison, Global Health Coordinator with Memorial’s Faculty of Medicine, together with Pablo Navarro and Rochelle Baker of the NL Centre for Applied Health Research. The workshop brought together 45 participants: faculty and students from multiple university disciplines, representatives from municipal and provincial government and the provincial health system, and people who work in community organizations, all of whom expressed a common interest in forging stronger partnerships to support health equity and social justice. The workshop fulfilled its objective: it built a solid framework for the group to continue exploring collaborative opportunities and approaches in the coming years to support more and better partnerships and to build genuine and meaningful engagement.

Workshop Report

About Service Learning

Service Learning refers to any teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, to teach civic responsibility, and to strengthen communities. (See Comprehensive Framework)  As the province's only university, Memorial is dedicated to encouraging and supporting community-engaged work and serving the public good, locally, nationally and internationally. Memorial University is, and always has been, home to students and staff who make community engagement a fundamental element of their research and teaching activities. They are responsive, collaborative and respectful of the needs and contributions of community, drawing on the knowledge and resources of everyone involved.

Enriched by community perspectives and expertise, Memorial is ultimately a stronger institution, a hub of knowledge and ideas that serve the greater community.


Newfoundland & Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000