CENTER FOR SERVICE LEARNING
It is a privilege to be associated with and to learn from three creative, visionary and courageous teachers—Robin Kodner,
Gene Myers, and Sheila Webb—who are teaching within and without the four walls of the classroom. Their teaching and learning
pedagogies are as inspiring as they are ordinary!
These three educators are clearly inspired by their craft of teaching, their students and the world around them.
They have created a richly rewarding and renewing feedback loop that includes the human experience and multiple voices as a way
to energize the classroom and extract maximum benefits from all stakeholders. They are also ordinary, because they do not
distinguish the student and faculty experience from the human experience. It seems obvious, but it is not always the case
in an “ivory tower” predisposed to intellectual isolationism. They encourage their students to follow the arc of experience,
from insight to failure and anywhere in between! In the words of Gene Meyer, “It is not a question of results but of doing
the right thing, and of being the kind of person we wish to be, and of enacting or furthering the kind of education and world
we can be proud of whether we succeed or not.”
I would add that results always follow from a commitment to a deeper sense of purpose, intellectual curiosity,
and to a world that works for everyone—the results just may not be what we expect. More questions may be raised, more
disappointments may ensue, more anger at injustice and inequity may arise, a sense of helplessness may descend. The
practice of civic engagement and service learning can provide the means and proficiencies for seeing, understanding and
acting in the world in a more integrated and ethical way.
Sheila, Gene and Robin are opening the spaces of discovery for Western students as they navigate the world as it is and
what they want it to be, a more just and peaceful planet. It is a privilege to share the same values with these teachers,
and with Western Washington University. They embrace the principles of civic engagement in a way that anchors us to the
heart of the Western and human experience. We thank you for your contributions, seen and unseen. Right now, we are seeing you!
"Everything that we see in our daily life is distorted by acquired habits…and a flood of ready-made images that are to the eye what prejudice is to the mind. To see without distortion takes courage."