For their outstanding work, MDC students from three Honors College psychology classes at North Campus received the first-ever Human Rights Ambassador Award from the International Solidarity for Human Rights (ISHR) foundation. Sponsored by the North Campus Route to Human Rights Committee, the award recognizes those who have educated the public about the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR). The award was presented by ISHR founders Devorah Sasha and Elizabeth Sánchez Vegas to the 64 students who worked in teams on the project. In keeping with the collaborative spirit of ISHR’s mission, the honor was bestowed collectively to the group, rather than to a single person or team. As a result of the students’ efforts, 25 community partners were engaged and more than 740 children and adolescents learned about UNDHR principles. The students completed a multifaceted, service learning project directed by Carola Pedreschi, a professor in the social sciences department at North Campus, with the support of MDC’s Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy and Earth Ethics Institute. As part of the cross-curricular community outreach project, the student teams researched and created original, developmentally appropriate lesson plans and didactic materials. They also practiced soft skills, such as public speaking and communication, to effectively connect with their audiences. After the presentations, many of the students wrote individual reflections and made videos documenting their experiences. “My collaborative teaching model is based on problem-based learning which welcomes student-professor exchange of ideas, development of critical thinking skills, creativity, understanding principles of sustainability and civic engagement,” said Pedreschi, who also serves as cochair of the Route to Human Rights committee. “The students’ work was beyond what I had dreamt and I always have the highest expectations for them.”
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