University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Contact Us:

Wendy Volz Daniels
Clinical Associate Professor
Dept. of Social Work Field Programs
Helen Bader School of Social Welfare
Phone: 414-229-4695
Please place "New Orleans" in Subject Box

UWM in New Orleans: UWinteriM 2012

Social Work 291/591/791: UWinteriM Social Work Service Learning Course in New Orleans

August 29, 2011 marked the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.  The return and rebuilding has been slow for residents in the Lower 9th Ward who face particular challenges in their efforts to rebuild.  These issues present a teachable moment for students to learn how and in what ways race and other demographics influence the rebuilding efforts in New Orleans.

This course will take students to New Orleans for a combined research and service opportunity. Students will gain a personal understanding of how the processes of a democratic dialogue works with controversial and often difficult dialogues surrounding our response as a nation to residents in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina.  During their residency in New Orleans, students will engage in research which is interdisciplinary in scope and supports cross-cultural learning competency.  Ethnographic field methods will support students’ learning as they engage in a variety of participant observation activities that highlight New Orleans’ cultural contributions to the larger society. 

Students will have a concentrated focus in the Lower 9th Ward.  Service Learning placements with community partners in New Orleans will focus on return, restoration, relief, and recovery efforts.

Each student will conduct an individualized research project where he/she will conduct a critical inquiry into understanding the many dimensions of governmental, communal and personal responsibility which emerged in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  Students will also be engaged in service learning activities in social service agencies that serve 9th Ward residents.  The residency element of this course provides students with an exceptional opportunity to become acquainted with the city of New Orleans and its diverse populations.