Lourdes Hall with Faithful to the Mission printed on it

Academic Service-Learning

The Office of Academic Service-Learning (AS-L) is available to serve you as we prepare to serve our communities virtually.  Please visit our virtual AS-L opportunities on GivePulse.  We look forward to working with all of you and wish you a happy, healthy semester.

Schedule AS-L Virtual Office Hours Visit our virtual AS-L opportunities on GivePulse AS-L Orientation

Academic Service-Learning Faculty Award 2020


Academic Service-Learning (AS-L) at St. John’s University is a classroom/ experiential site-based program that involves students in some form of required community service that benefits the common (public) good and uses service as a means of understanding course concepts. The service activity meets course objectives, and through reflection students examine issues pertaining to social justice and responsibility.

Areas of Service

  • Hunger/Homelessness
  • Healthcare
  • Education/Youth Services
  • Civic Engagement
  • Special Projects

Five Validating Factors of Academic Service-Learning

  1. Academic Service-Learning (AS-L) must be part of an academic course, with a designated number of service hours and specific learning objectives
  2. It must serve a real and existing need identified by the community agency
  3. It must be for course credit only; no financial reward for service
  4. There must be a reciprocal relationship – service reinforces learning and  learning strengthens service; benefits for both SJU students and the community site
  5. Academic Service-Learning must have a reflective component

Learn More About AS-L

Office of Academic Service-Learning
Vincentian Institute for Social Action

Virtual Office Hours:

Make an appointment here.

General Inquiry 
[email protected]

Lynn Stravino
[email protected]

Anna Zak 
Associate Director
[email protected]

Louis Saavedra
[email protected]


Fall 2020-Spring 2021

The calendar of AS-L programs for faculty is coming soon. 

Inside/Out Prison Exchange (SOC 2010) with Dr. Judith Ryder

Dr. Judith Ryder has helped to create a dynamic partnership between SJU and Queensboro State Prison with a course that brings our “outside” students together with those “inside” in order to gain a deep understanding of crime, justice and social inequality. This Academic Service-Learning (AS-L) project promotes the dignity and worth of all people, especially the poor and marginalized, which is at the heart of our SJU Mission. As part of the AS-L component of the course the students learned to build bridges from the inside out.

Photo of the graduation ceremony from the program.


Introduction to Hearing Science (CSD 1740) with Dr. Shruti Deshpande

Dr. Deshpande's students conducted Hearing Loss Awareness Workshops at the Immaculate Conception School with the 5th and 6th grade students. The group of 24 Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology majors in the department of Communication Sciences and Disorders participated in an Academic Service-Learning (AS-L) project during the Spring 2018 semester to spread awareness about hearing conservation and combat an increase in hearing loss among young people due to the rise of smartphone technology. St. John’s students taught children about the anatomy and physiology behind hearing, enlightened the students on the impact of hearing loss on speech perception and quality of life, as well as on the effects of noise on hearing conservation. Read more about this event here.Read more about Dr. Deshpande's research presentation here.

A student delivering a portion of the workshop at the Immaculate Conception School.


Multidisciplinary STEM AS-L Project (Scientific Inquiry 1000C; Chemistry 1321L & 1323L; Calculus 11730; Physics 1940)

A 100-student cohort enrolled in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related classes collaborated on making solar cells that power cell phones and computers. Students who participated in this project merged STEM and service readiness in an Academic Service-Learning (AS-L) activity. The students learned the basic skills necessary to create solar-powered cell phone chargers and then constructed them. The students then worked in groups to test and package the chargers, created an instruction sheet, and a final video reflection. This project provided students a research experience while serving our greater community to increase student retention through a collaborative effort and demonstrate the value of STEM to improve the human condition. The solar cells were sent to Escuela Botijas #1, in Orocovis Puerto Rico, a school attended by 200 children grades K- 9. Click here to view the news clip and here to read the magazine article. 

Students in Puerto Rico holding the solar chargers.


Management of Pediatric Dysphagia (CSD 341) with Dr. Nancy Colodny

Dr. Colodny’s Management of Pediatric Dysphagia class traveled to Antigua, Guatemala to serve medically fragile children with cleft lips, cleft palates, cerebral palsy, and other medical comorbidities whom have difficulty swallowing.  The group aimed to assist in making appropriate diet recommendations, appropriate bottle flow and spoon sizes, and positioning adjustments to ensure safe and adequate nutrition while reducing the risk of aspiration. Additionally, Dr. Colodny held workshops to educate the staff members at the facilities on the safe and appropriate feeding techniques that the group continued to implement.This year, marked the 10th year since Dr. Colodny began bringing her students to serve in Guatemala. Dr. Colodny's commitment and dedication to service is valued by all at St. John's University and of course by our community partner in Guatemala. Click here to view the Summer 2017 program video. 

A group photo of student's and Dr. Colodny in Guatelmala.


Tobin College of Business Management Project (MGT 2301 and MGT 4329)

Students in Sophomore and Senior level Management courses in the Tobin College of Business work with one community service site per semester; based on an organizational need identified by the site at the beginning of the semester (e.g. Human Resource issues, client retention, and organizational growth), the sophomore students propose solutions in the form of a managrment plan.  The following semester the senior students continue working with that organization to develop a short term strategic plan to move forward or implement some of the  recommendations proposed by the sophomores.  To date the students have worked with organizations Life of Hope, National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, The Variety Boys and Girls Club, Northshore Learning Center, YWCA of Queens, Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, Ronald McDonald House of New York, Ortlieb Foundation, New Life Community Development Corporation and Momma’s House to name a few.

Students presenting their management solutions to the client.


Copywriting II (ADV 3301) with Prof. Neil Feinstein

Students in Prof. Feinstein’s Copywriting II course create unique electronic advertising portfolios for a different non-profit client each semester. The class has worked with such organizations as City Harvest, Ronald McDonald House of NY, St. Mary's Children's Hospital, Habitat for Humanity etc. The non-profit client walks away with a variety of electronic advertising portfolios to use in their future marketing/advertising campaigns.  

Student presenting his advertising portfolio in front of classmates, Prof. Feinstein and the client.


Principles of Marketing (MKT 2301) & Marketing of Financial Service (MKT 3321) with Prof. Maggiore

Prof. Maggiore’s Principles of Marketing classes and Marketing of Financial Service class worked on a marketing and development plan for Mission Take Heart, Life of Hope and Our Lady of Blessed Sacrament Catholic School. At the end of the semester each organization attended student presentations and received unique marketing and development plans ready for implementation. Life of Hope, one of the community partners - is a  non-profit organization that supports immigrants in the Central Brooklyn community co-founded by Porez Luxama an alumnus of St. John's University who took the Vincentian Mission to heart and is serving his community even long after graduation.

A group photo of students in Prof. Maggiore's class posing with a heart symbol made with their hands, together with Soha Sidhom from Mission Take Heart and Anna Zak from AS-L.