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Redefine: Serving Locally, Connecting Globally

Students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the global conceptualization of community service, comparing and contrasting across cultures. This is done thematically through partnership between OACS, ISSS, and the Nashville Food Project. Students will serve with a non-profit organization that is delivering real impact in Nashville through its mission of cultivating community and alleviating hunger. This means that global conceptualizations of community service are explored through the twin themes of hunger alleviation and community cultivation with the additional layers of local/global relationships and friendship building. Undergraduate and graduate students from all disciplines are encouraged to apply.



Marketing poster for the Redefine program outlining purpose, community partners, and application due date (December 6). Additional details for the program can be found below.

Redefine consists of four seminars supervised by an expert OACS mentor in service-learning, community development and international student engagement. The seminars provide a foundation for academic exploration of service-learning from the perspectives of the community, the non-profit sector, the student and the university. Seminars are complemented by community service opportunities at the Nashville Food Project. International and American students are encouraged to sign-up, as OACS seeks to carefully create a diverse mix of students who will engage in cross-cultural dialogue and experiences centered on community development and social justice while forming friendships.


Students in the Nashville Food Project garden

Learning Outcomes

The following learning outcomes reflect aspects of the program that students are expected to immerse in and learn from. Critical engagement around the meaning of “service” from different cultural perspectives will be highlighted and engagement between the student and the Nashville Food Project will be paramount.

  • Increase critical thinking and reflection about service and develop an understanding of its meanings and impact locally and globally.
  • Foster new friendships with people from diverse countries.
  • Understand and value differing perspectives.

Students should develop a critical understanding of:

  • The relationship between service and social justice.
  • The systemic issues driving the need for the Nashville Food Project and an awareness of some of the inherent policy implications.
  • Social justice issues which surface at the Nashville Food Project.
Students in the Nashville Food Project kitchen

Students in the Nashville Food Project kitchen


Applications are now closed for 2017. All applicants must have schedule availability on Mondays 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm (for seminars) and Saturday mornings (for service).

There will be four seminars interspersed throughout the spring semester, beginning mid-January. Students will also participate in two meal service sessions for community members in East Nashville, and three Saturday service events in conjunction with the Nashville Food Project. There is no cost to participate in Redefine.

Please read last year’s assessment report to learn more about the program. Redefine 2015-2016 Asessment Report

For more information contact Dave Brown at

Students in the Trinity United Methodist kitchen

Students in the Trinity United Methodist kitchen