Service Learning


Welcome to the site for the Office of Service Learning at Lewis University.

Service Learning is deeply embedded in the Lewis University Mission. The Office of Service Learning (OSL) strives to build connections with and contribute to our local and global communities through service learning. The OSL staff also hopes to work with faculty to extend student learning through rich community service experiences which fulfill course objectives.

Through these web pages, we hope to offer insight into our programming as well as possible resources for enhancing understanding of service learning.

As the Office continues to grow, our goal is to provide faculty with varied and effective resources to support course revision and development. We will also continue to build community partnerships and increase our listings of community agencies that have worked with us or hope to do so.

Your input, suggestions and comments are immensely helpful to us as we try to make our Office an asset to Faculty, Students, Staff, and Community Partners alike. Please feel free to contact us and let us know how we might better serve you through this website and beyond.

Christie Billups, D.Min.


Christie Billups, D.Min.
Coordinator of Service Learning

Office of Service Learning
Leckrone Academic Resource Center
(815) 836-5829

Introduction from New Graduate Assistant

This past May, as my graduation from Lewis University quickly approached, I was faced with the harsh reality of having to move on. Concurrently, I recognized that I simply was not ready to leave this incredible institution. Lewis gave me so many fond memories and provided me with so many opportunities, such as travel study to Italy, a service trip to Tennessee to work with Habitat for Humanity, an internship in a field I am extremely passionate about, career exploration with the National Communication Association, and many others. I craved more. It was in that moment that I decided to apply to graduate school here and began looking into Graduate Assistantships (GA’s) after being advised to do so by a fellow Lewis alum.

Upon viewing the employment page on the Human Resources website, I was ecstatic to find a GA position available in the Office of Service Learning (OSL). During my undergraduate studies, I took multiple SL courses that positively affected my academic career. These rigorous courses allowed me to participate in a transformative process where the content of the course and the service learning activities addressed real community needs in partnership with vital community organizations. I was highly motivated to create quality work because my academic product truly mattered. On top of that, I gained real-world experience by meeting deadlines and interacting with clients. Without a doubt, these courses fueled a sense of responsibility beyond my individual needs and concerns. Furthermore, they contributed to what is now a life-long passion for service.

I am beyond excited to hold a GA position in the OSL so that I can share the fruitful experiences I obtained during my undergraduate years here at Lewis. I am also thrilled to continue my education at a school that I not only love deeply, but one that has dramatically helped shape me into the person I am today. I hope that my personal experience at this university with service learning courses will inspire and encourage current students to incorporate this transformative method of learning into their curricular, career and life choices.

Sarah Palya


Sarah Palya
Graduate Assistant to the Office of Service Learning
(815) 836-5023


Service Learning at Lewis.

Measure Your Year in Love- Heart Haven OutReach Volunteer Appreciation Video.

Promoting Transformation Through Service Learning Pedagogy: May Institute 2014 Presentation.

Students Voice Their Experiences

  • Service Learning

    Erin Cox

    Forest Preserve District of Will County (State and Local Government)

    "Personally, the sense of community that I felt each time I participated in the [service learning portion] is stronger than any other I’ve experienced. I was naturally apprehensive to mingle with the already-close volunteer group, but I was quickly welcomed into this elite group of dedicated volunteers…Each volunteer has such a pure and genuine passion for making a different, and the diversity in demographic was really quite refreshing to see..."

  • Service Learning

    Alec Koczka

    Kane County Forest Preserve (State and Local Government)

    "Doing this service learning project has taken me on an interesting path. It has made me a better, more appreciative person for the environment. The next time we are just sitting on the couch or texting bored out of our minds start thinking what could we do to become civically engaged. Our opportunity is waiting, get motivated and get into your community."

  • Carolyn Micetic

    Warren-Sharpe Community Center (Public Relations)

    "My service learning class this semester at Lewis was beyond amazing. I worked with a community center in Joliet. I learned so much about what having a real PR job is actually like. The real world experiences taught me way more than any other class I have had before. The part I liked the most was being able to help the community center with my knowledge of PR. I would highly recommend a service learning class to anyone who hasn't had one before."

  • Service Learning

    Nicole Krage

    Addison Community Switchboard (Public Relations)

    "The service learning component was such a great experience because not only was I able to strengthen my PR skills, but I did that while working with an organization that does great things for its community. It's nice to know that the work I did and the tools I created really matter. It was a wonderful opportunity to make a difference"