NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Hospitality students in Stephen F. Austin State University’s James I. Perkins College of Education volunteered with the university’s Project RAICES, a grant-funded initiative to increase the number of ESL-certified teachers in East Texas and to provide resources to parents of English learners, during its two community events this semester Oct. 7 and Nov. 18.
Taught by Dr. Gina Fe Causin, associate professor of hospitality administration, the School of Human Sciences’ course “Meetings, Events, Expositions and Technology” had 16 students who participated in the event. The course aims to introduce students to the roles and organizations that work in the meetings, events, expositions and technology industry.
“The students organized participant registration and check-in, handled volunteer assignments, organized a midday community carnival for participants, set up food and beverage stations throughout the day, and ensured the event ran smoothly,” said Carrie Wright, director of Project RAICES. “The students are learning to be actively engaged in their community while learning practical skills that will apply to their future careers.”
Causin worked closely with Dr. Mary Olle, associate professor of hospitality administration, and Dr. Lauren Burrow, professor of education studies, to create this cross-curricular, service-learning opportunity.
“The knowledge and skills that the students gained from this experience will be useful when they mentor the new students who will be implementing the event in the spring semester,” Causin said.
Project RAICES will continue to host events to provide support and resources to teachers, English learners and their families in the spring Feb. 17 and April 6.
Project RAICES is looking for community vendors and SFA partners to host booths at the upcoming community events for their 83 participants. Those interested in participating in this exciting opportunity to serve the community are asked to complete a Microsoft Form at gosfa.com/3uYGyvB.
Recruitment for participants, including teachers and parents of English learners, for the following academic year will begin in March 2024. To keep up to date on new recruitment events visit, facebook.com/ProjectRaices.
For more information about Project Raíces, visit sfasu.edu/project-raices.
ABOUT STEPHEN F. AUSTIN STATE UNIVERSITY
Stephen F. Austin State University, the newest member of The University of Texas System, began a century ago as a teachers’ college in Texas’ oldest town, Nacogdoches. Today, it has grown into a regional institution comprising six colleges — business, education, fine arts, forestry and agriculture, liberal and applied arts, and sciences and mathematics. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, SFA enrolls approximately 11,000 students while providing the academic breadth of a state university with the personalized attention of a private school. The main campus encompasses 421 acres that include 37 academic facilities, nine residence halls, and 68 acres of recreational trails that wind through its six gardens. The university offers more than 80 bachelor’s degrees, more than 40 master’s degrees and four doctoral degrees covering more than 120 areas of study. Learn more at the SFA website.