Seeking SOLE Food: Service-Learning and Sustainability in Honors Think Tank Courses


  • Joyce Kinkead Utah State University
  • Kynda Curtis Utah State University


The value of service-learning as a high-impact educational practice in college courses is further documented here through client-centered student projects seeking to increase SOLE food-- sustainable, organic, local, and ethically produced--on the Utah State University campus. Honors students enrolled in a Think Tank series of courses in Science, Social Sciences, and Arts/Humanities completed six cross-disciplinary projects focused on various aspects of dining services and food sources on campus, including recycling, food waste, food recovery, and local sourcing. Post-project student reflections indicate that students were much more aware of campus-wide sustainability issues and how they, as campus citizens, could contribute in meaningful ways. Student also demonstrated the ability to property design research projects and engage in data-informed problem solving as a result of their service-learning project. Students also learned to successfully work in groups and appreciate and encourage the strengths of each team member. The projects fulfilled our institution’s mission for community engaged learning, a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.


Author Biography

Joyce Kinkead, Utah State University

Joyce Kinkead is Professor of English at Utah State University. She is a CUR Fellow and a Carnegie Professor of the Year for the State of Utah.