What do students and faculty say about RSL?

It links the community with the classroom:

  • Gives policy issues a voice in the classroom.
  • Encourages civic and political engagement among classmates.

Our goal is for students to understand, in a kick-in-the-gut way, how policy shapes people’s sense of political inclusion and participation. We also hope that students will connect the principles they learn in class to the “a-ha” moments they have during their service, and then be able to turn those connections into actionable recommendations for our community partners.” –Professor Kristin Goss, 2009

“I have witnessed how policies can impact the day-to-day lives of kids.” – Kelly Branning, Child Policy Research student, 2014

“I learned so many new skills when it comes to research and communication which completely surpassed what I thought I was going to learn throughout the semester. I truly gained a great deal of insight into the work that occurs behind the scenes of organizations and events we read about in class. I don’t think I will view activism and Southern insurgency the same way after being touched by such stories.”– Anonymous, PPS 301 Spring 2013 (The Insurgent South course):

“I think that it [the RSL gateway] helps get students invested in the Durham community more than any other community service program I’ve seen at Duke.” – Chris Reed, 2008

It integrates theory and practice:

  • Makes the connection between theoretical principles and practical applications by exploring the policy dimensions of the course through the community project, the critical reflection discussions, and the final research product.
  • Allows students to develop an understanding of the complexities of policy in practice.

Students partnering with the John Locke Foundation in the PPS 301 course experienced the complexities of working within an organization that has an expressed political stance.

“This one night (John Locke Foundation event) was probably the most beneficial experience for our group in terms of learning etiquette for future careers in politics and policy. —Heather Durham, 2014

“I have learn a tremendous amount about how to work effectively with people who possess different political views than myself. Everyone on the team puts aside our political viewpoints from the moment we walk into the office in order to successfully conduct our nonpartisan research. I am very glad I got the opportunity to expand my comfort zone and develop strong professional relationships with an organization I would normally not interact with.”—Matthew Peterson, 2014