Thanks for visiting my blog!  My name is Jake Grohs and I work at VT’s Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships.  As part of my work at the center, I coordinate the SERVE Living-Learning Community and teach the associated sections of LDRS 1015-1016 Exploring Citizen Leadership.  I am also a part-time graduate student in Educational Psychology and am currently taking a class called Cognition, Learning, and the Internet with Dr. Gardner Campbell.

In the three years I have taught LDRS 1015-1016, I have always used some type of social media as another way to foster out-of-classroom dialogue.  I am a firm believer that concepts of service, community, leadership, social change, citizenship, etc. need to become part of our everyday lives to be iteratively studied, practiced, reflected on, refined, etc.  The content itself is deeply individual, socially defined, and culturally located all at the same time.  For this semester in LDRS 1016, students will be blogging regularly with the intent that it become a somewhat informal space for critical connections between the content, and individual passions, interests, hobbies, and activities.  For example, does the movie J. Edgar currently playing at the Lyric have any lessons for us on leadership?  On belonging?  On ethics? Or…?  My hope is that we each can begin to experiment with these types of connections in the news we read, in the conversations with peers, with movies, books, other classes, while playing fetch with the dog or baking bread – I think that it is through these connections that “leadership” stops residing just in textbooks or resumes but alters how we think, speak, listen, and act.  It is my hope that we each find that the blogging helps us with just that.

In general, my personal posts on this blog are geared towards two purposes and audiences simultaneously – (1) participating regularly with the students in LDRS 1016 (Praxis Area: Facilitating Dialogue and Reflection) as we each blog and (2) blogging with other students in the Cognition, Learning, and the Internet course.  For now, I am very interested in reflecting on these experiences both as an educator and as someone who does community engagement work.

I look forward to the journey – thanks for checking in every once in a while!