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Wilfrid Laurier University Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
October 25, 2014

Canadian Excellence

Baetz1

Mark Baetz, Faculty



Mark Baetz grew up hearing about the importance of community service from his father, Reuben Baetz, who spent his life in public service. Its also a large part of Marks life, as a business professor, academic integrity advisor, and associate director of the Laurier Centre for Community Service-Learning (LCCSL).

I try to weave in the message about volunteering wherever I can, said Baetz.

But more than volunteering, Baetz wants students, staff, faculty and others to reflect on the experience. So he helped to develop eight learning outcomes that assist with that reflective process: social responsibility, intellectual growth, leadership development, appreciating diversity, collaboration, career and educational goals, self-awareness and clarified values.

What this does for anyone involved in any kind of volunteering is to capture the meaning for them. Why does that matter? Well, for many reasons, said Baetz.

If I learn something about myself that I want to build on, or I identify a weakness, or I identify a value that I cherish, that helps me think in a more strategic way about what kind of pathway I want to follow from here on in.

That reflective process has played a part in his role as associate director of LCCSL. Baetz works with professors to help them adopt a community service-learning component in the classroom. The eight learning outcomes give structure to the grading process.

We need to be very clear on what students are expected to learn from community service so that it can be graded. My hope is that we have more curricular/co-curricular bridging experiences.

As the inaugural academic integrity advisor, Baetz made sure the reflective process was imbedded in academic integrity sessions run by the dons. Dons use reflections from previous students about academic integrity issues to encourage dialogue in the session on cheating. After these sessions, dons and participants reflect on the experience.

Baetz was also instrumental in bringing the Corporate Service Clubs of Canada to campus. Started by Laurier alumnus Roy Weber, its a not-for-profit organization that applies the service club model to the workplace setting.

Its an interesting way to get employees in this busy world to get involved, to share their experiences, to share their learning about issues, about needs, and about their role in attempting to address those needs, said Baetz.

Baetz will retire in July 2011. His focus will be on working to get the Corporate Service Club concept in 50 organizations in Waterloo Region. Laurier is the second member, after the City of Waterloo. He has also established a Community Service Learning Reflection Scholarship.

My hope is that there are institutional structures in place that are sustained to promote the benefits of community service-learning.