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PAL News and Announcements



PAL Goes Remote

This spring, PAL faculty faced a monumental task – how to rapidly convert PAL’s service-learning, practicum-centered courses to a new remote-learning format without losing the community connections and field experiences that make the PAL Program meaningful for our students. PAL director, Caren Holtzman, along with the other spring EDS practicum instructors Susan Scharton, Luz Chung, Amy Bintliff, Chris Mamas, Erica Heinzman, and Sharon Fargason,  tapped into their existing networks of community partners to find out how PAL could best serve the community during this difficult time. An innovative menu of remote-learning activities was quickly compiled to ensure that all PAL students were able to complete their scheduled practicum hours in an impactful way. In addition to remote tutoring and mentoring, UCSD PAL students were able to assist teachers with technical issues, design remote-lessons, create educational and wellness videos, lead arts lessons, compile resources, participate in mindfulness activities, create video games, and use virtual visits and other online resources to connect with our local communities.
Remote learning also opened the door to new local and national partnerships. This spring, PAL began working with Homes for the Homeless, a New York City organization committed to using a family-based, child-centered, education-focused approach to addressing family homelessness. Through the organization, PAL students served as mentors and tutors to homeless K-12 students and met weekly with them through Zoom. PAL students also wrote letters to incarcerated youth in Louisiana prisons, contributed art work to a neighborhood project, worked with families through a local non-profit, and worked directly with parents to help engage their children in academic activities.
PAL has also teamed up with other UCSD organizations such as the UCSD Staff Association, Housing Dining and Hospitality, and the Center for Student Involvement to work together in supporting the social, emotional, and academic needs of local students.  While the pandemic related shift to remote learning posed many challenges, UCSD students in EDS/PAL practicum courses rose to the occasion and made positive impacts in many places with many people.



Outstanding PAL Leadership Award

Picture of Brycen

The Outstanding PAL Leadership Award recognizes PAL students who have demonstrated a commitment to the PAL Program and to PAL partner schools over a significant period of time and who have made outstanding contributions to both PAL classes and to PAL community collaborations.

We’re pleased to recognize Brycen Barron-Borden as our first Outstanding PAL Leadership Award recipient. Brycen has worked with the PAL program since Winter 2018 both as a student tutor and later as an undergraduate instructional assistant.

Brycen has consistently excelled in his work with PAL regardless of his role. During his senior year, he designed and conducted a notable action research project for his coursework in EDS 140 & 141. “I studied the special ways my host teacher related to and engaged with her students that helped cultivate a productive learning environment. Everyone involved was wonderful and we put in a lot of work to get through the challenges that came up. A special thanks to the professors of those courses and to my research partner Jocelyn as well who were integral to the project. As I graduate, PAL and EDS overall will be two of the things about UCSD that I will miss the most and I am sure I'll always look back on them fondly.”