Graduate Program

College Student Affairs

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Richard L. Roberts

Thesis Committee Member

Craig M. Eckert

Thesis Committee Member

Roy T. Lanham


Using qualitative methodology the researcher analyzed the perspectives of students on service trips taken to Haiti by the Newman Catholic Center in (1) educating students about social injustice and (2) cultivating a desire for students to advocate for social change. Overall participants were impacted by their experience in Haiti. Participants articulated a deeper awareness and understanding of social inequality and of their own privilege. Participants also communicated a commitment to continue service, change their career plans and change their lifestyles. Student development occurred in three phases including pre-departure, experience, and re-entry. Engaged preparation, reflection, consequential connection, and human connection were themes found to be very important components of this international service learning experience. The researcher presents a model, which could serve as a starting point to creating meaningful student experiences that have a life-long impact.