Community-Based Learning

Spotlight on CBL

CBL Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Amal Ibrahim and the United Way Campaign of Jefferson & North Walworth Counties

During 2017 and 2018, Dr. Amal Ibrahim’s Commercial and Corporate Video Production course partnered with the United Way Campaign of Jefferson & North Walworth Counties to create a commercial video celebrating United Way’s 75 years of service to the community. The video, titled 75 Years of Support, was spearheaded by the production students in Dr. Ibrahim’s class, and with her guidance, the students were able to produce a six and half minute video featuring all of the various work that United Way has been involved in.

 This beneficial partnership allowed students to gain real-world experience, gain references and give them a sense of accomplishment. Dr. Ibrahim reflects on the experience by adding, “My students learned a lot from dealing with community partners in real-life settings, and they felt good for being able to engage and serve their community.”

 But the benefits were not one-sided, as United Way “benefitted from our students’ digital media skills and creativity.” By partnering with these production students, United Way was able to receive a low-cost commercial, which has been used to gain community support for their organization. As a result, United Way was incredibly pleased with the outcome of the project and desired to continue its partnership through CBL. Megan Hartwick, the Executive Director of United Way of Jefferson & North Walworth Counties, expressed her appreciation to Dr. Ibrahim and her students by saying “Thank you so much for givingour little United Way an incredibly effective tool to talk to our communities about our impact. I am extremely grateful.”

Behind-the-scenes Dr. Amal Ibrahim was always there, ready to meaningfully redesign the curriculum and to coordinate communication between the students and the community. Dr. Ibrahim also adds that “I strived to help my students overcome several challenges they faced when working off-campus and I was always available to troubleshoot lots of technical and logistics issues.”

 Despite these challenges, Dr. Ibrahim reflects positively on the overall experience. “It was very helpful to add a meaningful redesign of this class and assignments. And even though these classes are sometimes a challenge, and require more time and effort from both the students and the professors, it’s also very rewarding at the end when you see the final projects, and the goals being achieved, and see the students proud of themselves.”

 These impacts on both students and community organizations, such as establishing and maintaining campus-community partnerships, align with the University’s strategic plan of “transforming lives and impacting society” as well as “deepening partnerships and relationships.” The partnerships created through the CBL program are supporting the core values and mission of UW-Whitewater, and continue to do so today.

 If you are interested in learning more about the CBL program, our partnerships, or ways to get involved with CBL, please visit our website or email Jodie Parys at