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HONORS SELF- DESIGNED PROPOSAL
Complete this proposal prior to your experience’s start date and upload it in the UHP Database
(https://webapps.uc.edu/uchonorsstudent). Create an experience (“Add a new record”) in the “Tracking
Project” tab and upload your proposal document as an attachment. The deadline for submitting proposals is the
fifth of each month (excluding July).
Proposals are intended to be well-developed plans for your experience. However, experiences are exploratory
in nature, and we are flexible with changes throughout the experience. If your experience changes after
receiving approval on your proposal, contact your honors advisor to verify the changes still satisfy the
requirements of an honors experience.

Basic Information
Full Name: Ben Keating
Title of Project: Service Learning in Punta Cana
Thematic Area(s): Community Engagement, Leadership, and Global Studies
Expected Start Date: March 21, 2016
Expected End Date: March 27, 2016

GUIDELINES
1. Proposal submission timeline: Proposals should be submitted at least one month prior to the expected
start date of the experience. International experiences require at least two months’ notice. Contact your
honors advisor immediately for any exceptions.
2. Proposal length: While the quality of the proposal is most important, strong proposals are typically 3-4
pages single-spaced.
3. Proposal format: Please maintain the proposal format (e.g. headers, layout)
4. Time commitment: Experiences should consist of at least 75-90 hours of preparation, execution, and
reflection. This is approximately equivalent to the commitment of honors seminars and pre-approved
experiences.

REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL
All self-designed international travel experiences require two months’ notice and must be at least one week in
length. You will need to provide a detailed itinerary (dates, locations, and activities). If participating in
independent travel (not with UC faculty, staff, or student group), you must also fill out a Worldwide: Honors
Experience application via UC International.
Additionally, the Student Travel Policy restricts UC-sponsored travel to countries under a U.S. Department of
State Travel Warning. Those who wish to visit a country with a travel warning must seek an exemption through
UC International. Students traveling without a faculty or staff leader must individually request an exemption.
We cannot allow you to count this travel as an honors experience nor can we give you a grant without an
approved exemption.

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1. Abstract
Briefly describe the experience. What makes this experience personally meaningful? What goals do you have for this
experience? What is your timeline for this experience?
*If you are proposing an international experience, provide an itinerary.
**If you are developing this experience from an existing opportunity (class with a study tour, campus organization, co-op,
etc.) that is not already an honors seminar or pre-approved experience, how will you differentiate your experience from
what is already required of other students?
When thinking about a self-designed honors experience I knew that I wanted to
pursue something that I both cared about and something I personally could make a
difference with. I am planning with a group of ten individuals to travel to Punta Cana
in the Dominican Republic. Here we would find ourselves in an impoverished country
that lives off dollars a day. We would provide service, study their culture, and explore
the city. For service we would build houses with Habitat for Humanity, we would
explore Punta Cana and see all the amazing sides of Punta Cana, and we would study
their culture by doing a brief history lesson and asking locals about their culture.
This experience is meaningful to me because I have been to Punta Cana twice in
the last three years, and it has changed the way I look at poverty. There are homes
that are essentially an aluminum roof with no walls just supports to keep the
aluminum up. When I went there on vacation, I stayed in an all-inclusive resort, which
was paradise, but right down the beach from the resort was a shantytown. It amazed
me the polar opposites were so close. After seeing this, I want to make a difference.
I would like to return to Punta Cana to Build real homes and do services for the people
that live next to the amazing resorts. I want help to the impoverished country.
The goals I have set for this experience are to maintain a close relationship with
everyone on the trip, to be committed to service during the trip, to find a way to
continue my service there after my trip ends, and to participate in the Dominican
Republic Culture. The first goal helps me to enjoy the trip and make the most of it the
experience as a whole. The second goal committed to service will help me focus on
the mission of the trip, and it will allow me to ignore distractions. The third goal,
service after I leave, is a goal of mine because it will leave a lasting impact. It will be
an attempt to replicate a gift that keeps on giving. The fourth goal, participating in
the Dominican Culture, will reopen my eyes to the people, who I will be serving while I
am down there. It will keep me informed of the culture so that I know the do’s and
don’ts of the culture.
The timeline for the experience is as follows:
March 21, March 22, March 23, March 24, March 25, March 26, March 27,
2016
2016
2016
2016
2016
2016
2016
Travel day 8AM8AM8AMDay of
8AMTravel day
8:30Start
Start
Start
Rest
Start
5PMarrive in
early
early on
early on
10AMearly on
Arrive
Punta
doing a
the
the
late wake
the
back in
Cana and
cultural
project
project
up to get
project
Cincinnati
take bus
immersion 2PM2PMbreakfast
2PM9PMto the
trip with
return to
return to
in the
return to
group
hotel we
locals
the resort the resort town
the resort meeting
are sating (snorkelin to
to
2PM- Day
to
to reflect
at
g trip and organize
organize
to reflect
organize
and
9:40exploring
and
and
on the
and
discuss
settling in the
change
change
experienc change
the
and
downtown 3PM3PM –
es and
3PMexperienc
discuss
area of
immerse
leave for
explore on immerse
e
any
Punta
ourselves
the
you own
ourselves

3
changes
to plans
for the
next day

Cana)
2PMreturn to
the resort
to
organize
and
change
3PM-meet
the group
we will be
working
with on
our
service
project
and go
over basic
rules for
the safety
8PMreturn to
the hotel
for
reflecting
and
debriefing

in local
culture by
eating at
local
restaurant
s and
spending
the rest of
the day in
the city.
9PMreturn to
resort to
reflect
and
discuss
possible
changes
to plan
fort eh
next day

Advisor Feedback
Must Include:

snorkeling
trip and
dinner
8PMreturn to
the resort
for mid
reviews.
Discuss
and
seriously
reflect on
the
experienc
es so far
in a group
setting.

Required Revisions:

in local
culture by
eating at
local
restaurant
s and
spending
the rest of
the day in
the city.
9PMreturn to
resort to
reflect
and
discuss
possible
changes
to plan
fort eh
next day

Effective:

Brief description of the experience
Personal connection to the experience
Identified goals for the experience
Timeline from start to finish
*Itinerary (international experiences only)
**Explanation of differentiated experience
from what is required of other students

2. Experience Advisor
Identify an experience advisor and provide their contact information. Explain why you chose this person and how you
plan to utilize your advisor for this experience.
Note: Advisor(s) should have knowledge or expertise in an area related to the experience. Honors advisors, undergraduate
students, and family members cannot be experience advisors.
Dr. Jeri Ricketts
Phone: 513-556-7046

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E-mail: jeri.ricketts@uc.edu
She has had many experiences with international trips and leads one every year.
She also will lead my international trip during my junior year, which is an 8-week
international trip to Europe. Furthermore, she is helped to recruit me to make the
University of Cincinnati one of my top choices for college, and has become a close
friend over the few months I have been in school.
I plan to utilize her by asking for advise in scheduling and planning the trip as
well as different opportunities to explore while in the Dominican. I hope to learn a lot
from listening to her and her experiences and look for ways to better the trip. I will
ask for help in providing funding for the trip because she has offered funding for
certain trips.

Advisor Feedback
Must Include:

Required Revisions:

Effective:

Experience advisor name and contact
information
Description of why advisor was selected
Specific plans to engage with advisor

3. Connection to Learning Outcomes
List three learning outcomes from any thematic area(s). Provide specific activities you plan to engage in to help you
make progress towards the chosen learning outcomes. Describe how you expect each activity to help your progress.
Include an estimated time commitment for those activities.
1. Community engagement (Articulate the purpose of service on a social issue or
public policy and how service mutually enhances individual growth and the
common good.)
a. Two years ago while I was still in high school, I went to Over-the-Rhine and
stayed at St. Vincent de Paul for a week doing a mission trip. While on
this mission trip, I found out a lot about myself, the community, and all of
my friends on the trip. This trip has helped me to realize the impacts
service has on the community and then the community reciprocates with
life lessons. I plan to open a dialogue with the community and by doing
this, I will be able to foster a connection between the locals and me, and I
will be able to learn the life lessons that greatly influence the path my life
takes. This will affect my learning outcome because it demonstrates that I
will articulate the purpose of service to the community and to myself, and
it will just as my previous mission trip, teach me life lessons, as well as
provide service for the common good. Another activity I plan to do is to
reflect with the locals. This activity will allow me to get a new
perspective, which will be massively different from the people I will be
traveling with on the trip. This new perspective has the ability to open my
eyes to something new that I have not seen before, which will benefit me
and I will be able to bring a new perspective to the Dominican community
that may also open their eyes.
b. Estimated Time: 30 hours for both service and dialogue

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2. Global Studies (Demonstrate a sense of empathy, respect, and appreciation for
others to build meaningful cross-cultural collaborations toward mutual growth
and prosperity.)
a. Just as the first learning outcome, on my mission trip I realized the
simplicity of building a relationship. All I had to do was reach out to
someone and shake their hand, introduce myself, and ask them how they
are doing. By doing this, I became friends with several people (as well as
being asked to have my picture taken to be displayed on certain bus
stops.) I plan, while I am in Punta Cana, to build relationships with the
locals, which will foster a mutual respect for one another. Furthermore,
while I in Punta Cana two years ago, I befriended a waiter, who gave my
family a tour of the resort and neighboring private resorts. By befriending
a local, I will be able to get a tour of the city with someone who knows the
ins and outs of the city, which boost my appreciation for not only him or
her but also the city itself. In addition, the tour will also show the
impoverished state of the country, which will resonate with me. It will
illustrate to me the reason why I am going down to do the service and it
will a allow me to be empathetic to the people in the community.
b. Estimated Time: Tough to determine but it will be spontaneously occur
during the trip (8 hours)
3. Leadership (Motivate and collaborate effectively with others towards completion
of shared projects or goals.)
a. I plan to exercise leadership with the group of people who are on the
service trip with me. I plan to organize the people in ways that are the
most efficient. A perfect example of this would be placing people who
know each other at different tasks because they will have to build new
relationships, and will not be distracted by their extremely close friends
who will not be working on the same task as them. Furthermore, I will ask
for all electronics to be off and not used throughout the course of the
week unless it is being used for reflection, because electronics will take
away from the group effort as well as make the experience less eye
opening than it could be. These areas, which I will implement as a leader,
will make the group more effective and efficient in our tasks because
fewer distractions will exist; therefore, the trip itself will be a better
experience because more service will be done and more friendships will be
created.
b. Estimated Time: Again difficult to estimate (20 hours)
Advisor Feedback
Must Include:

Required Revisions:

3 learning outcomes explicitly identified
from any thematic area(s)
Examples of activities and explanation of
how each will assist the progress towards
the chosen learning outcome
Estimated time commitment for each
activity

4. Academic Resources Connected to the Learning Outcomes

Effective:

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List 1-2 academic resources you plan to use to enhance your understanding of the learning outcomes. Explain how each
resource connects to your learning outcome(s) and helps you execute your experience. Please include the title and
author/creator for each resource.
Note: Academic resources are professional works that can be used to assist your understanding of the topic. Some
examples are books, documentaries, videos, or research journals.
I plan to use a website (listed below) that explains in depth the facets of every
culture. This will allow me to understand the culture and begin to respect all of the
people that are part of this culture. Moreover, I plan to build a deeper relationship
with locals by expressing interest in their culture and showing a little knowledge of
it, so that we can build meaningful relationships, which will make the service that
much more meaningful.
http://www.everyculture.com/Cr-Ga/Dominican-Republic.html
In addition, I plan to refer to the University of Cincinnati’s website, and I plan to
read the book Tuesdays with Morrie because this book is very good at teaching the
reader, a lesson can be learned from everyone, and it teaches the reader how to
reflect. This book will be a very good resource because it will allow me to notice small
lessons that occur in my daily life while I am on my service trip.
Advisor Feedback
Must Include:

Required Revisions:

Effective:

1-2 academic resources connected to the
learning outcomes
Title and author of each resource
Description of how resources will help
make progress towards learning outcomes
and execution of experience

5. On-going Reflection
The on-going reflection should help you process the experience and progress toward your chosen learning outcomes.
Describe your method for reflecting throughout the experience. Indicate specific reflection questions/topics you plan to
use to guide your reflective process.
Note: A variety of methods can be used for on-going reflection. Some examples are videos, drawings, blogs, songs, and
journals. Reflection topics to consider include your ideas/insights about the experience, connection to other areas of
involvement, and your progress towards the learning outcomes.
Throughout the course of the trip, I will be continually reflecting. I have set
aside time in the itinerary above to reflect every night alone as well as two days set
aside for group reflection. The main way I will reflect alone is in a journal. A journal
will help me to have all of my thoughts down on paper, which will allow me to look
back to them when I begin the next day’s reflection and in the future. Furthermore, I
plan to draw in pencil. I always find that by drawing, I am able to think more clearly
and reflect more deeply on my experiences. Some specific questions that I plan to
reflect on are:
 What was the most eye-opening experience of the day?
 What was the best part of the day? What was the worst part?
 Is there any way I can continue my service without being in Punta Cana?
 What are my goals for the next day?
 What did I do poorly today? What did I do well?
 Is there anything more that I can do?

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Advisor Feedback
Must Include:

Required Revisions:

Effective:

Method for ongoing reflection
Reflection questions/topics clearly
specified

6. Sharing Your Learning
Describe how you plan to actively share what you have taken away from this experience with a targeted audience.
Explain why you chose this specific audience.
Note: While social media can be an effective platform for sharing, only posting on your personal learning portfolio or
social media account(s) does not reach a targeted audience.
I plan to share this experience in Punta Cana with my fraternity, my friends, and
the Lindner Honors-PLUS class. To begin, I am on the philanthropy committee for my
fraternity, which helps run all service events that we participate in. I plan to share
and offer my experience to my fraternity, so that more people will consider a service
trip especially one to Punta Cana. I will share this with my fraternity by creating a
PowerPoint presentation that I will share on a Tuesday night hall where the majority
of members are present. This will allow me to reach the biggest part of my targeted
audience.
I also plan to target my friends. I will do this through sharing stories,
experiences, and pictures from Punta Cana. By doing this, my friends may also
pursue a service trip of their own. I will share these stories and experiences by
bringing them up in casual conversation and at meals. This will help target my target
audience because this is one of the only times that my friends will not be in a rush
anywhere and they will listen to every word in its entirety.
Furthermore, I plan to share it with my Lindner Honors-PLUS class. The Lindner
Honors-PLUS class and I will go on several trips together through our five years at
University of Cincinnati, and it would be beneficial to have a service portion to these
trips. Therefore, by sharing my stories and experience, it will be more likely that this
will occur. I plan to share my experiences and stories to the Lindner Honors-PLUS
class by taking them all out to dinner one night and discussing the amazing trip that I
just got back from.

Advisor Feedback
Must Include:

Required Revisions:

At least one method to actively share takeaways/learning from the experience
A specific audience and why the audience
was selected

7. Budget (if applicable)
Provide an itemized budget and indicate your source for cost information.

Effective:

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*If you are engaged in an unpaid internship or research, please indicate the number of weeks and hours per week you
plan to participate.
1. Travel Costs
a. Air Fair both ways
i. 810 dollars for a roundtrip
b. Bus service to and from the airport
i. 20 dollars total
c. Any cabs are other service for commuting once at the desired location
i. 40 dollars based on previous experience with cab drivers and the
amount of expected traveling
2. Hotel Costs
a. 277 dollars per night for each room.
b. 1939 dollars for the total trip, but if I was traveling with someone this cost
would be cut in half to 969.5 dollars
3. Personal Costs
a. 200 dollars in personal costs as food, drink, and other items

Advisor Feedback
Notes:
Detailed budget of expenditures with
sources to justify budget estimates
*Indicates the number of hours per week
and number of weeks of participation

Required Revisions:

Effective:

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THEMATIC AREA LEARNING OUTCOMES
Learning Outcomes for the Community Engagement Thematic Area:
By engaging in this thematic area, you will make progress towards learning how to…



Identify and differentiate multiple ways to contribute towards the development or
achievement of the community’s goals.
Develop a thorough understanding of the worldview, beliefs, experiences, selfconsciousness, or history of community members through collaboration.
Articulate the purpose of service on a social issue or public policy and how service
mutually enhances individual growth and the common good.
Explain how education, advocacy, mobilization, or public policy can influence social
issues and transform communities.

Learning Outcomes for the Creativity Thematic Area:
By engaging in this thematic area, you will make progress towards learning how to…



Discover new techniques to gain knowledge, consider options, make new connections,
and ask questions.
Explore a new creative competency/medium or seek new ways to engage an existing
competency/medium.
Understand and optimize the use of people, technology, physical resources, or community
in a creative process.
Articulate the broader significance of a creative project and the value of its contributions.

Learning Outcomes for the Global Studies Thematic Area:
By engaging in this thematic area, you will make progress towards learning how to…




Develop practical travel skills that promote safe, stimulating, and productive travel
throughout your life.
Summarize the interconnectedness of geography, history, cultural traits, and world
issues.
Articulate the interdependence of professional fields to address current and impending
global issues such as technology, the environment, human rights, or politics.
Demonstrate an understanding of cultural diversity by acknowledging the impact of their
own identity and the experience of social norms, customs, or beliefs that are different
from their own.
Demonstrate a sense of empathy, respect, and appreciation for others to build meaningful
cross-cultural collaborations toward mutual growth and prosperity.

Learning Outcomes for the Leadership Thematic Area:
By engaging in this thematic area, you will make progress towards learning how to…




Formulate and manage a shared vision and develop goals towards its achievement.
Motivate and collaborate effectively with others towards completion of shared projects or
goals.
Develop strategies to identify and respond to challenges and obstacles.
Identify personal strengths and areas of growth and evaluate opportunities to maximize
skills and abilities.
Synthesize the current trends related to a specific issue or field and evaluate how
thought-leaders are currently addressing them.

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Learning Outcomes for the Research Thematic Area:
By engaging in this thematic area, you will make progress towards learning how to…



Demonstrate the ability to locate, interpret, and critically evaluate primary sources
appropriate to field.
Identify and apply appropriate methods to collect and organize data for analysis.
Analyze and interpret the meaning of results.
Produce dissemination appropriate to the field in order to share the results or impact
of the research.
Articulate the broader significance of the research project and its relationship to other
fields, research, and ideas.