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Service Learning Programs

Explore current projects with the Service Learning Coalition.

7 Elements is a service learning organization that currently operates in four different countries: the Dominican Republic, Belize, Peru, and Haiti. The group provides experiential learning through hands-on sustainable development projects and curriculums designed for each program that focus on international development, service learning, and human security issues. The organization focuses on the seven elements of human security: economic, food, health, environmental, personal, community, and political. Through local community partnerships, the group has also continued to improve access to these 7 Elements of human securities.


Faculty Advisor: Nicole Messmore, (


President of Global Initiatives: Chevy Singh, MS4 (
VP of Global Initiatives: Nicole Hicks, (
President Elect of Global Initiatives: Kate Sokolowski, MS3 (
VP Elect of Global Initiatives: Supriya Chittajallu, (
Project Leader of Global Initiatives: Valeria Serrano, (
Project Leader of Global Initiatives: Patel Radha, (
Project Leader of Global Initiatives: Bolujo Ifeoluwa, MS4 (


President of Local Initiatives: Joey Lenkey, MS4 (
VP of Local Initiatives: Kaitlin Wendel, (
President Elect of Local Initiatives: Meera Patel, MS3 (
VP Elect of Local Initiatives: Nathan Steflug, (
Project Leader of Local Initiatives: Marian Orozco, (
Project Leader of Local Initiatives: Mary Slaughter, (


President of Finance: Kate Stanley (

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Medical, dental and graduate-level allied health and health professions student volunteers participate in this spring break service learning experience sponsored by the Department of Family Medicine’s ENLACE Project. Students are engaged in short-term global health infrastructure development, community health initiatives and clinical shadowing opportunities organized by Companion Community Development Alternatives (CoCoDA), a non-profit organization working in El Salvador for over 25 years and in partnership with the IU ENLACE Project since 2012.

This spring break service learning experience is the most recent expansion of the ENLACE Global Health Project in El Salvador, which currently includes the 4-week Summer Language and Cultural Immersion and the 4-week Global Health Elective in the municipality of Suchitoto, El Salvador.

While the ENLACE Global Health Project leadership hopes to offer the Alternative Spring Break Program in 2021, at this point there is no guarantee that will be possible. ENLACE leadership continues to work closely with our international partners to monitor the COVID-19 situation in El Salvador. Please reach out to the listed contact for updated information.

Sponsoring academic units at Indiana University

Indiana University School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine

Co-sponsoring U.S. institutions or organizations

Companion Community Development Alternatives (CoCoDA). A key component in the ENLACE Project expansion is the collaborative partnership with CoCoDA, the on-the-ground management organization responsible for delivering well-rounded and in-depth educational delegations. CoCoDA sets up key meetings, makes housing arrangements, conducts an in-depth orientation, provides interpretation/translation at all meetings, facilitates reflections spaces and accompanies the group everywhere they go in country.

Chairs: TBA
Faculty Advisor: Jennifer Custer

Medical Service Learning Alternative Breaks

Under the direction of the Program Director for Community & Civic Engagement, medical service learning has a new alternative break program. Initiated in July 2019, IU School of Medicine hosted a trip for entering medical students around the Common Read “What the Eyes Don’t See” to Flint, Michigan. While the program is on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the chairs and advisor are working to develop local service opportunities. Please contact the Alternative Break Co-Chairs if you would like to be involved in planning service opportunities.

Chairs: Dirchi Arungwa, Dylan Stolz
Faculty Advisor: Niki Messmore, (

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) is a longitudinal one-on-one mentoring program. The Indiana University School of Medicine BBBS group seeks to promote student involvement and will get together with groups of mentoring pairs throughout the year.

Get Involved

Any medical student who can commit to at least one year of being in the Indianapolis area. You can sign up anytime throughout the year. Contact below to get started.

Mentoring occurs on your own time according to your schedule. When you are paired, you will organize a meeting with the parents of your little brother/sister.

BBBS is at least a one-year commitment with a requirement to meet at least twice per month with your little brother or sister. The IU School of Medicine BBBS group will seek to organize a couple events per year to get pairs together.

Faculty Advisor: Niki Messmore, (
President: Collin Wilkins MS4 (
Vice President: Cynthia Wu, MS3
Director of Project: Fahad Hasnian, MS4 (

The purpose of the Boys and Girls Club of America is “to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.” I-BIPP, or the IU School of Medicine Boys and Girls Club of Indianapolis Partnership Program, works with children and adolescents at the local Boys and Girls Clubs to provide positive role models and promote health education.

We plan on having one to two events per semester that focus on aspects of preventative medicine and general wellness. In the past, we’ve planned health fairs with multiple SIGs, blood drives, Thanksgiving meals, helmet drives, and much more!

Commitment is minimal, but this is a great and easy way to help local kids and get involved with philanthropy! We need lots of participants, who will only have a 2-3 hour commitment 1-2 times per semester, adding up to around 10 hours total for the year. It’s also a fun way to buff your CV!

For more information, contact the group email or one of the co-chairs below!

Program Email:
Faculty Advisor: Patricia Treadwell, (
President: Cecilia Lai, MS4 (
Vice President: Victoria Yagodinski, MS4 (

BrightLane Learning’s mission is to break the cycle of homelessness through education. We provide one-on-one tutoring services for children affected by homelessness at various locations across the city of Indianapolis. We recruit IU School of Medicine students to serve as tutors on a monthly basis (or more depending on student availability) throughout the fall and spring semesters. Our current volunteers tutor at the Salvation Army Ruth Lilly Center and Wheeler Mission.

President: Becca Bruns, (
Faculty Advisor: James Lemons, (

The Community Immersion Project (CIP) connects new students to their community and is a required part of the orientation experience. Traditionally held in Indianapolis for all new students, it includes education around social determinants of health and working with a local nonprofit.

Chairs: Maria Khan, Lindsey d’Arnaud, Brianna Alex, Emma Eckrote, Brook Chastain
Faculty Advisor: Niki Messmore, (

All physicians, in their careers, will interact with individuals who have had experience with the criminal justice system, or have been formerly incarcerated. Other medical schools have opportunity for either third and fourth year clinical rotations in correctional facilities, or have student organizations that facilitate service-oriented clinical opportunities within correctional facilities and host events that focus on the broader socioeconomic and political context and forms of structural and cultural violence that have contributed to the state of mass incarceration in the US. Further, incarcerated populations are disproportionately affected by certain disease states and health conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and hypertension. Opportunity to participate in medical care within correctional facilities, while concurrently engaging in discussions about the institutions that have contributed to disproportionate incarceration of certain populations, and mass incarceration as a whole, would be a great learning experience for medical students, cultivating empathetic, socially-engaged, and passionate young physicians and truth-seekers. Additionally, medical students have the potential to make a positive impact in the lives of the patients with whom they will interact.

Organizational Action and Events

This project, in coordination with the Chief Medical Officer of the Indiana Department of Corrections (IDOC), Dr. Kristen Dauss, will allow medical students to enter into correctional facilities across the state, and learn from correctional facility physicians how to best care for incarcerated populations, practice history and physical exam skills, and learn about the life stories and experiences of the patients in that facility. Students will be allowed to sign up for shifts within the facility. The IDOC will be able to accommodate learners from across the state, as correctional facilities are also spread across the state.

We will host various panel discussions with both correctional medicine physicians, representatives from community organizations that work with these populations, as well as formerly incarcerated individuals, to discuss their experiences with the criminal justice system, with health care providers while incarcerated and after incarceration, and their life experiences. We would like to host journal/book clubs, and screen documentaries related to the subjects as well. 

Program Email:
Faculty Advisor: Niki Messmore, (
Co-President: Sydney Lovins, (
Co-President: Bea Aidoo, (
Vice President: Lauren Roop, (
Secretary: Kate Adaniya, (
Curriculum Committee Chair: Lauren Roop, (
Education Chair: Ella Boardley, (
Policy Research Committee Chair: Lauren Roop, (

Crispus Attucks SIG (CASIG) is committed to providing mentoring and science education to high schoolers at Crispus Attucks High School. Located a couple of blocks away from Daly, Crispus Attucks is an IPS magnet school with students who are specifically interested in medical professions. Over 70% of these students are economically disadvantaged, and over 90% of these students are African American/Hispanic. 100% of these students are interested in health sciences. This is a great way to coach some curious young scientists!

Getting Involved

All medical students are welcome and encouraged to participate! The time commitment can be once a week, every other week, or even a couple days a semester! Whatever works best for you! The kids really appreciate your time and friendship and look forward to working with you whenever you are available!


Crispus Attucks Medical Magnet High School
1140 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. Indianapolis, IN, 46201

Program Email: 
Faculty Advisor: Jerry Rushton, (
President: Jordan Crabtree, MS3  (
VP of Mentoring: Jourdan Carroll, Graduating (
VP of Communications: Katie Fernander, Graduating (
VPs of Interprofessional Relations: Reid Herran, MS4 (; Muqsit Buchh, MS3, (
VP of Tutoring: Amrit Parihar, MS3 (
VP of Science Talks: Amrit Parihar, MS4 (
SLC Liaison: Amrit Parihar, MS3 (

The Disability Advocacy Service Learning group (DASL) serves children and adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Medical students collaborate with community agencies such as the Joseph Maley Foundation and Special Olympics, among others, to engage and advocate for community members through acts of volunteerism. Furthermore, DASL helps to run the IU School of Medicine Best Buddies Citizens Chapter, an organization geared at pairing medical students with community members with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities to create one-on-one friendships. 

By participating, students will:

  • Advocate for children and adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities
  • Volunteer with various organizations throughout the year
  • Connect with community resources that patients may use
  • Learn about caring for and talking to people with disabilities
  • Enhance their understanding of the humanism and capabilities of people with disabilities

Program Email:
Faculty Advisor: Mary Ciccarelli, (
Co-Chair: Jessica Alvarado, MS3 (
Co-Chair: Sara Golidy, MS3 (

Empower Refugees is a group partnering with the Welcome Basket — a non-profit started by a refugee herself 10 years ago. We work with refugees from all around the world who have relocated to the Indianapolis area, helping in any way they need. These refugees have fled from warzones, and have been separated from family members, only to have been relocated here with often nothing but the clothes on their backs. While they are forever grateful for their safety, they lack many basic supplies with some even sleeping on the floor. Our goal is to provide resource allocation, academic success, and mentorship to young refugees and their families. Additionally, we hope our medical students can learn from this vulnerable community and be better equipped to deal with a diverse and global patient population.

Getting involved

There are various ways to get involved and make a positive impact! You can donate simple household supplies, take up leadership roles, or participate in mentorship programs for refugees. Additionally, we organize events and aim to collaborate with the Student Outreach Clinic to provide medical support to the underprivileged refugee community. We welcome you to get in touch with us and discuss your interests and how you can connect with refugees. There are many ways to make a difference, and we look forward to seeing how you can positively impact the refugee community!


Faculty Advisor: Corina Nailescu, (
President: Ilinca Ungureanu, (
Vice President: John Stout, (

Volunteer with local Habitat for Humanity chapters to help provide decent, affordable homes and alleviate substandard housing.

Activities include volunteering on a building site – Instant Gratification! You can see your contribution to a family’s new home. Check out volunteer opportunities. No experience is needed. If you are interested in surgery, this is also a GREAT way to improve your dexterity and eye-hand coordination.

Chairs: Maria Khan
Faculty Advisor: TBD

Kids in Nutrition (KIN) delivers lessons about leading healthy and sustainable lifestyles to children in elementary schools, specifically in 1st and 2nd grade. KIN utilizes a peer-to-peer behavioral change approach through mobilizing graduate and undergraduate students to become advocates for evidence-based dietary change within the local community. This project encourages the students to engage in activities that make leading a healthy lifestyle fun and exciting. 

Program Email: (
Faculty Advisor: Antwione Haywood, (
President: Mary Grace Ertel, (
Vice President: Kinsey Bromm, (
Assistant Director of Recruitment: Alyssa Ritter, OMS2 (
Assistant Director of Recruitment: Jake Schmidt, MS3 (
Director of Education: Beau Mansker, MS3 (
Assistant Director of Education: Alexandra Frank, MS3 (
Assistant Director of Education: Alexandra Stout, MS3 (
Director of Operations: Andrew Gauger, MS3 (
Assistant Director of Operations: Claire Jackson, MS3 (
Director of Development: Taylor Luster, MS4 (
Assistant Director of Development: Tyler Outlaw-Bradley, Senior (
Assistant Director of Development: Ella Boardly, MS1 (
Director of Fundraising: Taylor Prechtel, MS3 (
Assistant Director of Fundraising: Will Schneider, MS1 (
Director of Research: Farzana Memon, MS3 (

Medals4Mettle at IU School of Medicine partners with Riley Hospital for Children to involve students with Child Life Services. Students apply online to be a Riley volunteer and attend a volunteer orientation. Students commit a maximum of 20 hours per semester to volunteering. Riley Hospital regularly has special events, where community groups have an opportunity to come interact with Riley children. It will be at these events that students will have the opportunity to gift medals to children.

Students will spend the academic year training to participate in an end-of-the-semester marathon or half-marathon. The student will run on behalf of all of the children of Riley. After the race, students will attend a Riley Hospital special event organized by Medals4Mettle to personally gift their medal to a child.

Community/Organizational Partnership

M4M at IU School of Medicine is lucky to have Dr. Steve Isenberg, the Founder and CEO of M4M, as a faculty advisor. We work closely with Dr. Isenberg and Sally Powell, the Indianapolis M4M chapter coordinator, to ensure that M4M at IU School of Medicine has a close relationship with the parent organization. The Riley Hospital child life special events coordinator acts as a liaison between M4M at IU School of Medicine and Riley.


Program Email: 
Faculty Advisor: Steven Isenberg, (
President: Emily Merritt, (

Medical Spanish is a group interested in improving medical students’ Spanish-speaking skills and their relationships with and interests in the Spanish-speaking community.

  • Practice your medical Spanish with lunch and dinner talks with didactics, conversation practice, and delicious food
  • Participate in a summer Spanish course taught by faculty
  • Serve as Spanish language interpreters for IU School of Medicine community outreach events
  • Represent IU School of Medicine at community events
  • Global Health: ENLACE Project – El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras


  • Develop/polish Spanish-speaking skills in clinical setting
  • Enhance clinical training
  • Understand health care disparities in the Latino community
  • Mentorship


  • Wellness on Wheels Bus (Center of Excellence for Women’s Health)
  • Westside Health Fair
  • Jornada de Salud (Spring)
  • Fiesta Indianapolis (September)
  • Student Outreach Clinic

Chairs: Benjamin Freije, Liza Burns-Orrego
Faculty Advisor: Ruben Hernandez

Rock for Riley is a student-run philanthropy group that consists of many of the IU medical professional schools in Indianapolis. Several Indiana University medical students founded Rock for Riley in 2004 and organized our first show featuring Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe at the Vogue Theatre. The first show raised nearly $25,000 for Riley Hospital for Children. Since then, we have had bands such as Wilco, My Morning Jacket, Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s, and The Avett brothers play at our shows and have raised over $800,000 for the hospital. We are so excited to work together to support Riley Hospital for Children in their areas of greatest need.

Rock for Riley hosts a concert in the fall and a 5k in the spring We would love for you to join us by either participating in these events or becoming a part of our committee! Our committee is dedicated to improving children’s health in Indiana and beyond, and we thank you for joining us to make this mission possible.

Program Email: 
Faculty Advisor: Niki Messmore, (
President: Kaylee Tutrow, MS2 (
Vice President: Wes Boland, MS4 (
Secretary: Cassandra Anderson, (
Strategic Fundraising Chair: Liz Burns, (
5k Run Chair: Jacob Schmidt, (
Concert Chair: Paul Muldoon, (
Social Media Coordinator: Dylan Stolz, (
Partnerships Chair: Megan Johnson, (

The Student Outreach Clinic is a student initiative to deliver medical care to the underserved.

Chair: Olivia Bednarski, (
Vice Chair: Molly Frank, (
Chair-Elect: Leonardo Olivera Perez, (
Vice Chair-Elect: Kaya Mernitz, (
Operations Chair: Neal Patel, (
Continuity of Care Co-Chair: Cynthia Wu, (
Continuity of Care Co-Chair: Anoop Chinthala, (
Finance & Fundraising Chair: Angela Collins, (
Education Co-Chair: Joey Ballard, (
Education Co-Chair: Micaela Gaviola, (
Marketing and Promotions Chair: Jay Chopra, (
Records and Administration: Mira Prabhakar, (
Supplies Chair: Rohit Chatterjee, (
Community Relations Chair: Nida Khan, (
Volunteer Chair: Savannah Phipps, (
Women’s Health Co-Chair: Breanne Burgess, (
Women’s Health Co-Chair: Tanvi Asthana, (
Research Chair: Nirupama Devanathan, (
Data & Strategic Planning: Lauryn Padgett, (
Process Improvement Chair: Emily Shockley, (

Students for the Prevention of Kidney Disease volunteers with outreach programs and screening events for underserved patients through the National Kidney Foundation. Students have the opportunity to work with nephrology mentors early on in their medical careers.

SPKD’s aim is to serve the underserved areas of Indianapolis, Muncie, Terre Haute, South Bend, Bloomington, Evansville, Fort Wayne, West Lafayette and Gary. Our goal is to spread awareness and prevent serious health issues that are frequently caused or exacerbated by a lack of health literacy or access to primary care. SPKD helps train students to recognize the social barriers to health care in the community, bringing them one step closer to becoming physicians to treat a whole patient rather than just a disease.

Program Email: 
Faculty Advisor: Ayman Hallab, (
Faculty Advisor: Timothy Sutton, (
Co-Chair: Anish Patel, MS4 (
Co-Chair: JD Damrath, MS4 (
Co-Chair: Sarah Lipp, MS4 (
Co-Chair: Abigail Delbridge, MS3 (
Co-Chair: Luke Vandeventer, (
Co-Chair: Olivia Carlton, MS4 (