Prof. Kim’s Service Learning Class Launched Savor South Madison, Online Platform

Professor Young Mie Kim’s community service learning course, Technology for Social Change (J676, Fall 2011), launched Savor South Madison, a social media integrated campaign platform that seeks to correct misperception about South Madison and facilitate community engagement. The goal of Savor South Madison is to promote bonding within South Madison and to bridge the UW campus with the South Madison community through promotion of local food establishments and food-related events. Visit Savor South Madison at

The campaign platform features content specifically selected to provide opportunity for multiple levels of user interaction from viewing video content, reading in-depth stories of the South Madison community, participating in restaurant reviews, to being connected through social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare. The campaign also uses a cooking contest highlighting the heritage of South Madison to initiate engagement on the website and merge online and offline activities.

“Technology for Social Change is incredibly relevant in today’s communication landscape, combines strategic communication and journalism components and gives students the opportunity to work with a real-life client and make a real-life impact. J676 provided the most dynamic learning environment I’ve encountered at UW,” said a J676-er from this past semester.

The campaign project was a hands-on experiment demonstrating how to use new communication technologies for social change. The class read on technology-society interactions, community integration, social capital, collective action, and human motives and skills for technology use. The entire class worked as an “agency” collectively planned, designed, and produced the platform. Service learning courses offer a unique way for students to gain “real world” experience, such as working with actual community leaders and engaging in organized community action. As a result, students not only sharpen their civic knowledge and skills, but also have opportunities to apply knowledge gained from class readings and lectures to solve real world problems in community.

The class handed over the project to community leaders and new students taking J676 in Spring 2012. The students in the past semester hope to continue working on the project and aid students in subsequent offerings of J-676.

For more information about the course, contact Professor Young Mie Kim at