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Navajo Nation

MMW Serves

MMW Serves is an experiential service-learning program embedded within the Making of the Modern World general education program. MMW Serves combines academic preparation, experiential learning, and volunteer service during Spring break. Students apply for the program, take a specially-designed MMW 14 or 122 course in the Winter term, and complete the experiential component during Spring Break. MMW also offers MMW Serves in summer.

Contact MMW Office for more information. 


In Academic Year 2011-12, Eleanor Roosevelt College Student Affairs and the Making of the Modern World program partnered to incorporate an academic dimension to a long-existing ERC Spring Break program. MMW offered a 2-unit preparatory course on the history and culture of Belize in winter term and then students, MMW faculty, and ERC Asst. Dean of Student Affairs traveled to Belize over Spring Break. The new program, combining academic preparation and on-site service, was named BreakAway Global Seminar, or “BAGS” for short.

In 2013, MMW taught the course and led the program in Istanbul, Turkey. In 2014, there were two programs, one led by MMW in Istanbul and the other led by Student Affairs in Puerto Rico. From 2015 – 2017, BAGS continued with the model of a 2-unit preparatory course paired with a Spring Break onsite component and these programs were led by ERC Student Affairs, with MMW only assisting in the academic preparation.

In 2017-18, MMW added a new dimension to the model by replacing the 2-unit seminar with a specially-designed 4-unit MMW course that prepared students for the on-site program and, at the same time, fulfilled a GenEd requirement. This program became known as MMW Serves. MMW Serves has been offered on the Navajo Reservation (2018), Catalina Island (2019), and Yosemite/Joshua Tree National Parks (2022). MMW Serves was also offered in Santa Cruz in Summer 2022. Our 2020 and 2021 programs were cancelled due to Covid.

Eleanor Roosevelt College’s existing 2-unit preparatory seminar model continued and became known as ERC Serves, denoting an ERC-led service program that is run by ERC Student Affairs. The name “BAGS” continues to be used for this. MMW Serves denotes the MMW-led service program that requires the 4-unit MMW course.

MMW Serves 2024

After completion of the Winter 24 MMW Serves seminar, students and faculty travel together to learn about the diverse human and natural history of the region and support environmental efforts.

Location: Colorado Desert of Southern California (based in Borrego Springs in Anza Borrego Desert State Park)

Dates: Spring Break 2024 (Sunday, March 23 to Friday, March 29)

Application deadline: Wednesday, October 18, 2023, by 5 pm

Space is very limited. Program details and application can be found here

This is an approved Global Service Gold Activity for the 
ERC Global Service Certificate Program.