Updates in Service-Learning - Fall 2014
A huge congratulations to the Fall 2014 Excellence in Service-Learning Award recipients!
Every year the Office of Service-Learning selects a community partner, student, and instructor to receive the Excellence in Service-Learning Award. These individuals are nominated by their peers and colleagues and the selection committee has to choose from among many exemplary nominees.
This year’s community partner awardee is The Young Adult Program. This program serves young adults who with disabilities, including those on the autism spectrum. Teachers work with adults transitioning from post-secondary education. The program focuses on student-directed goal setting and incorporates family participation and involvement of community resources. For three years, the staff of the Young Adult Program has hosted Western students as service-learners. WMU students have served as classroom assistants and have participated in leisure activities and have consistently reported these experiences as outstanding. While the entire campus has been welcoming, we would like to especially recognize the principal, Deb Wild, and the teacher in the autism classroom, Laura Wolf-Eversole. Thank you for partnering with us and for providing excellent learning experiences for our students.
This year’s student recipient is Ms. Devine Loving. Devine participated in Spring Staycation, a service-learning immersion program, two years in a row. Devine was an active and engaged participant the first year and served as a role model and leader among her peers during her second year. Devine is an avid proponent of service-learning, and her dedication to the Office of Service-Learning staff is greatly valued and appreciated.
Finally, we recognize an instructor who brings dedication to his students and the service-learning pedagogy to an ever higher level. Richard Szwaja teaches Holistics classes in the Lee Honors College and leads a First Year Seminar for the Seita Scholars Program. Richard has greatly contributed to the growth and success of service-learning and serves as a strong role model for both his students and colleagues, creating an egalitarian environment in which we all serve as learners and teachers for one another. It is with gratitude that we recognize Richard’s gifts and commitment to the campus and greater communities.
WMU's Dr. Timothy Palmer's summer service-learning course excels with the Kalamazoo YMCA
This past summer, students in Dr. Timothy Palmer’s strategic management MBA course got the opportunity to participate in service-learning and volunteer in a meaningful way in the Kalamazoo community—helping the YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo market its full range of services to community members through a carnival-style event in downtown Kalamazoo dubbed “Y on the Road.”