Updates in Service-Learning: Fall 2016
Congratulations to the 2015-16 Excellence in Service-Learning award recipients!
Every year the Office of Service-Learning selects an instructor, community partner and student 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 instructor recipient is Dr. Brian Gogan, associate professor of English. Dr. Gogan has a strong focus on and commitment to incorporating service-learning into the Rhetoric and Writing Studies curriculum. Among the exemplary community engagement opportunities available, the Proposal, Pitch, Grant Writing course has produced tangible results every year since its inception in 2010. Each year, Dr. Gogan works with the Office of Service-Learning to establish two partnerships with organizations with high financial need and inadequate resources. Partners determine areas of highest need, after which students research and write grant proposals and pitches. Thank you for your dedication to WMU and our community.
This year’s community partner recipient is Restore Ministries, accepted by Executive Director Marcus Collins. Restore has become an integral part of the Greater Kalamazoo area and a strong voice for an often silenced and underrepresented group: citizens transitioning from incarceration. Between advocacy and direct services, Restore is a unique model for re-entry and prevention among those with criminal records that includes pre-release one-on-one preparation and wraparound services. As part of their advocacy efforts, Restore has formed a deeply-engaging and mutually beneficial relationship with Western Michigan University. The relationship has been specifically structured to maximize support and success of former inmates while teaching and preparing the next generation of professionals that will be working either with this population or in related fields. Thank you for partnering with us and for providing excellent learning experiences for our students.
This year’s student recipients are Victoria Brooks, Erica Goble and Trista Schuman. The students were chosen from an upper level social work course to form the Rainbow Run planning team, and continued working on the 5K through its completion in March 2016. Utilizing a community needs assessment, the team determined that funds would be used for individual counseling scholarships and other support services for the LGBT+ community. Throughout the last year, the student team secured community sponsors, held fundraising events and promoted the 5K extensively, including coverage on local television and radio stations. Thank you for your tireless work ethic and for your deep commitment to service-learning.