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U of U Service-Learning Scholars to be Honored for 10,320 Hours of Community Service

April 28, 2008 — Twenty-three University of Utah students who completed 400 hours of community service each will be honored at the U’s commencement ceremonies on May 2, at 9 a.m., in the Jon M. Huntsman Center.

The U’s Lowell Bennion Community Service Center service-learning scholars were recently recognized for also completing 10 credit hours of service-learning classes and a major integrative service project (ISP) that combines academics with concentrated community work. Next week, the Service-Learning program, now in its sixteenth year, will graduate 23 students.

The 2008 service-learning scholars are Kristen F. Atkisson, Angela Blanchard, David Bonnemort, Andrea Chan, Katherine Christiansen, Nicole Christensen, Evan Draper, Kimberly Hall, Bryndon Hatch, Aimee Hickey, Eric Hu, Cameron Jennings, Manpreet Kaur, Jonathan Kinnaird, Anita Kiteau, Joseph Marchese, Phung Matthews, Nicole Nguyen, Serena Pearce, Jamie Smith, JuleeAnn Stocking, Giang Tran and Senya Ann Waas.

“Service-learning scholars want to be actively involved in their education and their communities,” notes Sara Barclay, Bennion Center Service Scholar Coordinator. “These bright students will continue to contribute to the communities in which they live and work and are committed to affecting positive change through civic work and community service.”

Each service-learning scholar designed and completed a service project, which was also supported by another student, a faculty member, a Bennion Center staff member and a community organization.

Kristen F. Atkisson performed a needs analysis for the Family Mentoring Program (FMP), the part of International Refugee Center (IRC) that recruits and manages volunteers who mentor newly arrived refugee families. She collected and analyzed qualitative and quantitative data, and produced a compressive report on current practices of the FMP.

Angela Blanchard worked with the Riverton Elementary community to revive their 13 year-old outdoor classroom. Wooded with over twenty-eight native plant species, students and teachers embark upon learning adventures, building healthy relationships with each other and their environment.

David Bonnemort conducted an in-depth assessment of the Guadalupe School’s VIP program. He observed, surveyed and interviewed over 50 volunteer tutors over a four month period. From this project a variety of recommendations were made based off of the final assessment, many of which are currently being implemented today.

Andrea Chan created a seven-page brochure aimed specially at social workers and caregivers regarding the Adult Day Center. The brochure contains a cover letter, brief descriptions of the programs offered, rates, a list of the other facilities offered (assisted living, rehabilitation, etc) and a price comparison between the Adult Day Center and nursing homes and assisted living.

Nicole Christensen worked with Care for Life, an organization in Mozambique, on a community garden initiative. She created a training manual to be used by impoverished rural townships along the coast.

Katherine Christiansen worked with the Bend-in-the-River to create materials to promote awareness of invasive plant species.

Evan Draper developed an elective course for University of Utah College of Pharmacy students. Pharmacy students worked with the Utah Department of Health presenting the ‘Truth for Youth’ program, which educates fifth grade students about the dangers of smoking and aims to prevent disease associated with smoking.

Kimberly Hall developed lesson plans to be taught to elementary students at the Bend-in-the-River. The lesson plans are directed towards education about the ecosystem found at the site.

Bryndon Hatch helped to improve the landscape at the Cancer Wellness House by turning an unused portion of the lot into an area where those affected by cancer can sit, ponder and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Aimee Hickey developed a Latin Cultures class at Dilworth Elementary. The course helps the fourth to sixth grade students enhance their understanding regarding the variety of cultures in the world and in Salt Lake valley.

Eric Hu facilitated and created the University of Utah UBook Project. The UBook is an annual publication that details and encourages campus traditions. It is additionally an overall guide for students to take advantage of every aspect of their college experience, including athletics, academics, scholarships, community service, involvement and entertainment.

Cameron Jennings worked with the Cancer Wellness House to create a reflective garden for those affected by cancer on an unused portion of the lot.

Manpreet Kaur created and implemented a higher education promotion program at the Salt Lake County Youth Services for youth 12-18 years of age. This program provided the youth with information regarding colleges, the application process, standardized tests, financial assistance and money management.

Jonathan Kinnaird organized a trip to the Philippines to work on poverty issues with six other students.

Anita Kiteau developed, implemented and assessed the Education First Mentoring Program (EFMP) at East High School for Pacific Islander students which began in September 2007. EFMP was created to assist these students in attaining a college education.

Joseph Marchese worked with Jackson Elementary to develop and implement demonstrations that complimented its fifth and sixth grade science curriculums. These demonstrations stressed the scientific method and provided students with an opportunity to enjoy the wonders of science.

Phung Matthews worked with Andrea Chan to develop an informational brochure on the services offered by CHRISTUS St. Joseph Villa. The services included an adult day care, specializing in patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia. The information brochure is distributed to social workers and other caregivers as a resource for adult patient care.

Nicole Yvonne Nguyen analyzed the current case management protocol for clients of the Utah AIDS Foundation, focusing specifically on clients who are also substance abusers. The goal is to incorporate a harm reduction model to better serve the specific needs of the substance abusers in helping them live with HIV/AIDS.

Serena Pearce worked with the Intel Computer Clubhouse to create and administer lesson plans for the Girl’s Day program, an opportunity for minority girls, ages eight to 16, to learn about engineering and science through hands-on activities conducted by the Society of Women Engineers.

Jamie Smith created a volunteer manual outlining the different programs of Calcutta Mercy Ministries (CMM) to help assign a volunteer to an area that best fits his/her interests and an orientation guide to facilitate a volunteer’s arrival in CMM’s location in India.

JuleeAnn Stocking developed a curriculum for fifth grade students at Uintah Elementary that educated students about different cultures. The project hoped to combat cultural prejudice and cultivate a celebratory and embracing attitude toward all cultures.

Giang Tran worked with fellow scholar Tania Michaels and CareSource to record patients’ life stories. The recordings are often in chronological order to encourage patients to note experiences early in their childhood as well as their adulthood. She also developed a training manual to train other volunteers on how to record life stories.

Senya Ann Waas created a literacy project for students in the after school program at Parkview Elementary. This program helps children improve both their reading and writing and, most importantly, aims at making it fun for them.