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U of U Service-Learning Scholars to be Honored for More than 7,000 Hours of Community Service

April 26, 2006 — Eighteen University of Utah students who completed 400 hours of community service each will be honored at the U’s commencement ceremonies on May 5, at 9 a.m., in the Jon M. Huntsman Center. The U”s 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 fourteenth year, will graduate 18 students as compared to last year’s 12.

The 2006 Service-Learning Scholars are: Ashlee Allen, William Chatwin, Kirsten Davies Bradley, Stephanie Geerlings, Elisabeth Jacques, Sarbjit Kaur, Sarah Liljefelt, Tara Merrill, Robert Oakes, Alexandra Parvaz, Natalie Taylor, Hoa Xuan “Hannah” Phan, Miriam Pope, Sandra Price, David Roach, Anna Roberts, Noella Sudbury and Danielle Wiest

“Service-Learning Scholars are committed to affecting positive change through civic work and community service,” notes Shannon Gillespie, Bennion Center service-learning coordinator. “These bright students will continue to contribute to the communities in which they live and work. They realize that making the world a better place is a lifelong endeavor.”

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.

Ashlee Allen translated written public health materials into Spanish, creating a resource table for Maliheh Free Clinic patients who are without health insurance.

For his integrative service project, William Chatwin participated in a U campus-based partnership to create a recycling Web site, which will expand to include other case studies.

Kirsten Davies Bradley developed lesson plans to teach basic safety and health hazards to immigrant and refugee students at Horizonte High School.

Creating an art course at the Homeless Youth Resource Center, Stephanie Geerlings also included instruction on making a flat-spine book, which could double as a journal.

Working with Crossroads Urban Center, Elisabeth Jacques created lesson plans for the Open Arts program, an opportunity for homeless people to enhance their artistic ability.

Sarbjit Kaur developed long-term partnerships and a speaker’s tour for the University’s Peers Educating to End Rape (PEER) group.

In coordination with the Utah Rivers Council, Sarah Liljefelt conducted a river trip for Bear River locals to educate on the importance of Wild and Scenic River designation.

Student Tara Merrill used geographic information systems to create a map and database of a 126-acre ecological site. Using these tools, TreeUtah will track growth of native species and eliminate invasive ones.

Robert Oakes created a customized database for Choice Humanitarian, an international service organization, in order to collect and organize information pertaining to donors, expedition members, specific projects and expedition outcomes.

Working with Wasatch Community Gardens, Alexandra Parvaz created a school gardening development guide with lesson plans and information on how to start a garden.

Hoa Xuan “Hannah” Phan worked with University Neighborhood Partners to develop a summer program for children living at Hartland Apartments whose parents attended English-as-a-second-language classes.

Miriam Pope created a resource package for Local First businesses for tabling, local events and business promotion.

A seasoned volunteer with the Cancer Wellness House, Sandra Price developed a volunteer Therapeutic Touch program, which relieves stress and promotes healing, for cancer patients and caregivers.

Working with Harm Reduction Project (HRP), David Roach developed and implemented an HIV-testing program for inmates in Salt Lake.

Anna Roberts developed and taught a sleep seminar for pregnant and parenting teen girls living at the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA).

Engaging Eagles, a course on civic engagement, was created by student Noella Sudbury as an outreach project for Emerson Elementary sixth graders.

Working with South Valley Sanctuary, a shelter for women who are victims of domestic violence, Natalie Taylor created an extensive guidebook on how to find a job and keep it.

Daniel Wiest developed a handbook that outlines how Bennion Center students’ work and legacies at the Bennion Center can be preserved.