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U Students Log 9,000+ Hours of Community Service

April 28, 2011- At this year’s commencement on May 6, 21 service-learning scholars will graduate with over 9,258 hours committed to service during their undergraduate study at the University of Utah (the U).

Recently recognized by the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center at a dinner in their honor, these students all completed over 400 service hours each, 10 service-learning credit hours of coursework, attended related workshops and submitted their reflections upon their service to the Bennion Center each semester. In addition, 19 of the students completed an Integrated Service Project (ISP) in order to receive full designation as a service-learning scholar.

“This year, we’ve had our largest service-learning cohort yet; 19 of these students graduate this spring with a full designation, and two with a certificate of achievement. We’re really proud of them because of their outstanding commitment to serving the community maintaining high academic standards at the U,” says JaNae Lilly, service-learning coordinator for the Bennion Center.

Below is a list of the scholars and how they served the community. Students’ majors – ranging from the humanities to science, medicine and fine arts – are noted in parentheses.

Michelle Doong (economics) created a Christmas party that implemented service for participants at Camp Kotsiopoulos. Michelle has served the U campus through the Union Programming Council and, as the current service house resident advisor, has participated in a variety of events, including Officers Hollow, an event that provides a safe place for children to enjoy Halloween at Fort Douglas.

Alejandrina Garcia (human development & family studies) worked with Lied and Capitol West Boys and Girls Club to create a self-expression workshop program. Much of her volunteer service has been about the alternative spring break program at the U. She is also leading a group of 6th graders in the U’s annual Project Youth event on Thursday, April 28.

Melissa Gutierrez (early childhood education) addressed the community need of Latinas Adelante by creating a resource book for youth teen mothers. She has many service hours dedicated to tutoring and hosting college workshops for underrepresented children.

June Hiatt (sociology) helped organize Guadalupe to the U Day, which brought 100 first- through fourth- graders from Guadalupe School to the University of Utah. June has been actively serving on campus for several years including University Service Corps, Bend-in-the-River, and ASUU.

Katherine Hobbs (exercise sports science) helped create a student-directed program at the Bennion Center that focuses on exercise with seniors. As a past service house resident advisor, she organized the Officers Hollow event and many other service events for the residents.

Sara Hugentolbler (biology) addressed issues related to high school students pursuing careers in science. Sara has been very involved in the alternative spring break program as a participant, site team leader and coordinator. She also served a variety of communities through Saturday service projects and Freshman Service Corps.

Clint Hugie (business management and philosophy) gathered “peer-to-peer” feedback about college involvement and created an Honors College databank. He also volunteered for a local high school athletics program and helped train a service dog.

Yasmeen Hussian (math and biology) compiled stories based on the career journeys of individuals who graduated from college with a math major. She has also served through Freshman Service Corps, Legacy of Lowell, the Utah Food Bank and Habitat for Humanity.

Suzanne King (graphic design) has volunteered with kids across the Salt Lake valley, including Girls on the Run, Kids Crew at Primary Children’s Hospital and an English as a second language class at Highland High.

Samora Magdala (sociology) worked with the Inclusion Center for Community & Justice to put together a photo-ad campaign. She also volunteered at the Rape Recovery Center, Utah AIDS Foundation and the Utah Pride Center.

Morgan Marietti (health promotion and education) designed a fitness and nutrition program for teens in Utah 4-H. Morgan is the current student board rep for the scholars’ leadership team. She organized Officers Hollow and is an avid knitter for newborns at University of Utah Hospital.

Andrea Medina (health promotion and education) collected information about dental resources for the people served though University Neighborhood Partners. Before her ISP, she served the community as a translator for Donated Dental, a non-profit organization that provides dental services at little to no cost.

Mikaela Mokofisi (mass communication/public relations) worked with the Lied and Capitol West Boys & Girls Club students in various self-expression workshops. As the education and advocacy coordinator in the Bennion Center this year, Mikaela has been involved in many projects including Arts for Youth, Project Youth and Guadalupe to the U Day.

Michelle Mueller (French) created a curriculum for teaching French in a middle school class for Salt Lake Arts Academy. Michelle’s volunteerism has focused on mentoring youth and working with Wasatch International Adoption Agency.

Guadalupe Ochoa (business marketing) enhanced the mentoring program at the Pete Suazo Business Center. As a member of the scholars leadership team this year, Guadalupe has been involved in serving her fellow service-learning scholars.

Xuan Phan (human development and family studies) worked with the Mountain View Elementary after school program to teach students why college is important and how they can get there. Xuan has a passion for serving at the Humane Society and has also been a big sister for the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program.

Ryan Price (math and physics) spent his time educating elementary school students about climate change in partnership with the West Fellows program, while raising their overall knowledge of the scientific process involved. Ryan’s volunteerism through the Bennion Center has ranged from being a program director for the Children’s Center, coordinator for the education and advocacy group and now serving as a co-chair of the student board.

Cameron Vakilian (communication and music) coordinated a new alternative spring break trip to Las Vegas, Nevada. Cameron has helped with a number of campus events including Bleed Red, the Rivalry Week food drive and Pride Week.

Bryce Williams (social work) helped organize Guadalupe to the U Day. As the rep for University Service Corps, Bryce helped organize numerous volunteer opportunities for U students, which include Bleed Red, Trick-or-Can and the Hunger Banquet.

Adam Wolfe (pharmacy) established the Pharmacy Gala as an annual event, where pharmacy students raise money for the Maliheh Free Clinic. He also served the community through local health and wellness fairs providing important services like immunizations for seniors.

Eric Wood (economics) served as the Sorensen Multicultural Center program director. He also donated his time serving through multiple service-learning classes, including one with the Living Planet Aquarium.