In 2011, the MSSU Resource Development Center celebrated the inagural Spirit of Service Awards and Traveling Trophy.
Ceremonies included recognition of Service Learning projects through the presentation of the inaugural Spirit of Service Award and Traveling Trophy. These awards were made possible through a grant from State Farm Youth Advisory Board.
The Spirit of Service Award was presented to the “ADHD – Eastmorland Elementary” group project from Ree Wells-Lewis’ Social Problems class. The award recognizes the project’s excellence in meeting several key factors of quality service learning:
The “ADHD – Eastmorland Elementary” group consisted of Linda Besterd, Heather Caldwell, Sarah Lane, Tara Mills, and Gregory Oliver. These students worked with Eastmorland Principal Heather Surbrugg to create an event to bridge the gap between the medical professionals and teachers. Student Linda Besterd says, “Oftentimes, parents act as a filter between the child’s teacher and doctor. Rarely do the medical professionals have an opportunity to discuss nutrition, medication, stressors, and other ADHD related issues with the teachers who spend so much time with children.”
The Spirit of Service Traveling Trophy is awarded to a department, RSO, or other campus group that shows dedication to the principles of quality Service Learning. The first Spirit of Service Traveling Trophy was awarded to the Sociology Department for the innovative work being done in the community by the Service Learning Students and faculty.
In a time of reflection, Professor Ree Wells-Lewis commented that Service Learning has brought her into a new relationship with her subject, her students, the university and the community. “Service Learning,” she energetically explained, “is a way for my students and me to make an impact on the community around us while addressing learning objectives.”