On Monday, May 9, UW undergraduates will showcase their civic engagement projects that enrich their undergraduate education and benefit the local nonprofit organizations, schools and campus programs with which they volunteer. The 20th Annual Spring Celebration of Service and Leadership happens from 3:30-5:30 p.m. in the Walker Ames room of Kane Hall. Students will present their projects at 3:30 and a brief program featuring Washingtons Secretary of State Sam Reed and student leaders will start at 4:30 p.m.
“Students engagement in campus and community life is at the heart of the Spring Celebration,” says Michaelann Jundt, director of the Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center. “Student participation in community programs and service learning continues to increase and we are excited to bring students together to share what they are contributing and what they are learning.”
For many UW undergraduates, being involved in the community is integral to their college experience. In the 2009-10 school year alone, nearly 5,000 UW students participated in University-sponsored public service, including service learning, public service internships and volunteer work. Students devoted an astounding 619,222 hours to public service in 2009-10.
Student involvement in service and leadership has led to national recognition for the UW. In 2009, the University was named to the Presidents Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.
Spring Celebration attendees will see firsthand the diversity of community issues in which undergraduates are involved — from early literacy to mentorship, agriculture to womens health awareness, youth identity and leadership to global climate change, and much more.
“Service learning gives students opportunities to make a connection between their academic work and the real world,” explained William Talbott, philosophy professor, in an email. “For students of human rights, this is especially important. Service learning can be the beginning of a lifelong engagement with real world human rights issues.”
Megan Rae, a senior in American Indian studies, spent a week of her summer and spring breaks in Neah Bay helping students there use digital storytelling to explore their community. For Rae, “Being a part of this project has been a gift. The Neah Bay community is amazing and strong and has inspired me in my goals to become a lawyer and advocate for tribal communities. Im even more excited now to start law school and start making a difference.”
The following projects illustrate the breadth of undergraduate leadership activities. Students involved in them will present their work in the Gallery of Student Projects. More than 50 projects will be presented in the gallery.
- UWs First Annual Womens Health Week
- We Tell Stories: Social Justice and NGO Activism in Bangalore, India
- Youth and Suicide: A Necessary Dialogue
- Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Jr. Program
- Manic Mouth Congress: Cultivating a Community of Writers and Readers
The Spring Celebration of Service and Leadership is co-hosted by the Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center, Jumpstart, the Pipeline Project, and the Mary Gates Endowment for Students, all programs housed within Undergraduate Academic Affairs Center for Experiential Learning.