Undergraduate Academic Affairs

UW undergraduates celebrate leadership and civic engagement

2009 Spring Celebration Participants

UW undergraduates serve the community in diverse ways—from working with preschool children to food banks to environmental causes.Photo by Herbert Kim

By Crystal D. Chiechi

On May 6, more than 100 University of Washington 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 18th Annual Spring Celebration of Service and Leadership happens May 6 from 4-6 p.m. in Mary Gates Hall and is co-hosted by UAA’s Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center, Jumpstart, the Pipeline Project, and the Mary Gates Endowment for Students.

“The Spring Celebration is an opportunity for students to tell their stories,” says Michaelann Jundt, the director of the Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center. “You really get a sense of how many projects are out there and how involved students are on and off campus.”

During the 2008-2009 school year alone, 1,317 UW students participated in university-sponsored service learning programs on campus. Also in the past academic year, 861 undergraduates have tutored or mentored preschool-12th grade students through the Pipeline Project.

In the Gallery of Student Projects, Spring Celebration attendees will see first-hand the diversity of community issues in which undergraduates are involved – from health care to education to the environment. Additionally, students will share their experiences in panel discussions. A reception caps the event and will recognize 54 Mary Gates Leadership scholars who have been pursuing leadership challenges or projects, often focused on public service in the community or on campus, with the support of scholarships from the Mary Gates Endowment for Students.

Xayachuck “Toan” Viradet, a senior double majoring in finance and economics, participated in last year’s celebration as a Mary Gates Leadership Scholar. “Not only was I able to inform others about my work,” he remembers, “but was [also] able to incorporate their feedback and advice for the improvement of my project.”

Other students are getting involved at the event by participating on evaluation teams to give presenters feedback. “This year’s Spring Celebration has expanded to include many student groups and projects,” Viradet states. “I’m on the feedback team this year and am very excited to help learn and reflect back on my own leadership and community projects.”

Gallery of Student Projects

2008 Spring Celebration participants.Photo by Kristin Okinaka

The following projects illustrate the breadth of undergraduate leadership activities. Students involved in them will present their work in the Gallery of Student Projects. There will be about 80 projects in the Gallery.

  • “One Page at a Time” – A Documentary on the Project of Children’s Literacy in Seattle
  • Increasing Stroke Awareness through the Seattle Metro Bus System
  • Los Nuevos Americanos – Social Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth
  • Maintaining the Strength and Reducing the Environmental Impact of Industry in Washington State
  • One World Now! – Providing Global Leadership Opportunities for Seattle Youth
  • Project F.A.M.I.L.Y. – Filipino Americans Mentoring and Instilling Leadership in Youth
  • Students in the Community – Health Education and Homelessness
  • The Digital Learning Commons and Web-Based Learning in Washington State Classrooms
  • Working with Engineers without Borders in Bolivia – Improving Quality of Life Through Sustainable Engineering Projects
  • Youth Can Move the World – Reproductive Health Workshop Guyana 2008

Event Details
WHAT: Spring Celebration of Service and Leadership, sponsored by the Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center, Pipeline Project, Jumpstart, and the Mary Gates Endowment for Students
WHO: UW undergraduates committed to serving the community
WHEN: May 6, 2009, 4:00-6:00 p.m.
WHERE: Mary Gates Hall Commons, UW Seattle

About the Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center
The Carlson Center at the University of Washington is committed to engaging undergraduates in understanding, building and improving our communities. The Carlson Center expands the scope of education, promotes effective public service, and fosters a rich cultural and civic life for University of Washington students by creating opportunities for neighborhood and community involvement.

About the Pipeline Project
The Pipeline Project is a K-12 outreach program that links undergraduate students from the University of Washington with both educational and service opportunities within the Seattle Public Schools through tutoring and mentoring.

About Jumpstart
Part of a leading national nonprofit organization, Jumpstart at the University of Washington connects UW undergraduates with low-income Seattle preschoolers to help these children build the language, literacy, and social skills necessary for later academic and life success.

About the Mary Gates Endowment for Students
The University’s largest endowment for undergraduate scholarships, the Mary Gates Endowment invests in undergraduate students engaged in research and leadership projects, encouraging student learning inside and beyond the classroom.