April 22, 2010

UW celebrates undergraduate leadership and civic engagement

By Undergraduate Academic Affairs

Students discuss their service projects

Photo by Somer Kreisman

Students discuss their service projects with one another at the 2009 Spring Celebration of Service and Leadership.

Annual Spring Celebration of Service and Leadership features student projects

This spring, more than 120 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 19th Annual Spring Celebration of Service and Leadership happens on April 28, 2010, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. in Mary Gates Hall and 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.

“Students’ engagement in campus and community life is at the heart of the Spring Celebration,” says Michaelann Jundt, the director of the Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center. “In a year in which we saw participation in community programs and service-learning increase by 50%, we are excited to bring students together to share what they are contributing and what they are learning.”

During the 2008-2009 school year alone, more than 4,200 UW students participated in university-sponsored service learning programs on campus. The UW is nationally-recognized for its undergraduate service and civic leadership opportunities, most recently being named to the 2009 President’s 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. The UW is the only public, 4-year institution in Washington state to receive this recognition this year.

Spring Celebration attendees will see first-hand the diversity of community issues in which undergraduates are involved—from literacy to mentorship to global development and the environment. Undergraduate Academic Affairs’ Vice Provost and Dean Ed Taylor will say a few words on the importance of service to undergraduate learning and the University of Washington.

“Experiential learning is invaluable in the sense that students start to question and to reflect more deeply on course themes, and get early experience working in fields in which they may have a future professional interest,” says Kathie Friedman, associate professor in the Jackson School of International Studies. “Service learning demonstrates clearly the commitment of the University of Washington to the community.”

“I liked how the Spring Celebration of Service and Leadership allowed me to showcase my projects to the community,” said sophomore and Ellis Civic Fellow Bryan Dosono who participated in the 2009 Spring Celebration. “It was also a great way find out about other opportunities that my peers have initiated within the University District and the greater Seattle area.”

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 60 projects in the Gallery.

  • Ending Illiteracy
  • NoRoBo: Motivating young kids in the field of science and engineering
  • “Hello in There:” Participatory qualitative methods for undergraduates. WATCH the video.
  • Global Development: People for Progress in India & Bioengineers Without Borders
  • Extending Semitic Community: Jewish, Muslim and Arab Dialogue

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: April 28, 2010, 3:30-5:30 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.

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