Undergraduate Academic Affairs

Undergraduate work in the community on display at annual Spring Celebration

Spring Celebration of Service and Leadership to highlight stories of civic and community engagement

2012 Spring Celebration PhotoOn May 11, 2012, University of Washington undergraduates will showcase civic engagement projects that enrich their undergraduate education and benefit the local nonprofit organizations, schools, and campus programs with which they serve. The annual Spring Celebration of Service and Leadership happens from 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. on the 2nd floor of Kane Hall, beginning in the Walker Ames room with the Gallery of Student Projects. Students will present their projects at 4:00 p.m. and a brief program student stories will begin at 5:00 p.m. in Kane Hall 210.

“Stories of student engagement in service and as campus and community leaders are the centerpiece of this year’s celebration,” says Rachel Vaughn, the new director of the Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center. “As the Carlson Center celebrates its 20th anniversary, and the Mary Gates Endowment for Students (one of several programs collaborating to plan the event) celebrates its 15th anniversary, we want to take a moment to remember the stories of student and community transformation that all of our community-engaged programs are built on.”

For many UW undergraduates, being involved in the community is integral to their college experience. In the 2010-11 school year alone, over 5,000 UW students participated in university-sponsored public service, including service learning, public service internships and volunteer work. Students devoted an astounding 523,019 hours to public service in 2010-11. Student involvement in service and leadership has led to national recognition for the UW. In 2012, the University was again named to the 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.

Spring Celebration attendees will see first-hand the diversity of community issues in which undergraduates are involved—from early literacy to mentorship, agriculture to women’s health awareness, youth identity and leadership to global climate change, and much more.

“Service-learning is a wonderful component to my social problems class,” says Alexes Harris, assistant professor of sociology. “Every quarter the student service-learners tell me what a great eye-opening experience they have had at their sites, that they would have never understood the issues in such depth had they not participated as a service-learner, and how they learned how much more complex society is from a sociological viewpoint. I couldn’t ask for a better learning experience for my students.”

Ariana Westbrook, a senior in early childhood and family studies, has served with the Jumpstart Program (which connects teams of UW undergraduates with low-income, Head Start preschool children to help children prepare for school success) for three years. “Jumpstart has inspired me to teach and to address social justice issues within educational policy. I believe that many of the discrepancies evident in the system today are due to embedded injustices that must be combated in order for all children to reach their full potential.”

The following projects illustrate the breadth of undergraduate service and 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.

  • The Neah Bay Project: Telling Your Story
  • Establishing a Disability and Deaf Cultural Center
  • Outreach Coordination at People for Puget Sound
  • Manic Mouth Congress: Envisioning an Arts Activism Community
  • Lambda Phi Epsilon: Saving Lives through Bone Marrow Transplant

Event Details
WHAT: Spring Celebration of Service and Leadership
WHO: UW undergraduates committed to serving the community
WHEN: May 11, 2012, 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.
WHERE: Walker Ames room, Kane Hall, UW Seattle

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 and Diversity.

About the Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center
The Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center develops service-learning, community-based participatory research, and leadership opportunities for UW students that sustain reciprocal partnerships, deepen learning, advance civic engagement, and contribute to our greater community.

About the Pipeline Project
The Pipeline Project connects UW undergraduates with educational and service opportunities in local and regional K-12 schools and community organizations. Such experiences provide undergraduates with new insights into their personal and academic lives, offer under-served K-12 students individualized tutoring and mentoring relationships with college student role models, support public school teachers in meeting their own instructional goals, and connect UW departments to the greater educational community.

About Jumpstart
Jumpstart connects teams of UW undergraduates with low-income, Head Start preschool children to help children prepare for school success. Undergraduates spend the academic year engaging children with activities designed to build their language, literacy, and social skills. Jumpstart encourages undergraduates to explore the world of early childhood education, gain a deeper understanding of themselves, and increase their awareness of the communities in which they serve.

About the Mary Gates Endowment for Students
The Mary Gates Endowment for Students expands opportunities for undergraduates by providing Leadership, Research, Honors and Venture scholarships that ask students to articulate their goals, identify mentors, reflect on their experiences, and actively engage in their own learning process.