Faculty, Staff, Community Partners and Students Honored at Service-Learning 25-Year Celebration

On Thursday, April 9 the MU Office of Service-Learning celebrated 25 years of service with a ceremony at Memorial Student Union’s Stotler Lounge.

This ceremony honored faculty, staff, community partners and students for the hard work, dedication and encouragement each have provided to the office since its founding.

Dr. Tony Castro was awarded the 2015 University of Missouri Excellence in Service-Learning Award for Faculty. Castro is an assistant professor in the Department of Learning, Teaching and Curriculum (LTC) in the College of Education and the supervisor for the Inquiring into Schools, Community and Society course (LTC 2040), which partners with the Office of Service-Learning in instructing future teachers on the political, cultural and economic conditions of schools by placing them at service sites.

Dr. Anne-Marie Foley, director of the Office of Service-Learning, said selecting Castro for the award was easy.

“Through service we have a road to healing ourselves and this world and I know Tony feels that way, too,” Foley says. “I’m always excited to think about what the College of Education is doing to involve future educators directly with the community.”

Castro mirrored these sentiments upon accepting his award.

“The Office of Service-Learning is a hidden crown jewel of MU,” he says. “What we are about at MU is exemplified by what Foley, her staff and community partners do.”

The 2015 University of Missouri Excellence in Service-Learning Award for Civic Leaders was awarded to MU student Camille Hosman for her three internships in the Civic Leaders Government Internship Program. Two of those were served at the Missouri State Capitol and one in Washington, D.C.

Although successful in her own right, Hosman has the highest appreciation for service-learning.

“More than anyone, I have the Office of Service-Learning to thank for getting me to where I am today,” she says.

MU student Eric Meyer was presented with the 2015 University of Missouri Excellence in Service-Learning Award for Global Service. Through the office, Meyer served in Ghana and completed the MU Peace Corps Prep Global Service Award.

“The Office of Service-Learning has opened so many doors for me,” he says. “It’s the glue that’s put my college career together.”

The 2015 University of Missouri Excellence in Service-Learning Award for Community Leadership was awarded to MU student Drew Hensel, a Biology major with a minor in Spanish and Leadership and Public Service. Hensel will be attending medical school at MU in the fall.

Through service-learning, Hensel served as a volunteer for the After-School Program at Centro Latino. By going above and beyond to serve disadvantaged children, he was able to work his way up to volunteer coordinator at the organization. This experience allowed Hensel to get firsthand experience working with children and better himself on an individual level through critical thinking and introspection.

“A funny thing happens when you begin to put others before yourself, and it almost always ends with you learning more about yourself than you could have ever anticipated,” he says. “I would highly recommend [Office of Service-Learning programs] to anyone that desires to give back to the greater Columbia community.”

Central Missouri Community Action was the recipient of the 2015 University of Missouri Excellence in Service-Learning Award for a Community Partner. CMCA is a non-profit organization that serves eight counties in Central Missouri with the mission to empower individuals and families by developing resources that prevent poverty.

Executive Director Darin Preis, Volunteer Coordinator Kelley Lucero and Call Center Supervisor for the Energy Crisis Line Colita Harvey were present to accept the award.

CMCA has done great things for the Office of Service-Learning and its students, but Lucero offers a great amount of credit back to the office.

“When I learned about this award, it was hard to wrap my head around it because the Office of Service-Learning and its students have helped our organization so much,” she says.

Certificates were awarded to students nominated by their service placement sites for performing excellent service over the course of the semester. These students were: Ashlyn Alcorn, MU Adult Day Connection; Morgan Alwell, Lenoir Woods; Paige Anderson, For His Glory, Inc.; Katherine Andrews, For His Glory, Inc.; Rachel Brackney, CPS: Douglass High School; Claire Donz, Sustainable Farms & Communities; Emily Guenther, Boone County Council on Aging (now Services for Independent Living); Julia Hannah, Colony Point Assisted Living; Elizabeth Johnson, University of Missouri Extension; Lauren McDermott, Centro Latino; Maeve McFarland,MarineParents.com; Audrey Rose McManus, City of Columbia Office of Sustainability; Amy Moorkamp, True North; Kristin Morrison, Lutheran Family and Children’s Services; Sara Naatz, Job Point; Kelly Oman, Central Missouri Community Action; Brian Sharp,MarineParents.com; Mara Somlo, MU Parent Link; Matthew Shepard, Central Missouri Community Action; Izora Thompson, Encouragement House; Matthew Vallot, Central Missouri Foster Care and Adoption Association; Margaret Vatterott, Global Issues Leadership Development; Jenna Wangerin, CPS: Adult Learning Center.

Students who obtained the 16-credit hour MU Peace Corps Prep Global Service Award in 2015 were also presented with their Peace Corps Certificates. These students were Taylor Black, Lisa Callahan, Madeline Canty, Margaret Cleveland, Erin Ehlers, Cassandra Gergen, Anne Marie Hankins, Anastasia Harris, Alexander Kirby, Kathryn Luedke, Christina Meador, Eric Meyer, Kathryn Oberemeier, Summer Rash, Elizabeth Ridge and Sarah Trigg.

Along with the award ceremony, guests had the opportunity to listen to speaker Jim Spain, PhD. and vice provost of Undergraduate Studies, as well as attend five educational seminars – Public Service Internships: Student Learning in Non-Profit and Government Settings, Service-Learning and Professional Development: The Trulaske College of Business Field Experience Requirement, MU Serves: Mobilizing a Campus, MU Global Service Program, and Service-Learning Partnerships: Empowering Students and the Community.

Guest speakers for these seminars were: Dr. Anne-Marie Foley, Office of Service-Learning; Cara Gallup, Office of Service-Learning; Brianna Coyle, Office of Service-Learning; Kirsten Pape, Office of Service-Learning; Julia Parcell, Office of Service-Learning; Jason Kinnear, Office of Service-Learning; Tara Shade, Alternative Community Training; Jennifer Erickson, Columbia Access Television; Kerry Lewis, Family Health Center; Cassandra Casperson, Academic Advisor; Astrid Villamil, Faculty; Emily Mahler, Internship Coordinator; Suzannah Bambini, MU Student; Emily Waggoner, MU Student; Mary Camille Hosman, MU Student; Courtney Wood, MU Student; Michaela Lamb, MU Student; Andrea Westhoff, MU Student; Nicholas Schwartz, MU Student; Gay Albright, Trulaske College of Business; Sean Ross, Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri; Rylea Luckfield, CPS: Adult Learning Center; Jessica Macy, Services for Independent Living; Sarah Diester, MU Student; Lorna McCune, Department of Romance Languages and Literature; Alan Strathman, Department of Psychological Sciences; Meredith Harrison, MU Student; Eric Meyer, MU Student; Dr. Tony Castro, College of Education; Michelle Murphy, Center for Leadership and Service; Pamela Ingram, Founder of Granny’s House; Rachel Brackney, MU Student; Margaret Cleveland, MU Student and Office of Service-Learning Student Assistant.

University Catering provided breakfast, lunch and refreshments for the event.