What are you good at? What are you passionate about? How does an experience at Anderson University differ from other universities?
Those were the type of questions Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Marie Morris asked at a recent luncheon with faculty regarding the new vision for the Community Partnership Center.
“Students want real world experiences,” said Morris. “We can offer that through service learning and provide the students with the opportunity to connect what happens in the classroom to internships and experiences outside of the classroom. There is a lot of growth between ages 18 and 22, and we want to help impact the values, virtues, and positive character traits in students.”
After taking the first step of discovering what you’re passionate about, the second step comes easily. By having a Community Partnership Center, the community and students will be able to benefit from each other through service learning.
“AU cannot do service learning without the community. We need our community,” said Morris. “At the same time, with the increased needs of our community, I believe our community can benefit from the resources our programs have to offer.”
This approach is a slight shift from previous efforts.
“We hope to combine the Community Partnership Center, character development service learning, and leadership development all together,” said Stephanie Moran, director of the Community Partnership Center. “We see all three of these pillars being integrated. As you become a person of character, you often become a leader, and in a way, you grow your character through service. There are many times when you don’t have one without the others.”
Moran anticipates an increase in efficiency as well as the benefits of synergy.
“In doing character development, service engagement and leadership development, they use the same resources — the Community Partnership Center — and have one resource of money and manpower. This all works most efficiently and effectively under one umbrella,” she said.
The program was promoted through a celebration of service chapel on Thursday, April 8. The chapel was dedicated to the late Linda Cummins, an assistant dean at AU, in remembrance of the impact she had on AU’s campus. Students, faculty, staff, and community partners were acknowledged for their acts of service and volunteerism.
“I hope that through growing the capacity of the Community Partnership Center we can inspire students, faculty, and staff to realize the possibility they have within themselves to effect change and to meet the needs of the community and the world around them,” said Morris.
- Laura Overman is a junior from Peru, Ind., majoring in communication arts. Overman is an associate with Fifth Street Communications, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2009, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the sixth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.