Anderson University recently recognized several students, faculty, and staff for their dedication to community service during the past year. Among those recognized in chapel on April 12 were student AmeriCorps volunteers, international students, and others who have made a difference in the community.
“This chapel was an opportunity for us to celebrate the amazing work that goes on as our students, staff, and faculty have served our community over the course of the year,” said Stephanie Moran, director of the Community Partnership Center at AU. “As the university continues to commit itself to preparing students for a life of faith and service, this chapel is a way to honor that commitment.”
Individuals recognized for awards include:
- AmeriCorps Student Engagement Award: Lauren Cantrell, Sarah Conway, Heather Gruber, Michael Heckendorn, Ben Herrick, Rachael Huddy, Ashley Ledford, Jon Maxwell, Ruben Orozco, Carmen Oswalt, Meredith Tarplee, Kylene Wilder
- International Students of Service: LaToya Francis, Amrutha Pulikottil, Nabin Timsina
- Community Responder Award: Sarah Russell
- Community Partner of the Year Award: Park Place Community Center
- Faculty awards: Dr. Tim Fox and Dr. Rebecca Hull
- Staff Community Partner Award: Pauletta Swank
- 2012 Newman Civic Fellow: Ryan Petter
Park Place Community Center has provided real-time learning experiences for students in various areas of study including education, social work, kinesiology, ministry, and others. AU students have participated in the Center’s food pantry, after-school programs, mentoring programs, and special events.
Dr. Timothy Fox, professor of Spanish, has been committed to service learning with his students. Fox and his students have translated documents into Spanish for United Way of Madison County, and recently translated the City of Anderson’s bus route. The students also have helped translate birth certificates and driver’s licenses for recent immigrants from Mexico and Central America.
“These translations give our students some real-life experience in translating actual documents and all the nuances involved in translation,” Fox said. “It also gives them the satisfaction of helping the community.”
Dr. Rebecca Hull, professor of kinesiology, has worked with the community for decades, supervising such programs a gym class for home-school children. More than 70 families and 150 children participate each year in the home-school program, which was created by Gertrude Wunsch, professor emerita of physical education.
“The program is a win-win situation,” said Hull. “Our AU students polish their teaching skills while the homeschool children get a well-balanced, physically active, and fun program.”
Pauletta Swank, office manager and training coordinator in the Human Resources Office, has worked with community partners and local agencies to provide employment for AU students through the work-study program. She has also worked to coordinate volunteers for Colts Camp at AU. Agencies across the city of Anderson have noted her reputation as a representative of AU and her commitment to service.
Sarah Russell was recognized for the Community Responder Award for her work with Operation Foundation, a student-run, weeklong service project that seeks to bring physical restoration to the city of Anderson. The project is in its fourth year.
The Newman Civic Fellow Award is dedicated to acknowledging and creating opportunity for emerging civic leaders, as nominated by Campus Compact’s member college and university presidents. Nominated by AU President Dr. James L. Edwards, Ryan Petter has developed business applications for an orphanage in Zambia, set up a computer network for a hospital in Ghana, and helped build a home in Mexico, in addition to service involvement in Anderson community.
“Ryan’s commitment to combating poverty through economic development offers long term hope,” said Edwards. “He is both inspired and inspiring.”
The AmeriCorps Student Engagement Award recognizes students who have logged more than 300 hours of service through the AmeriCorps program.
Due to their international status, Francis, Pulikottil, and Timsina did not qualify for the AmeriCorps Award, but they were still committed to community service throughout the year.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. 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.