Professors make teaching math fun

Stephanie Tilley, an Early Childhood Education major at The Ohio State University at Mansfield, helps a student with telling time at a summer Math Camp.

Stephanie Tilley, an Early Childhood Education major at The Ohio State University at Mansfield, helps a student with telling time at a summer Math Camp.

Students busily measured Ladybug’s progress on giant sheets of paper as an elementary school teacher delivered the pre-planned lesson. Observers circled the room, making notes as the lesson progressed.

The class was part of a well-orchestrated combination of teacher professional development and math camp conducted at Springmill Learning Center by The Ohio State University at Mansfield in July. The professional development class was made possible through a $203,000 grant from the Ohio Board of Regents.

Twenty-two elementary and middle school teachers from the Mansfield City School District prepared and delivered lessons during the math camp. At the same time, camp teachers from several local school districts taught 170 children in the week-long camp, with relief from Ohio State Mansfield Education students.

A similar camp was conducted with 60 children and 10 teachers at the Lucas School District in August.

“There’s a lot of things happening at the same time,” said Terri Bucci, associate professor of Education and one of the coordinators of the grant. “It’s really exciting to see the results because all those groups of teachers and students are learning as well, not just the kids who are in the camp.”

The grant includes a year’s worth of professional development with course credit through Ohio State. Elementary teachers attended a week of intensive coursework and designed lesson plans adapted from the Algebra Project’s 5-step curricular process, which evolved from Professor Lee McEwan’s successful Algebra Project high school program. Teachers then used the plan to teach during the camp, with other teachers silently observing. After the class, teachers discussed the interaction and offered feedback.

“We wanted to demonstrate that the math camp process works with different kinds of districts,” Bucci said. “Mansfield and Lucas are very dissimilar – one is large and urban, one is very small, very rural. We wanted to show that this process would work in any kind of demographic.”

Kelly Scott, an Ohio State Mansfield Middle School Education student and Mansfield graduate, helped develop games for the camp.

“Growing up, I never really liked math,” she said. “I feel like if we get the kids involved and excited while they are younger, they will want to do math later on when they get to the harder stuff like calculus and algebra.”

Math Literacy Initiative

Ohio State Mansfield and the Mansfield City Schools Board of Education have approved a plan to house a Math Literacy Initiative at the Springmill Learning Center.

The center was on the closure list last spring when a plan was conceived to host professional development opportunities for elementary and middle school teachers in the facility.

Ohio State Mansfield Professors Lee McEwan and Terri Bucci, in their fourth year of teaching professional development for the Mansfield school district, will serve as co-directors.

Students from Ohio State Mansfield’s Middle Childhood Education program also are expected to receive field experience at the center.

Who are the Mansfield Mavericks?

New volleyball coach Connie Surowicz gives the team some pointers during a break in action during a recent game. For game schedules, go to mansfield.osu.edu/crc

New volleyball coach Connie Surowicz gives the team some pointers during a break in action during a recent game. For game schedules, go to mansfield.osu.edu/crc

There’s a hidden gem on the Mansfield campus and Athletics Director Mike LaCroix wants fans to find it. The Ohio State University at Mansfield and North Central State College collectively field intercollegiate teams in the form of the Mansfield Mavericks.

The Mavericks were formed in 2005 and now play six sports – volleyball, men’s soccer, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and cheerleading. In 2010, they joined the Ohio Regional Campus Conference, which includes 10 other member schools. Although the Mavericks have shown success as state runner-ups four times, they are relatively unknown locally.

But this year, the playing field has changed with nearly half of incoming freshmen living in on- and off-campus dorms. That expands the talent pool to student-athletes from across Northeast Ohio as well as more fans. When Buckeye Village is fully developed, the campus population could become more than 50 percent residential, says Ohio State Mansfield Dean and Director Stephen Gavazzi.

“When you become primarily a residential campus, you have to have athletics,” Gavazzi said. “It’s something that we are very proud to be able to offer here on the Mansfield campus.”

There are no athletic scholarships offered. Student-athletes play for the love of the sport. That’s what drew new volleyball coach Connie Surowicz to the campus, as well as a chance to shape a relatively new program. She has coached collegiately for more than 20 years, at Ashland University and Wittenberg College, among others.

“When Mike (LaCroix) first offered me the position, I felt very comfortable because I felt his values were for the student-athletes,” she said. “Mike has a vision here to change the culture of the athletic program. I think he realizes how important athletics can be for retention at the university. When students can make that connection on campus, it does nothing but enhance their experiences.”

ORCC, as the governing body, conducts state tournaments and awards an all-sports trophy to the most successful regional campus sports program each year, according to Brett Whitacker, ORCC secretary and treasurer, and athletic director for the Newark campus. ORCC also names all-conference team members and honors all-academic students, those who attend full-time and maintain at least a 3.0 GPA during their semester of sports participation. Since joining the conference, the Mavericks have fielded 53 all-academic students.

Phil Schmook, a 29-year high school coaching veteran, was recently hired as men’s basketball coach. He understands the dual role academics and athletics plays.

“The long term goal here is to have this program be attractive to young people that want to come in here and understand that basketball is important and you love doing that but it’s also pretty darn important to get the academic piece of life taken care of so that you can be a productive member of society,” he said.

“I want them to realize that if they come here and they decide to put forth that effort in the academic world and on the athletic team, it will make it easier to be successful as they move on.”

Student-veterans can now get help adjusting to college

 

Josh Hurrell, a junior at The Ohio State University at Mansfield, is the new student-veteran community advocate.

Josh Hurrell, a junior at The Ohio State University at Mansfield, is the new student-veteran community advocate.

Student-veterans helping other veterans adjust to college life is the focus of a new position created at The Ohio State University at Mansfield. Junior Josh Hurrell, a Gulf War veteran, has been selected to receive a scholarship and position as Student-Veteran Community Advocate. For the first time this year, the Ohio State Columbus-based program has offered scholarships at the regional campuses.

In addition to the scholarship, Hurrell received $1,000 to provide four events and programs for Ohio State Mansfield student-veterans.

Hurrell, a Social Work major, has already conducted an ice cream social pairing tots and veterans at the campus Child Development Center in August, and hosted an information booth at the recent Involvement and Community Fair on campus.

He is planning two Veteran’s Day events – a National Roll Call on campus in November and participation in the Mansfield Veteran’s Day Parade. He estimates there are about 50 to 75 student-veterans on campus as well as about 15 faculty and staff.

“It will be a way for the faculty, staff and students to be honored, and to see face-to-face, these are students I didn’t know are veterans who are involved here on campus,” he said. “Some people just don’t want to tell anybody, don’t want to be involved. Maybe this will be a chance for more people to get involved.”

The U.S. Marine Corp veteran is no stranger to involvement on campus. Hurrell is a Buckeye Ambassador, vice president of the Student Veterans Association, co-president of the Multicultural Association and Campus Activities Board member.

Student experiences part of learning

Professor Ozeas Costa helps research student Stephanie Brokaw collect a soil  sample from a vernal pool on the Mansfield campus.

Professor Ozeas Costa helps research student Stephanie Brokaw collect a soil
sample from a vernal pool on the Mansfield campus.

The Ohio State University at Mansfield believes that student experiences outside the classroom are just as important as the learning that goes on within. From research to internships, arts to athletics, and from studying abroad to leadership opportunities in campus clubs, students can choose the experiences that will provide personal development and prepare them for careers.

“Getting involved in activities outside the classroom gives them a sense of community and place,” says Donna Hight, Chief Student Life and Retention Officer. “They begin to realize college is a good fit for them. It’s where they belong.”

Stephanie Brokaw, a sophomore at Ohio State Mansfield, was selected for an Undergraduate Education Summer Research Fellowship. With mentoring from Earth Sciences Professor Ozeas Costa, the Pharmaceutical Sciences major is analyzing the wetlands and vernal pools on campus to identify the organic matter and carbonate content.

“It’s nice that we have a campus that already has wetlands and a professor who wanted to do the research,” Brokaw said. “The experience of gathering information, seeing what other researchers are doing and learning to use the computer programs that are involved for research and data collection has been invaluable.”

Two other current students will use their leadership skills to form a women’s support group on campus this fall, inspired by several speakers from a recent conference.

Senior Tiffany Tilley and sophomore Maris Bucci attended the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders at the University of Maryland in June. It was the first time students from the Mansfield campus participated in the conference, according to Donna Hight, Chief Student Life and Retention Officer.

“The women there were phenomenal. They were so high-spirited, outspoken strong women,” Bucci said. “It was awesome being a part of that and sharing it with other people who had similar interests as me.” Bucci is a self-described “involvement activist.” She is a Buckeye Ambassador, Campus Activity Board secretary, member of the Mansfield Mavericks volleyball team, president of Student Government, Camp Hetuck facilitator and is working at Buckeye Village as a leasing consultant.

Tilley is also training to be a Junior Admissions Counselor in the fall. She has been part of the Haiti Empowerment Project study-abroad for two years and was a Buckeye Ambassador.

Ohio State Mansfield connects students with paid internships in surrounding communities, too. Jessica Luna, an Accounting major, is a Human Resources Intern at OhioHealth MedCentral this summer. She provides a variety of duties for the director and vice president as well as participating in project development related to MedCentral’s integration with OhioHealth.

“I think it’s unique that our students have the opportunity to intern locally with a Fortune 100 company like OhioHealth MedCentral (ranked in the top 100 Best Companies to Work For by Fortune),” said Tracy Bond, Internship Program coordinator.

“Jessica’s internship is a road she’s taken to test the waters in key areas of her interests in the business field that may lead her to pursue specific paths in her academics and career.  The company culture and experiences she is having are invaluable and may open up doors for her in the future.”

Building student success is campus-wide initiative

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Students participating in Camp Hetuck learn team-building and problem-solving. These students must learn to adapt to an ever-shrinking group footprint.

The Ohio State University at Mansfield is known for its friendly caring attitude and those qualities show from the minute new students commit to “Buckeye North” and continue through their first year and beyond. In fact, that strong foundation towards building student success is one reason students decide to stay for a second, third, and four year with us.

Natasha Stouffer, Admissions and First Year Experience coordinator, says the goal is to try to help students through different stages of development, both academic and social.

“Students are feeling different things during this time, like ‘am I academically prepared for the first year.’ Some are moving to a new area and meeting potential roommates. If they are commuting, they have a newly emerging role of independent adult, yet are still living at home.”

Ohio State Mansfield offers many opportunities to smooth the transition to college life.

Orientation

Admitted students become Buckeyes at Orientation. They experience college traditions, receive their BuckID and leave with their first schedule of classes. Sessions for parents include financial aid, health insurance, safety on campus and how to be a part of their student’s success during the first year.

“Orientation also serves as the venue for new students to meet their new collegial classmates,” said Collin Palmer, Admissions counselor.

Student Welcome Leaders play a large part in making the new students and parents comfortable.

“When I’m at orientations, I try to make those personal connections with parents and students,” said Psychology major and Welcome Leader Mark Matthews. “I want them to know that faculty and staff genuinely care to a degree that goes so far beyond academia and social aspects to a personal level that you don’t get anywhere else.”

At orientation, students also learn about other pre-enrollment programs like Camp Hetuck, SMART and First Generation Connection Learning Community.

First Year Experience

Admissions counselors at Ohio State Mansfield also act as First Year Experience counselors.

“As an Admissions counselor, I get to know prospective students and they know I will be there with them throughout their first year,” Stouffer said.

FYE spans pre-enrollment through a student’s first year of college.

Pre-enrollment is about breaking the ice and getting rid of some of the myths that students might have about college, according to Stouffer. Engaging students becomes a campus-wide initiative. Activities such as the Buckeye Book Experience, Success Series and Convocation provide further engagement.

During the first semester, it’s all about making connections. Students who feel connected to their campus within the first six weeks are more likely to stay, according to Stouffer.

During the second semester, that foundation is built upon.

“At this point we want them to take the positive experiences they felt in their first semester and take more of a leadership role to continue the cycle,” Stouffer said.

Camp Hetuck

Ohio State Mansfield’s Camp Hetuck, in it’s 10th year, is one of the most prestigious campus events for new students. Sixty new students and a dozen student facilitators who are past participants converge in July for two days, including an overnight in Molyet Village student housing, to learn leadership skills.

“It’s almost like a secret society,” said Elise Riggle, director of Student Engagement. “They say ‘I’m a Hetucker’ like it’s a badge of honor.”

Teams of upper class leaders partner with new students to participate in competitions and games but also to have some serious conversations about leadership.

“What ends up happening is that you have students who have never met each other and within two days they are sharing things that they would only share with their most intimate friends,” says Matthews, who is also a facilitator.

SMART

Students Making a Realistic Transition is designed for students of color and for those who feel they might be challenged in making the transition to college, according to Renee Thompson, Office of Diversity and Family Engagement.

“College is very different from high school,” she said. “You can have a student who was very successful in high school, socially and academically, and then feel after the first semester that he has failed miserably. It requires a different sort of discipline and a lot more responsibility from the student.”

A two-part session titled Be the Difference introduces students to community services and activities. Thompson also offers a one-credit Seminar for Students of Color that anyone may take, which explores diversity.

First Generation Connection Learning Community

Ohio State Mansfield has a large first generation college student population, according to Stouffer.

“Many of our students are the first in their family to attend college,” she said. “The parents usually are the ones who would tell students what to expect, but in this case they are the pioneers in the family.”

Twenty students are accepted into the program each year. They participate in group activities during Welcome Week and attend at least two classes together as a group. During the second semester, they engage in a service-learning project.

“They take what they learned in the classroom about social empowerment and justice and apply it in the community,” Stouffer said. “This is a great opportunity to see our students go from feeling unsure to feeling that they are important to our community and that they are giving back.”

Follow our newest Buckeyes through social media. Go to storify.com/osumansfield

Welcome to ‘Buckeye North’

Ohio State Mansfield students in the 2013-14 school year came from 42 of Ohio’s 88 counties. As the demographics change to a more residential campus, more services will be needed.

Ohio State Mansfield students in the 2013-14 school year came from 42 of Ohio’s 88 counties. As the demographics change to a more residential campus, more services will be needed.

When Molyet Village first opened to students 10 years ago, the private apartments housed just a few dozen students the first year. The apartments became part of university housing four years later, and are now home to 197 students who attend The Ohio State University at Mansfield.

Molyet’s opening signaled a subtle shift from a commuter campus for students in Richland and surrounding counties to an increasingly more residential campus.

“Traditionally we recruited in a five-county area surrounding Richland County,” said Shari Petersen, director of Admissions and First Year Experience, who has worked in Admissions for 12 years. “However, the addition of on-campus housing was our first opportunity to really begin to expand recruitment efforts and attract students from Northeast Ohio.”

This year, students came to Ohio State Mansfield from 42 of Ohio’s 88 counties, with the largest growth coming from the northern counties. Mansfield Board member Dave Daniels nicknamed the campus “Buckeye North” for its northernmost location relative to other regional campuses, but also to recognize the growing enrollment from the Cleveland, Akron and Canton metropolitan areas.

While Richland County still yields the most incoming freshmen to Ohio State Mansfield (30 percent of the student population), the next largest group came last fall from Cuyahoga County with 16 percent, or nearly 100 students.

“Students come to Ohio State Mansfield because they want to be a Buckeye,” Petersen said. “The benefits they discover are small class sizes taught by distinguished faculty who care about student success and a small college setting that can provide them with a world-class degree that is internationally recognized.”

Faced with an increasing waiting list of students for housing, Dean and Director Stephen Gavazzi worked with University Housing Solutions (which included private developers Adena Corp. and MKC Architects), who now are erecting the first two of five dorm-style housing units along Lexington-Springmill Road that will eventually house 500 students in Buckeye Village.

“The additional housing will allow more students to take advantage of the Mansfield opportunity,” Petersen said. “With the move to a more residential campus, the university has developed a first year experience program to assist students with the transition to college along with bolstering its co-curricular offerings in student engagement, athletics and the arts.”

With the opening of the Ohio State Cleveland Recruiting Center last year in the downtown Cleveland Tower City complex, there are even more opportunities for enrollment growth.

“Jointly we are now able to reach even more students with the one university-many locations message,” Petersen said. “For many students, Mansfield is the best fit.”

A college typically is considered residential if more than 25 percent of the students live proximate to campus, according to Donna Hight, Chief Student Life and Retention Officer. If Molyet Village and Buckeye Village fill available beds this fall, the number of residential students could exceed 32 percent.

Ohio State Mansfield has taken steps to plan for an increasingly residential campus. Bromfield Library and Information Commons is now a vibrant technology-driven learning environment. University Food and Dining services has expanded offerings to include meal plans, and the cafeteria in Eisenhower Hall will undergo a $1 million renovation this winter to make the space more user-friendly, particularly for residential students.

Administrators are seeking funding and community partners to renovate the Campus Recreation Center and Student Union, as well as a partner for student health services.

“I really think it’s an exciting time to come together and have conversations about what a residential campus means to how we serve students,” Hight said.

“A residential campus means you need to provide increased student services like health and mental health care, extended food service hours, gathering places to study, an enhanced health and wellness area with recreation facilities and a modern student union where more lectures, programs and activities mean a more vibrant and rich student experience.”

Four chosen for prestigious Denman Forum

Tanesha Gardner-cropped

Tanesha Gardner

Senior, History
Mentors: Dr. Mollie Cavender and Dr. Heather Tanner

Ruffs, Slashes, & Farthingales: Fashion at the Court of Elizabeth l
My project is on Elizabethan Court Fashion. I look at how the fashion of the nobility changes when Queen Elizabeth I takes the throne.

Research is an integral part of being a History major and eventually a working Historian. Being able to do a large scale research project was a great opportunity to put my skills to the test.

I have loved every second I’ve been at Ohio State Mansfield! The small campus life lends itself to creating lasting relationships with peers and professors.

Leah Schwechheimer-cropped

Leah Schwechheimer

Junior, Biology
Mentors: Dr. Carol Landry

White Mangrove Pollination

The study is an investigation of reproductive barriers between two closely related, co-flowering Croton species on San Salvador Island, The Bahamas.

This project has been a great opportunity for me to learn more about scientific investigation and the process of experimentation, as well as get some experience doing field work.

I believe that study-abroad programs are extremely important for students to discover new places, people, and cultures, as well as learning about the projects they are studying.

Collin Sipe

Collin Sipe

Senior, History
Mentors: Dr. Mollie Cavender and Dr. Heather Tanner

Death, Silk, And Spices: The Issue of Gentleman Merchants and the Policies of the English East India Company

My experiences in research have increased my confidence in my work and academic studies, as well as provided me with networking with both fellow students and established academic scholars.

Ohio State Mansfield’s most important attribute has been it’s amazing professors, who allow  students to explore their interests while providing support and encouragement that inspire them to reach new levels of academic success and personal growth.

Sam Ulrich-cropped

Samantha Ulrich

Junior, Public Affairs
Mentor: Dr. Rachel Bowen

The Arab Spring: A Clash with Principle or another Unexpected Wave of Democratization?

My project seeks to discredit a school of thought in political science which states that Catholic, Buddhist, or Islamic nations cannot neither create nor maintain a democratic government.

I have gained so much from this experience – research skills, confidence in my own capabilities, and a mentor.

This has been an amazing opportunity for me not only because of Dr. Bowen’s research knowledge, but for her ability to mentor me as a law school hopeful.

McCune scholarship honors a working man

John McCune, Sr.

John McCune, Sr.

The John McCune Sr. History Scholarship is not your typical scholarship. Started by Marianne Parisi-McCune in her late husband’s memory, much of the funding comes from the many friends McCune met through General Motors, United Auto Workers, of which he was president of UAW Local 549 for several terms, and his work with politicians and the community.

“If anyone would be termed a ‘Mr. Richland County,’ it would be he,” Parisi-McCune said. “He mattered when he was living and he should matter after his passing.”

A $2,000 scholarship is given annually to a student majoring in history, political science or math. While it might seem an eclectic mix, the topics fit McCune, a blue-collar worker who never attended college, to a T.

“The scholarship envelops what I think he would have wanted,” Parisi-McCune said. “He always believed in education and he was an amazing history person. He was a very dynamic political strategist. He also was a mathematician. He could add a column of numbers before someone could key them into a calculator.”

The scholarship’s first recipient is History major Donald Shumaker, who is also the student member on the Ohio State Mansfield Board.

“I give Ohio State a lot of credit,” Parisi-McCune said. “They picked a young fellow that just epitomizes what John was like. He has that burning desire and he’s just energetic. I couldn’t be happier.”

A unique part of the scholarship is a service component, in which the recipient writes an historical essay about a local political figure. Parisi-McCune wanted to somehow honor local people who made a difference in Richland County.

“Most times, you get a scholarship and you fulfill the requirements via grades, but what do you learn from it,” she said.

Working with Brian McCartney and Parisi-McCune, Shumaker researched and wrote about Kenneth McCartney, a longtime Democratic Party activist in Richland County. He presented the essay at the annual K.E. McCartney St. Patrick’s Day Memorial Fundraiser last March.

“Of all the scholarships I’ve gotten, this is my favorite, in large part because I’ve gotten to meet all the people who were instrumental in getting it started, as well as the people I met while working on the project,” Shumaker said.

The power of regional campuses

Noraisa Jones, left, a Respiratory Therapy student at Ohio State Mansfield, receives information about the Writing Center from writing consultant Katherine Nixon. Individual attention is one reason students are drawn to regional campuses.

Noraisa Jones, left, a Respiratory Therapy student at Ohio State Mansfield, receives information about the Writing Center from writing consultant Katherine Nixon. Individual attention is one reason students are drawn to regional campuses.

Ohio State’s regional campuses are quickly becoming the destination of choice for students throughout Ohio. Affordability, excellence in teaching, small class sizes and opportunities for research and internships draw students.

“By design, we are a small liberal arts educational setting,” said Ohio State Mansfield Dean and Director Stephen Gavazzi. “We are an extension of Columbus, yet we play a vital role in the university’s land grant mission by offering accessibility through open enrollment.”

Students may complete one of eight bachelor’s degrees offered at Ohio State Mansfield—Business, Criminology, Education, English, History, Psychology, Social Work or Sociology, or start at Mansfield and transition to the Columbus campus after a year or two.

For most students, it’s the small class sizes taught by award-winning faculty rather than grad students that is the main draw. The entire faculty at Ohio State Mansfield has obtained terminal degrees; 97 percent hold doctorate degrees. Many are conducting groundbreaking research in addition to teaching classes.

“I’ve been in contact with some really great teachers,” said Nick Stevens, a senior majoring in History. “Instructors are more accessible. You can go to their offices whenever you want and that’s really helpful.”

Gavazzi also points to an excellent student support system, from Admissions and Advising to the writing and math labs that gives students a jumpstart to college life.

“It’s the friendliness of the Admissions and Advising staffs, the intimacy of contact between faculty and students, the high-touch environment that our student support services can give, that many students list as reasons they choose a regional campus, and in particular, Ohio State Mansfield,” Gavazzi said.

For many students, cost also plays a factor in the choice to attend a regional campus. Tuition at the regional campuses is $7,140 full-time for two semesters, $3,000 less than the cost at Columbus campus. Factor in nearly $11,000 in savings a year by living at home rather than in a dorm and it’s significantly more affordable.

Students from throughout Northeast Ohio are choosing Ohio State Mansfield. Cuyahoga County accounted for 16 percent of new students last fall. Crystal Brown, a business major from Cleveland, likes the hometown feeling of the campus.

“I chose Ohio State Mansfield because I wanted to be a part of a small campus where I could connect better with those around me. In a small class setting, I have the chance to speak up and engage. I also have a chance to get better advising and guidance when I need it,” she said. “Although to others it may seem ‘just an OSU regional campus,’ Ohio State Mansfield feels like home!”

Students learn the value of service

Ohio State Mansfield Education students Mellissa Johnson, left, and Paige Poffenbaugh show some of the debris that students at Eastern Elementary School in Lexington found in a Clearfork tributary. The duo created the service learning project for the students.

Ohio State Mansfield Education students Mellissa Johnson, left, and Paige Poffenbaugh show some of the debris that students at Eastern Elementary School in Lexington found in a Clearfork tributary. The duo created the service learning project for the students.

By including service learning in his curriculum, an Ohio State Mansfield professor has created some unique local opportunities for his students.

Christian Winterbottom, assistant professor of Education (Teaching and Learning), received a grant from the Ohio State Service Learning Initiative last year to restructure a class in early childhood pedagogy to collaborate with local agencies. The idea was to teach Education students to incorporate service learning components into their curriculum. Students collaborated with the Richland County Development Group and United Way to identify potential community partners.

Ohio State Mansfield students paired up and completed several projects at area schools, including coordinating a clean-up day of a river near Lexington’s Eastern Elementary School.

“They were designing a science-themed module collecting fish and wildlife in the river, when they realized it was full of tires and cans and bottles,” Winterbottom said. “They pulled a lot of trash out of the river. It was a huge success.”

Some students partnered with the United Way Big Red Bookshelf project. In conducting research for the project, they found that some children in Richland County didn’t have access to books. They put bins around the Mansfield campus and in the community to collect books. They constructed a red bookshelf to give to United Way to house the books.

“They received so many books, just thousands of books,” Winterbottom said.

Another group partnered with Shelby Mayor Marilyn John on a similar project and donated the books to elementary schools.

At Madison, one group focused on collecting canned food to be distributed for Thanksgiving.

“A lot of children in that area are underprivileged, so it was interesting to see them give back something to other children who are also in a similar position,” Winterbottom said.

Another group at Lexington wrote letters to troops in Afghanistan.

“It is hard to get middle school students to write, in general, but when it’s something that’s really important to them, they write pages and pages,” he said. “And they write about things that are personal to them that you wouldn’t normally get to see.”

Winterbottom will teach a pure service learning class this fall, open to all students, where students learn to plan and implement a service learning project themselves.

“I’m really looking forward to starting that on this campus,” he said.