2009 Honor Roll

Community Service at The Ohio State University: Honor Roll 2009 with Distinction

This page recognizes outstanding service-learning and community service by Ohio State students, faculty, and staff. The following stories were gathered as part of Ohio State’s application for the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

2009 Printable Fact Sheet

Office of Student Life: Serving as a Unit

Heeding President Gee’s charge that “our calling is to educate and serve,” more than 7,961 students and 194 staff in the Office of Student Life completed more than 80,414 hours of community service. In the Student Wellness Center, 73 students and 5 staff engaged in at least 20 hours of community service per quarter. The Multicultural Center (2 graduate students and 10 staff members) served over 300 families at a community house food bank. The service project was very successful not only as a social justice project for Multicultural Center staff, but as a community building effort with the community house staff. Each year, in conjunction with the Buckeye football team’s bowl game, a community service project is conducted in the host city. This year, 23 students and 94 faculty/staff volunteered 468 hours at St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance in Phoenix, Arizona. University Housing had 325 students and 25 staff logging at least 20 hours of community service per quarter. Sponsored by University Housing, 19 students in the MUNDO Learning Community, who make either a quarter or yearlong commitment to learning about social justice through cross-cultural understanding, completed 30 hours of community service in addition to 3 hours of service in London while exploring ethnic communities, studying race relations, and promoting social justice. Off-Campus Student Services had 431 participants in the Adopt-a-Street cleanup. In Mount Leadership Society, 180 students engaged in approximately 9,000 hours of service; 150 contributed 20 hours of service per quarter. In student organizations with which Student Life works directly a total of 9,698 students participated in 28,404 hours of service, with 950 students involved in at least 20 hours per quarter. More

Aprovechando Salud y Educacion: Empowering Healthy Communities

Aprovechando Salud y Educacion (ASE) was created by Ohio State medical students to improve the health of the Hispanic community in Columbus by conducting hypertension and diabetes screenings at Spanish-speaking churches, Latino supermarkets, the Physicians Free Clinic, and community festivals. Medical student volunteers take blood pressures, become certified by the Central Ohio Diabetes Association (CODA) to screen for diabetes, distribute health information, and provide health education in Spanish. Many ASE members are knowledgeable of Hispanic culture and speak Spanish, which helps extend their outreach to this high-risk population, inform them of the seriousness of the condition, and give them access to community resources. Recognizing that outreach is neither charity nor a transient act, the students are training volunteers from the Spanish-speaking churches to become “Promotoras de Salud” (Health Promoters). Because Promotoras share their community’s cultural perspective, they can have an impact on their neighbors’ health. Through this community empowerment approach to developing local healthcare leaders, ASE helps ensure the continuing impact of diabetes awareness and treatment. Gaining organizational status from Ohio State’s Office of Student Life helped ASE expand their volunteer list to include undergraduates and increased their financial resources. Collaborating with CODA provided them with materials for diabetes screening. The American Medical Student Association donated blood pressure cuffs. The Ohio State University College of Medicine Alumni Society awarded ASE a grant to further expand patient education in the Hispanic community. More

FisherCARES: A Successful First Year of Service

FisherCARES, a student service organization in the Fisher College of Business, was founded by the Mitte Scholars at Ohio State to continue serving the community after that scholarship program ended. In its first year, 100 members of FisherCARES contributed 1,129 hours to numerous service projects: Turkey Trot—5 members registered participants for a race-benefitting Ben’s Fund, local food pantries, and a shoe drive; Habitat ReStore—4 members sorted inventory and cleaned the store; Habitat Spring Break Collegiate Challenge—13 members and 1 biology major completed construction work on a house in Richmond, Kentucky (a sponsor paid travel expenses); 70 students made activity bags and posters for children at Nationwide Children’s Hospital; weekly in Winter quarter, 10 members helped Windsor Academy students with their science fair projects and helped judge them with 22 other Fisher students; 50 members made blankets for Project Linus; 8 members coordinated Franklin County Dog Shelter Volunteer Training; 5-6 students serve food monthly at Faith Mission; twice weekly, students tutor St. Joseph’s Montessori School students in math, spelling, and reading (27 different students have participated); twice a month, students sort and box food at the Mid-Ohio Food Bank (22 different students); 19 students assist at the Franklin County Dog Shelter monthly; students serve meals biweekly at Unverferth House, a residence for families of hospital patients (23 different students); Fisher Campus Clean-Up—5 members helped pick up trash; Fisher 5K—members helped FisherServes discover ways to market the race, which raises money for charity, to undergraduates; and American Cancer Society Relay for Life—members sold donuts and solicited donations to raise funds. More

5th Annual Very Sharey Halloween: Food for Mind and Body

Members of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity brought together students from residence halls and Greek chapters on October 26, 2008, to go trick-or-treating for canned food to donate to the Mid-Ohio FoodBank. In less than 3 hours, participants collected more than 2,200 pounds of food. This was the fifth year of an evolving program that began with 150 pounds of food collected by 1 dorm. The Sig Phi students who created and managed the project made revisions that were based on lessons learned. These changes contributed to the project’s success. They developed a clear, specific business plan that outlined community needs, target audience, benefits of volunteer participation, projected budget, goals, implementation plans, and potential challenges. Armed with this plan, they persuaded local businesses to donate incentives for the volunteers or make lump sum donations to the food bank. A donated flat screen TV rewarded the student organization that collected the most food. The student organizers conducted an evaluation that collected feedback useful for future planning and provided volunteers with questions for personal reflection: What three things were most outstanding about this event? Think about the issues that cause the problems we’re trying to address today. How can you as an individual influence those problems effectively? Think about an issue that is personally meaningful to you and consider how you could influence it. What are you going to do about it? The project director credits an Ohio State service-learning course, Leadership in the Community, with giving him the vocabulary and perspective to place this service event within the context of addressing broader social issues. About the creator of Very Sharey Halloween

Move into Learning Prepares Children to Learn

Move into Learning is based on the premise that inner-city children, exposed to heightened social and economic stresses, may benefit from a yoga-based program that encourages a state of calm alertness that is conducive to learning. With an Excellence in Engagement grant from the Office of University Outreach and Engagement, a wellness program of music, movement, yoga, and meditation was implemented in the second grade of a school near the university. The children received daily 15-minute instruction in the program from the trained classroom teacher. Ohio State students from public health, health sciences, education, respiratory therapy, and occupational therapy assisted in conducting the sessions as a service-learning activity. They received training, then implemented the program for 2 hours each week. In addition, 14 students served as mentors for the second graders. Two students assisted in the data collection and analysis. After 8 weeks, the children’s respiration rate significantly decreased. The teacher and students reported a calmer, more relaxed classroom environment. The children learned that altering bodily function (respiration rate) is related to feeling more relaxed. For many of the college students, this was their first experience with diversity and community research. They also learned to work with colleagues from other disciplines. The service-learning outcomes were invaluable for education and pre-medicine students who became inspired to serve this population. One student used what he learned to create a yoga program for cancer patients, supported by an Undergraduate Enrichment Grant from Undergraduate Student Government. Move into Learning continues at another school in a similar neighborhood. More

Humanities Scholars Fighting Hunger in Southern Ohio

Humanities Scholars, a learning community within Ohio State’s University Honors and Scholars program, volunteered to help the fight against hunger and poverty facing Ohio citizens in the southeastern region of the state. Early in Spring Quarter 2009, 19 Humanities Scholars and 2 staff members traveled to the towns of Logan and Jackson to work with the Second Harvest Foodbank of Southeastern Ohio. The food bank is experiencing historically high demands to help feed the communities within their 10-county region. The Development Director for the College of Humanities identified an alumni donor who paid for transportation, lodging, and meals. The students spent 2 days serving the residents. In Logan, they packed 30,720 pounds of food for senior citizens in the area and “kid-friendly” food boxes for an after school-affiliated program. In Jackson County, they served assorted food items to over 2,000 households. Students reflected on the trip on their drive back to Columbus and called it “eye-opening,” “an unequaled opportunity,” and “extremely educational.” After the two-day event, Marilyn Sloan, coordinator of the food bank, told the group “you truly made a difference in your trip to Southeast Ohio.”

Special Focus Area: High School Completion (Dropout Prevention) and College Readiness Support Services for Youth in Disadvantaged Circumstances

Women in Engineering (WiE) Program’s Community Outreach

This partnership program involves Ohio State students in mentoring public school students, allowing them to apply the educational strategies they study. Since 2004, the hub has recruited, trained, and placed over 300 student mentors. In 2007-08, 360 students served as mentors and tutors for 233 children, the majority from disadvantaged circumstances, in 13 elementary, middle, and high schools and community sites. Some worked with Spanish-speaking, Russian-speaking, or Somali immigrant children, helping ease their transition to a new country. Partners include Big Brothers Big Sisters, Columbus Mentoring Initiative, Godman Guild, The Mentoring Center of Central Ohio, OSU Center for Student Leadership and Service, and OSU Extension. The partners provided recruitment, screening, training, placement, and oversight to ensure a high-quality experience for mentors and mentees. Mentors received training on communication skills, building relationships, and bridging cultures. The students served as positive role models, played games, tutored and helped with homework, listened, and encouraged positive behavior. Program-Based Outcome Evaluation of a sample of 147 mentees found that 78.23% of youth improved in at least half of 21 developmental assets, with significant improvement in self-confidence, ability to express feelings, decision making, school preparedness, and trust. Teachers (n=75) reported that all youth were promoted to the next grade; 49 improved in at least one academic subject, 23 in 3 or more subjects. A survey of the OSU mentors showed that 60% felt they increased skills in working with diverse urban children, increased their own maturity, and reinforced their commitment to community service. More

Baseball Day: Encouraging Sixth Graders’ College Dreams

Baseball Day brings more than 3,000 sixth-grade students and staff from Columbus City Schools (CCS) to Ohio State’s campus for an educational pep rally followed by a Buckeye baseball game. CCS is an urban district in which 81% of students are economically disadvantaged and 73% minority. Baseball Day is designed to show young students that college is possible and inspire them to stay in school in order to achieve this goal. In its fourth year, the program has become extremely useful in building urban students’ achievement and motivation to excel in school. To be eligible to attend, students must maintain a 95% attendance rate between January and May, have no suspensions, and complete all portions of the Sixth-Grade Achievement Tests. If they have three discipline referrals (three strikes), they are also “out.” Ohio State student volunteers make the day possible. For the 2009 edition, student athletes taped videos encouraging attendance and academic effort that were played at the rally. Some videos used athletics to demonstrate how physics and math apply to sports. Student members of the OSU Athletic Band, cheerleaders, and the student who portrays mascot Brutus Buckeye welcomed the sixth graders. CCS graduates now attending Ohio State spoke about the importance of preparing for college at an early age. Student ROTC members helped with the logistical challenges of getting 3,000 sixth graders in and out of the arena and stadium and serving them lunch. Baseball Day is an integral part of CCS’s plan to increase graduation rates. Since 2004, graduation rates have increased from 60% to 72.9%. More

Alternative Spring Break: Building Educational Aspirations in Rural Counties

Ohio State’s land-grant mission implies a commitment to addressing pressing issues in every county in Ohio. Sponsored by the Economic Access Initiative and University Housing, students and their advisor spent spring break bringing the message of access to education to rural Adams and Brown counties. They began with an orientation at the home of the Brown County OSU Extension Educator, meeting with the director of the Economic Access Initiative and local community leaders to prepare for their community-based work. The students spent the week in area schools, bringing inspiration and college planning information. They worked with elementary, middle, and high school students to help them aspire to go to college and to learn more about making choices to prepare for it. The students also conducted a workshop for parents on access issues. Direct conversations and presentations to the various student groups were the most effective part of the trip. Young students in the counties felt that college was more within reach and better understood the broad range of colleges available to them. This Alternative Spring Break was successful because of the innovation and spirit of the students, their Alternative Spring Break advisors, Ohio State faculty and staff, and the collaborative structures in place at Ohio State. OSU CARES/OSU Extension helped the Economic Access Initiative identify counties for the Alternative Spring Break. OSU CARES connected them with an Extension Educator who has worked with youth in Brown and Adams Counties for years. Extension’s community knowledge helped shape a program that met local needs and created a welcoming environment for the Ohio State students.

Young Adult Transition Corps (YATC) Helps Prepare Students with DD for the Future

At Ohio State’s Nisonger Center on Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (DD), AmeriCorps members of Young Adult Transition Corps (YATC) engaged young adults with DD in educational and community-based programs that promote community service, inclusion, and social skill development, three areas critical to successful transition from school to adult life. YATC members (5 OSU students and 2 alumni) met weekly with 69 high school students with DD to develop service-learning projects that connected them with their communities. Together they made animal treats for Pets Without Parents and the humane society; planned a holiday party for a retirement home; conducted a recycling project for Earth Day; made cards, banners, and activity books for Children’s Hospital and gifts for nursing home and children’s home residents; held a canned food drive; and helped a veterinarian’s office that sponsored Thanksgiving care packages/cards for troops overseas. YATC members also hosted a summer camp to help young adults with DD develop independent living skills; sponsored a workshop, “Inspiring Equality: A Disability and Cultural Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” for MLK Day; prepared and distributed donations for the Good Neighbors Picnic on Make-a-Difference Day; and assisted participants with a variety of community-based vocational, recreational, and educational activities. The program was supported by Ohio Community Service Council, Corporation for National and Community Service/AmeriCorps, Franklin County Board of DD, and Ingram-White Castle Foundation. Consistently positive feedback from participants, parents, and teachers indicated that YATC was helping participants develop skills for successful transition to adult life. More

MD Camp: Exposing Underrepresented Groups to Medical Careers

MD Camp is a 3-week, nonresidential camp for high school juniors and seniors who are disadvantaged or underrepresented in the field of medicine (African American, Hispanic American, or Native American). To give participants a sample of the rigors of medical school and a taste of medical careers, Ohio State College of Medicine faculty and students served as mentors and provided instruction in gross anatomy, physiology, pathology, medical specialties, and current health issues. They trained participants in conducting research, including lab experiences; taught them about special concerns in treating medically underserved populations; and provided workshops on specific medical procedures. Participants also attended workshops at the college’s Clinical Skills Education and Assessment Center, where they participated in hands-on activities in areas such as suturing, CPR, and first aid. Working with Columbus City Schools, Ohio State medical students recruited and selected students for the camp and organized the camp schedule. They took part in grant writing and budgeting, planned and facilitated hands-on workshops, and presented lectures. Numerous camp graduates are enrolled in premedical college programs, with the ultimate goal of attending medical school. Participants obtained a realistic and practical understanding of the pathway to medicine, formed bonds with mentors and role models in medicine, and gained valuable exposure to the field. The program was provided at no cost to the participants through donations and individual grants. MD Camp was created by a third-year medical student in 2004. It has evolved from a 2-week to a 3-week program and includes the opportunity to shadow clinicians and researchers in the university’s hospitals. More

Serving with Honor

Serving with Honor, an Honors & Scholars service organization that provides students with opportunities to serve the community in ways that are grounded in social justice issues. The Children-Centered Committee focuses on helping younger students understand the importance going to college and realizing their potential. Through a partnership with the W.C. Cupe Charter School in east Columbus, Ohio State students work with children in grades 1-8 on such projects as 100th Day, You Can Go to College Days, and Pen Pals. They also collected and donated over 400 items for the W.C. Cupe School through the Giving Tree project.