2008 Honor Roll

Community Service at The Ohio State University: Honor Roll 2008 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 2008 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

2008 Printable Fact Sheet

2008 Press Release

Partner for Promotion

Pharmacy doctoral students and preceptors in urban and rural pharmacies partnered to develop innovative patient-care programs focused on health literacy, healthy behaviors, and access to health care. Begun in 2005, the program was expanded through two university outreach and engagement grants that supported the involvement of OSU Extension in developing relationships with local pharmacies. The students worked with Extension educators and pharmacists to conduct community health needs assessments that were used to develop appropriate patient education materials and programming. To improve access to health care and health education, students developed strategies for conducting patient health screening and referral services and developing educational materials that enhance health literacy, preventive health, and healthy behaviors. All 28 participating pharmacies developed and more than half continue to provide innovative patient care services, conducting over 1,400 patient visits. Students reported up to a 70% increase in their confidence to employ specific skills needed in patient care service development and a 53% increase in their perception they had the knowledge and skills to implement innovative pharmacy services. Preceptors reported up to 30% increase in their confidence to develop patient care service. Participating students and pharmacists learned how to plan and market health education programs and identify key community contacts, and pharmacists received training and assistance in developing sustainable patient care programs. An additional benefit was the expansion of the number of high-quality, community-based practice sites for pharmacy students. In 2007-08, 11 students participated; overall, 54 students have been involved. More

Student Volunteers for Optometric Service to Humanity (SVOSH)

SVOSH helps provide eye care and eyewear to countries with limited healthcare services through a year-long process that includes student presentations to Lions Clubs to request donations, weekly meetings at which volunteers sort and package donated used eyeglasses (70 hours by 40 students over 6 months), and optometry student and-faculty trips to conduct free eye exams and distribute eyewear. SVOSH has gone to Belize, Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, and Venezuela. In September 2007, 17 students examined over 1,500 patients in Sebaco, Nicaragua. Patients received free glasses if SVOSH had a pair that fits their prescription; if not, measurements were taken for glasses to be made in the United States. Referrals for cataract surgery were made, and patients were given sunglasses to help protect their eyes against further damage. Students also provided medicine to treat eye conditions requiring more than glasses. Many patients had never had eye examinations before; the population included a large pocket of albino patients, who were diagnosed for the first time. In this region, it may cost as much as a year’s wages for one pair of glasses. The students also dispelled myths about eye problems and provided education and care that reduce the impact of endemic diseases like toxoplasmosis and blindness due to exposure to the sun. The students’ service prepared them to treat immigrant populations from Central and South America and gave them deeper understanding of underserved populations. The program is supported by the College of Optometry, the Lions Club, Interstate Optical, the Wolfe Foundation, and eight pharmaceutical companies. More

Mount Leadership Society

The Mount Leadership Society is a learning community of students committed to leadership and service who participate in community service projects focused on social justice. First-year Mount Scholars volunteer monthly. In teams, they create and implement service projects culminating in Mount Legacy Week. The 2008 teams partnered with Habitat for Humanity, Homeless Families Foundation, Clinton Elementary, Gahanna YMCA, Indian Springs Elementary, Giant Eagle, and the Franklin County Animal Shelter. Teams raised awareness of homelessness, made 300 sack lunches for a local church, promoted “No TV Week” and healthy alternatives to elementary school children, and hosted culture week at YMCA, “Read Your Way to Scarlet and Gray” week for elementary students and a plastic bag recycling competition on campus. Second-year Mount Scholars complete the Year of Service by volunteering at least 75 hours. They choose and develop projects based on causes about which they are passionate and participate in monthly reflection exercises. Scholars partnered with 39 agencies/programs; 59% of their projects directly benefited children/youth. Types of projects included creating a Girl Scout troop and serving as a troop leader for 9 girls who would benefit from extra involvement, tutoring adults seeking to gain their GED, coaching a team of Special Olympics athletes, organizing blood drives for the American Red Cross, and tutoring children at numerous after-school programs. Year of Service Scholars also served as guides and role models for first-year Scholars. A wide variety of community agencies benefited. A profound impact of this focused year of service is the Scholars’ strengthened commitment to acting on their fundamental belief of serving the community. More

EDU PAES 542: Lifespan Motor Development

Undergraduate students in EDU PAES 542 provided motor skill intervention twice weekly at three early childhood sites: an elementary school, a Head Start center, and a childcare center. Preschool children who received services demonstrated developmental delays according to the Test of Gross Motor Development but would not otherwise receive any form of movement instruction. Professional development services were provided to the teachers and parents at these sites. Early childhood programs met 2 mornings per week for 9 weeks in fall, winter, and spring and 2 weeks every morning for summer quarter. Students in this course also provided physical activity experiences for seniors at a city recreation center. They spent 2.5 hours per week for 9 weeks conducting weight training, fitness classes, yoga, chair-robics, social dance, chair volleyball, and walking activities. Students conducted studies of individual children or seniors and presented posters on their research. Master’s and doctoral candidates also conducted research indicating that preschool children in the programs significantly improved their gross motor skills (including object control skills and locomotor skills) as a result of the program. Fitness data collected by the students at the recreation center documented improvement in seniors’ fitness across the quarter. Undergraduates increased their understanding of content in this service-learning course and gained a greater understanding of developmental issues of the diverse population of children. Doctoral students gained teaching and supervision experience by providing leadership at each site. The class was supported by a Service-Learning Initiative grant and developed by associate professor Jackie Goodway, who received the 2007 Faculty Award for Excellence in Community Service and Scholarship. More

OSU Kid Corps

OSU Kid Corps helps at-risk preschoolers develop the skills needed for school success, focusing on enhancing children’s cognitive development for preliteracy competence and experiences that foster positive social interactions. OSU students provide direct services to young children, their families, childcare providers, and service organizations that work with this population. In 2007-08, the program served 170 children from disadvantaged circumstances in 6 preschools, 5 Head Start centers, and a Columbus Early Learning Center. Corps members served 6 hours per week in their assigned preschool and 5 hours per week at 1 of 11 community service centers that work with children and families, a minimum of 300 hours per year. Parent Make It/Take It outreach events provided families with inexpensive strategies to engage their children in language and literacy activities in the home. In events at each center during winter quarter, 50 corps members demonstrated activities using household items. Preschoolers were assessed before and after participation. A study by an undergraduate honors student found that Kid Corps helped improve phonemic awareness; 86% of the children increased their raw score on two of the four domains of the Early Literacy Skills Assessment by two points. Anecdotal evidence from teachers, center directors, and parents showed that the program has improved social skills and language and literacy capabilities, giving them a sound foundation for future schooling. Many corps members are early childhood majors trained in preliteracy and behavior support practices. Their service provides career experience as well as a foundation for active citizenship. AmeriCorps, the College of Education and Human Ecology, and Fifth Third Bank support Kid Corps. More

The Computer in the Visual Arts: Art Education 252A

In an Autumn 2007 and Summer 2008 service-learning course, undergraduates partnered with youth in Weinland Park, a community near campus, to create collaborative artwork about the neighborhood using photography, Flash, and Photoshop. Developed in collaboration with the University Area Enrichment Association (UAEA) and a local elementary school and middle school, the course introduced students to the process of working with youth in developing collaborative digital art. Undergraduates gained an understanding of how children interact with computers, which will enhance their careers as art teachers. The computer training gave the youth skills that are both personally empowering and marketable. The youth learned about college life and culture and how to prepare for admission. The community received a work of art that is displayed at a neighborhood church. Most important, the college students and the youth learned about each other’s cultures and communities. In online class discussions, students demonstrated a realization of their responsibility to the university community, including the adjacent neighborhood. Discussion quotes: “I had assumed that those living close to campus were students, but this made me realize that we live in a very diverse community filled with people of all ages. It made me realize that young people are growing up near campus and that actions of my college peers could easily influence the behavior of Columbus youths.” “It is ironic how a ‘dangerous place’ to us is a home to others. It really opens your eyes to how different people live and how we need to accept our difference.” More than 20 of the students participated in the student chapter of UAEA, dedicated to improving the quality of life in the university area.

Scarlet, Gray, and Green Fair

Students for a Sustainable Campus (SSC) at Ohio State University organized the Scarlet, Gray & Green Fair. The fair included exhibits from 50 environmentally friendly businesses and organizations, speeches by environmental activists, live music, and green giveaways such as compact fluorescent light bulbs and powerstrips that enabled attendees to reduce their carbon footprints immediately. The event was carefully planned to be completely zero-waste, with only recyclable and compostable materials and all power provided by a biodiesel bus, which ran on vegetable oil and had solar panels mounted to its roof. With support from the Knowlton School of Architecture, the School of Environment and Natural Resources, and the P-12 Project, SSC brought more than 200 high school science students to campus for an Environmental Awareness field trip aligned with Ohio science standards. The trip included guided tours of campus “green” buildings, a presentation by a professor who is a renowed global warming.expert, and a tour of the Scarlet, Gray and Green Fair. SSC members facilitated small-group discussions with the high school students on making a difference in the environment. Chrissy Cooley, who co-founded SSC 5 years ago as an undergraduate, is the first person to hold the newly created position of resource planning analyst in sustainability in the university’s Office of Business Operations. More

Scarlet and Gray Ag Day

Scarlet and Gray Ag Day brings 500-600 elementary students to Ohio State’s Waterman Farm to teach them the importance of agriculture and natural resources in their life and future. Elementary teachers are given lesson plans using food, agricultural, and environmental principles that meet schools’ academic content standards. More than 150 Ohio State student volunteers are instrumental in bringing this event to life. Student co-chairs and subcommittee chairs provide leadership for the event; they work from October to May, selecting themes and presenters, identifying academic content standards, recruiting schools, fundraising, organizing teacher workshops, contacting media, and other planning tasks. Members of student organizations and an agriculture service-learning class serve as guides, present hands-on agricultural learning activities, and help set up and take down the learning stations. Now in its 10th year, SGAD has raised the agricultural literacy of hundreds of Ohio school children. There is a waiting list of schools who want to participate, and those who have attended in the past continue to request to participate again. More

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

Buckeye Mentoring Hub

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

I CAN Center of Excellence

The I CAN Center of Excellence is a college access program offered in the seven-county region served by Ohio State’s Marion campus and Marion Technical College. Its mission is to help students who have no family members who attended college, are economically disadvantaged, are from a single-parent family, are orphans, or have no family to view higher education as necessary, desirable, and obtainable. Ohio State students served in the following ways: visiting classrooms to talk about college, reading to elementary students from a book featuring characters at a high school reunion who describe their careers and post-college lives, leading campus tours, assisting with financial aid awareness and college planning, and participating in “Adopt A College Student,” an activity in which elementary students learn about college life by writing to a college student. Supported by Ohio’s College Access Network, the I CAN Center of Excellence partnered with the Marion Area Tech-Prep Consortium, local school districts, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, United Way, and local chambers of commerce. The program started in 1998 as a partnership between the Marion Rotary Club and the Ohio State University at Marion, serving Marion City Schools. In 2001, the program was expanded to all Marion County schools. In 2006, the successful program expanded to the seven-county region. Over 100 students have received Last Dollar Grant scholarships and hundreds more have received assistance in getting to college. The program’s success is evidenced by above-average increases in college enrollment and increased membership in college advantage programs in the seven counties served. More

Blueprint: College

Blueprint: College is aimed at getting low-income families to start thinking about college. Ohio State faculty, staff, and students worked with families of fourth- and fifth-grade students to create “blueprint plans” to help set the right path toward academic and college success. The pilot program included 47 families in five underserved Columbus City elementary schools. The families are low income and have little college experience. The program included five weekly workshops for parents, a campus exploration day, and a program graduation ceremony. To make it easier for families to attend, the program provided weekly dinners prior to the workshops, child care, and bus transportation. At the workshops, parents learned about the benefits and requirements of going to college, created a college-track academic plan for their student’s middle school years, completed sample college and financial aid applications, and learned to use college scholarship resources. While parents participated in the workshops, their children attended “College Camp,” led by Ohio State undergraduates. The students led the children in age-appropriate activities including role-playing, learning about careers, and designing study spaces. The college students served as role models and ambassadors for higher education for the younger students, answering their questions about what college life is like. Blueprint: College is coordinated by several Ohio State offices, including Undergraduate Admissions and First Year Experience, the P-12 Project, and the Economic Access Initiative, which works to ensure all qualified students, regardless of income, can make the dream of attending college a reality. More

Indianola Middle School

Two student service programs focused on Indianola Middle School, a University District public school in which 92% of students are economically disadvantaged. Adopt-A-School is a student organization through which OSU student volunteers have tutored and mentored at Indianola since 1995. By working in the same classroom for the entire quarter, tutors build relationships with the students and a system with the teacher. In 2007-08, University Honors and Scholars provided 150 tutors. Honors students were involved in the scheduling, logistics, and volunteer training. The tutoring helped increase state test scores for Indianola students, who also benefited from the personal relationships with college students. The OSU students broadened their perspectives on working with people who are different from them. Cities in Schools, a local nonprofit agency, helped coordinate Adopt-A-School. The Student-Alumni Council conducted a College Awareness program for the Indianola after-school program. Six members visited the middle school four times each quarter, working with 15-20 seventh-grade students on activities geared toward helping them stay in school, graduate, and attend college. Activities such as brainstorming dream jobs, learning about the important classes to take now, and identifying individual learning styles were focused on raising awareness of how to prepare for college, what college life is like, and how college prepares you for a career. The seventh-graders increased their learning motivation, confidence in their abilities, and awareness that college is possible. The program was supported by OSU Extension and the College Access division of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and First-Year Experience. More about: Adopt A SchoolStudent-Alumni Council

Center for the Study and Teaching of Writing (CSTW) Outreach Program

CSTW’s Outreach Program involves Ohio State students in projects designed to enhance literacy and writing. Working with students in 1 elementary school, 1 middle school, and 10 high schools in the Columbus City Schools, they provide after-school and in-school tutoring and preparation for district achievement tests. In the Columbus Africentric Middle School (more than 98% economically disadvantaged) E-Newspaper Project, OSU students and staff were on site for 5 weeks Monday-Wednesday, helping young journalists write about themselves, social change issues, hip hop narratives with a message, and editorials. The middle schoolers also learned the basics of news writing as a potential college major and career. At Columbus Africentric Early College Elementary (more than 98% economically disadvantaged), OSU students worked with third through fifth graders after school to write and revise poetry, letters, fiction, and nonfiction. Students received a compilation of their work and read their favorite pieces. Helpful program practices were a 3-day newswriting curriculum model and writing workshop series adaptable to skill levels. OSU students also supported adult literacy, helping clients of the Columbus Literacy Council enhance their language skills with a computer-training program. At the Godman Guild they helped GED instructors facilitate writing workshops designed to increase adults’ confidence and proficiency with the essay portion of the GED test. Evidence of the success of student service comes from satisfaction responses on post-program surveys, daily blogs reflecting positive writing camp experiences, high scoring and ratings from oral and written essay judges, improvements in state standardized test scores, and successful GED passage scores. More

Honors and Scholars Social Issue Immersion Project

Social Issue Immersion Projects are opportunities to look at social issues and service in a different, more intense way. Each quarter a different social justice issue is examined through a chosen book, 20-30 hours at a service site, and attendance at biweekly presentations by community partners, faculty, and other guest speakers who are experts about the issue. In Winter Quarter 2008, a Social Issue Immersion Project on “Economic Access to Higher Education: Who IS and Who IS NOT Going to College” was sponsored by the University Honors & Scholars Center and the Office of Economic Access. The 30 students read a book focused on this issue (A Hope in the Unseen by Ron Suskind), attended presentations from professors and community members about this issue, and volunteered at service sites related to this issue. Those service sites included:

  • Early College Outreach Program through Undergraduate Admissions and First-Year Experience (an academy for the parents of fourth and fifth graders to help families plan for college)
  • Ohio College Access Network (statewide group working on access issues)
  • Southside Settlement House (a Columbus neighborhood resource that provides childcare, a food pantry, counseling, adult education, etc.)
  • I Know I Can (access program for Columbus City Schools)
  • South High Library Homework Help Center (tutoring)
  • Economic Access Initiative (a university program to bring college preparation information to low-income and first-generation college students)