Spring Into Service

One year ago…

Only a year ago…

A year ago I wrote a grant for AmeriCorps*VISTA funding through Oregon Campus Compact to launch the Marylhurst Service Program.

We received funding.

We posted the job description.

And we hired someone great!

And now, one year later, we are launching our first major campus-wide service activity, the Spring Into Service project.

April is Spring Into Service month at Marylhurst.

Please join us to raise awareness of and support for alleviating food insecurity in the state of Oregon and beyond.

Click HERE for details about how you can participate.

Many thanks to Amanda Baker for her great work on this project!

Partners in Service: AmeriCorps & Marylhurst

AmeriCorpsmarylbigThis fall we have two new AmeriCorps volunteers working at Marylhurst, and I want to share some information about their programs as well as about our university’s partnership with AmeriCorps.

First – what is AmeriCorps? AmeriCorps helps communities meet their education, public safety, human or environmental needs through service.

Olivia Yeung is our new Alumni Mentor Program coordinator, working closely with the Career Services program. She is the third and final AmeriCorps volunteer in this position (the grant is limited to 3 years and this is its third year). Olivia’s position is in place to help us create a sustainable mentoring program for students and alums.

Amanda Baker is our other AmeriCorps volunteer this year, and she is serving as the NEW Marylhurst Service Program coordinator. In this year-long position, she will launch the start of a 3-year program development process in which we will:

  1. Integrate service-learning into our educational offerings;
  2. Create sustainable service activities for faculty, staff, students, and friends to participate in;
  3. Create service-oriented partnerships to help support 1 and 2 above.

Campus Compact – a national coalition of over 1,100 college and university presidents dedicated to promoting service-learning, civic engagement, and community service in higher education – is the organization that facilitates Amanda’s AmeriCorps position. Marylhurst’s President Judi Johansen became a member of this coalition, allowing us to work with Campus Compact to launch service-learning programs here with the aid of their incredible support and resources.

Here are the key benefits of our partnerships with AmeriCorps:

  1. The partnerships allow us to develop sustainable programs with fewer resources. The intent is that a volunteer helps provide the labor and focused attention to create a sustainable program. After three years, the university is expected to have a program that it can support on its own.
  2. The partnerships provide us access to a bank of resources  and connections to other universities that are doing similar programs; the connections to people and ideas are incredibly helpful.
  3. The partnerships are a good “match” in terms of our university’s strategic focus on service – AmeriCorps programs have a mission of service.

Both programs are focused on serving all of Marylhurst’s community – including those who may be online and/ or do not live here.

  • If you have ideas for supporting our students and alums through mentoring, please connect with Olivia.
  • If you have ideas for service-oriented projects and programs, please connect with Amanda.

Amanda and Olivia both have offices on campus – in Marian Hall – and are here in order to help all of us. They also need our support as well in order to be successful in their positions here.  So if you’re on campus, please stop by and introduce yourselves, and do what you can to help them launch these programs for our university.

Now Hiring!

Wanna know what I’m totally excited about? I wrote about this earlier, and here we go:

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AmeriCorps/VISTA – MARYLHURST UNIVERSITY SERVICE PROGRAM COORDINATOR

SUMMARY OF POSITION:

The Marylhurst University Service Program Coordinator will develop and facilitate three service-oriented programs at the University: 1) service-oriented partnerships between the University and other organizations; 2) service-oriented activities for university faculty, staff, and students to participate in, and; 3) service learning curricular offerings for Marylhurst students. Recruiting, training and supervising volunteers will be essential to the success of the program.

TIME:

Full-time, August 17, 2009 – August 20, 2010

ESSENTIAL RESPONSIBILITIES:

• Identify, develop, and coordinate community service-oriented partnerships for the University.

• Design and implement service-oriented activities for university faculty, staff, alumni, and students to participate in.

• Facilitate the development of service learning curriculum.

• Plan and facilitate University-sponsored, service-oriented event: “Marylhurst University Service Conference.”

OTHER RELATED RESPONSIBILITIES:

• Design and write material for program (forms, brochures and other literature);

• Design appropriate forms, signage and written material for activities (sign-in sheets, directions, etc.);

• Track volunteer information and activities in a database;

• Complete general office duties related to position (mailings, filing, phone calls, community fairs and outreach activities, etc.); limited to 10%.

• Complete and submit in a timely manner all OSSC/AmeriCorps required reports and time sheets.

• Attend OSSC/AmeriCorps sponsored orientation, trainings, meetings and disaster response.

• Collaborate with Center for Learning Technology (CLT) Coordinator and Web Strategist to access and update on-line resources.

• Serve as a representative of the program and present on the program at various venues.

• Participate in identified training and professional development activities.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS:

1. An independent, self-motivated, creative and resourceful individual who enjoys working with diverse groups of people.

2. Experience and/or desire to work in a University setting.

3. Interest and/or experience in recruiting and supporting volunteers for community-service programs.

4. Experience and/or desire to learn event planning.

5. Strong organizational and interpersonal communication skills.

6. Willingness to work a flexible schedule, including some evenings and weekends.

7. Valid driver’s license, good driving record and own transportation.

8. A Bachelor’s degree is preferred.

COMPENSATION:

See Oregon Campus Compact for complete compensation package information.

REPORTS TO:

Director, Center for Experiential Learning & Assessment

TO APPLY OR FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Oregon Campus Compact: www.oregoncampuscompact.org

-OR-

Melanie Booth, Ed.D.

Director for the Center for Experiential Learning & Assessment

mbooth@marylhurst.edu / 503-636-3941

Something Larger than Ourselves

I am writing a grant for an AmeriCorps position to help coordinate service-related activities at my university, and we’ve just identified the three main components of the job description:

1) Develop and coordinate service learning curriculum / pedagogy across the University;
2) Facilitate campus-based, service-oriented activities (food drives, outreach, etc.);
3) Develop service-oriented strategic partnerships between the University and other organizations.

obamaservicenation

Part of why I am so inspired to push this forward at my university (and do the work of writing the proposal in less than 2 weeks) is because I am inspired by the argument that Art Chickering makes about how such opportunities can, in fact, strengthen democracy: that service opportunities can support the development of sophisticated analytical abilities and help “lift our culture from dualistic perspectives that tend to drive our social policies” (from Editor’s Notes, p. 1, of Linking Adults with Community: Promoting Civic Engagement through Community Based Learning, edited by Susan Reed and Catherine Marienau, both from DePaul University’s School for New Learning).

Specifically, Chickering writes this:

An involved community is not a given, passed down as part of our place and time; it is chosen. Depending on the roles we choose or accept, our participation does not offer predictability or comfort, but challenge. The time, energy, and emotion we invest give purpose and meaning to our lives. Active participation offers us a chance to create meaning for ourselves on the basis of our particular contributions to something larger than ourselves and our families. (p. 90)

Something larger than ourselves…we need more of that in any way we can get it.