Service-Learning Engaged Scholar - Maria Parrilla de Kokal
Maria Parrilla de Kokal, a visiting lecturer in psychology, enables students in her psychology practicum classes to experience psychologh as a "living" social science. She teaches them how to apply psychological concepts as they tytor math and teach social skills to ethnically diverse, low SES children of all ages. Students explore underlying societal issues, the existing services that address the issues, and effective tutoring and motivation strategies for this population. Students engage in heavy reflection personally and with peers and professor about how their work and interactions with people served has impacted them. Students assess successes and failures of the interventions and present their research papers and posters, when appropriate, to professors, professionals, and other students. maria enthusiastically promotes service-learning at every opportunity among her peers.
"Practicum is one of my favorite teaching experiences. Through it, I get to watch our students 'bring-to-life' theoretical concepts learned in a classroom while providing meaningful service." Maria Parrilla de Kokal
Civically Engaged Student - Misty Bell
Misty Bell recently completed a bachelor's degree in Health Promotion and will earn a degree in Human Performance Management in spring 2011. As a supplemental instructor for a health program planning and evaluation course, Misty designed and implemented several projects, in the process building relationships with four new community partners. As Volunteer Involvement program Director, she raised awareness of organ donations, homelessness, U.S. soldier loneliness, and rape on campus and in the community. To address these issues, Misty created projects that enlisted other students to make and provide needed items such as quilts, hand-knit hats, care packages, and rape kits. She advocates for orphans in Ghana, sich children in Guatemala, and locally for hospice, Best Buddies, and children with autism. She is working now to open a year-round hippotherapy camp for children with cerebral palsy.
"It is only when we stop a moment and give our time to others that we realize the true meaning of service. The secret to being happy in life is doing things for other people." Misty Bell
Civically Engaged Staff Member - Kristy Jones
Kristy Jones is director of the Northern Utah Area Health Education Center in the Dumke college of Health Professions. She has designed and implemented creative strategies to recruit youth for careers in health professions and to address community health care concerns by engaging WSU students to present programs to rural and underserved populations statewide. She works closely with numberous community service organizations to accomplish this. Task forces she has organized and/or chaired address issues such as childhood obesity, suicide prevention, and substance abuse prevention for women with children. Kristy trains WSU students and creates opportunities for them to present to school children, both to excite the children about health care and to inform them of problems - such as with the respiratory system - to avoid. She also trains nursing students on how to teach different age groups, work in the schools, and conduct dissections.
"It is only when we stop a moment and give our time to others that we realize the true meaning of service. The secret to being happy in life is doing things for other people." Kristy Jones
Committed Community Partner - Gary Fritz - Best Buddies
The Adult Transition program is a community-based program for 18-22 year old students with developmental disabilities. An outcome of our Adult Transition program is to transition students with disabilities into the world of work through employment opportunities and to assist them with becoming productive citizens within their community. Gary Fritz, a special education teacher for Ogden City Schools, is host site coordinator for WSU Best Buddies program. The program, establishes at WSU in 1992, enables college students to interact one-on-one with intellectually disabled students sho attend the Adutl Transition program in the school district. Gary creates opportunities for students with disabilities to participate in community activities, friendship events, and group socials by pairing them with age-appropriate peers, thus helping them become more socially responsible as well as participating community citizens. The situation in turn fosters better understanding and acceptance by college students, who ultimately become prepared as employers or colleagues for integraing people with disabilities into the larger community. The college students also gain an invaluable sense of this aspect of our society's diversity.
"The Best Buddies program at Weber State provides the opportunity for our students with disabilities to enhance their social skills while participating in community activities with a College Buddy as their friend." Gary Fritz