Utah Campus Compact 2016
Committed Community Partner - Rob Hall - Youth Impact
As director of Youth Impact (YI), Robb Hall has created a culture of respect, possibility and success for some of the most at-risk youths in Ogden. Robb’s passion and dedication to educating young people has led him to partnering with WSU to benefit the community, inner-city youths and both WSU students and professors.
Each day around one hundred twenty young people from grades 4 through 12 are bussed from their schools to the YI facility downtown for academic tutoring, sports play, social skills mentoring, artistic creating and a healthy meal and snacks in a safe environment before being bussed back to their homes in the evening. YI staff, several of whom are graduates of YI as well as WSU, are assisted by community volunteers and particularly WSU students from the social sciences. As many as 300 WSU students annually participate through such activities as conducting program evaluation research, mentoring and tutoring, performing science demonstrations, facilitating clubs and activities, modeling best behavior and often creating their own projects and programs for the kids, enabling students and youth to learn from each other. Success for YI kids is measured by a 97.6% school attendance rate and an increased number playing musical instruments and developing competitive skills on school athletic teams. Kids learn life-long mechanical skills, hike and ski in the mountains, perform community service and learn business through internships. Many are graduating from high school and entering college, the first in their families to do so. Youth Impact’s partnership with WSU has been so positive that the Association of American State Colleges and Universities has highlighted it nationally as a model of innovation for offering the best practices in teaching, learning and community stewardship.
Community Engaged Alum- Luis Lopez
Although WSU alum Luis Lopez has served the Ogden area for several years by participating in numerous volunteer committees and boards, he is perhaps best known for leading, inspiring and engaging members of the Latino community to effect positive social change. Luis is founder and president of LUPEC, Latinos United Promoting Education and Civic Engagement. Under Luis’s leadership, LUPEC has advocated for better understanding and cooperation between the Latino and majority populations, involving WSU as a partner. An important first step to bridging cultures was working with the Ogden City Council to air the issues most crucial to Latinos and to create an annual Hispanic Heritage Month, beginning September, 2014, that promises to showcase the best of Latino cultures.
Luis immigrated to the USA from Mexico at age 19, became a US citizen, and earned a B.S. in teaching from WSU and a Master’s of Education Leadership and Policy from the U. He worked in the Ogden School District as a youth mentor and community programs coordinator. Now at WSU, he serves as director of the Community Education Center, where he oversees outreach for underserved populations. Having recently been elected to the Ogden City Council, Luis intends to expand educational opportunities through the larger Ogden community. He extends his activism to human rights and corruption issues in Mexico, reminding people especially of the missing 43 student teachers.
Committed Engaged Faculty Member - Jeremy Farner
Associate Professor of Design Engineering Technology Jeremy Farner inspires his students to make their community better than they find it by solving real world problems in the building design and construction industry. Students learn from professionals what the issues are and collaborate to design a solution. Projects they have undertaken include designing and constructing a confined space fire-training maze for firefighters, portable forklifts to transport harvested peaches at a welfare farm, a family home for Habitat for Humanity, and the first Net Zero Tiny Home in Ogden. They have designed many more Tiny Homes as well as green, energy-efficient normal houses.
Jeremy has carried his vision of continuous improvement and innovation into the global realm. In the past years he has collaborated with other WSU professors to create opportunities for students to design (including estimating costs and materials) and build a women’s training center in Mozambique, a dining hall and kitchen for an orphanage in Thailand, and a training center and pre-school in Peru. Currently they are planning trips to build a solar-powered library in Africa and a school in China.
Community Engaged Staff Member - Carey Anson
Carey Anson directs the computer labs for the Office of Student Affairs Technology where he supervises about 50 student employees. He also teaches English to international students under the Learning English for Academic Purposes (LEAP) Department. Believing that it is his responsibility as an educator to create an environment that helps develop conscientious community leaders, Carey has created numerous opportunities for his staff and students to build civic awareness and engagement.
Projects that Carey has devised include making blankets for Primary Children’s Hospital, organizing and distributing food to students in Ogden School District, organizing and running charity fund-raising events, collecting and distributing turkeys to needy families at Thanksgiving, building garden spaces for public schools, and connecting Ogden High students with WSU students in community action programs. Carey’s students and employees are thus exposed to local challenges and issues in the Ogden community and participate in teaching solutions to the problems. Working together enables them to become better acquainted, markedly improves their communication skills, and increases both group cohesiveness and self-initiative. Last year it led to a WSU service project in Thailand that facilitated, among other things, an orphanage’s access to clean water, a new kitchen and dining facility, and education supplies.
These successes inspired Carey to incorporate a community engagement criterion in job advancement for his staff. He also helped set up the Open-Student Computer Lab Scholarship, which is funded by and supports student employees working in the labs based on their job performance as well as level of community engagement.
Community Engaged Student - Livvy Gerrish
Livvy Gerrish began volunteering at the CCEL as a freshman in 2012 and has never stopped. She is so responsible, reliable and bright and works so well beyond the original job descriptions that she continues to be pushed forward. In her first year she served as a student leader for the Special Olympics Winter Games. Her leadership and organizational skills compelled the CCEL to appoint her to be Poverty Program director, to mentor 4 student leaders in their activities. Halfway through that year, the CCEL hired her in a work-study position to direct the EL series On Air; she continues in that position, having helped facilitate the Food Matters (2014-15) and Waste (2015-16) programs. This year she also became the teaching assistant in the Civitas class, leading students in a video project to interview WSU alums who are civically engaged and whose stories are sure to inspire students to continue their commitment to community.
Livvy excels at building community with and amongst both young people and adults. She has modeled this skill outside the center as well, having applied for and received the opportunity to serve in the position of Civic Education Project residential advisor and facilitator to gifted youth around the world at Northwestern University for 2 summers and a spring break. She is an outstanding community engaged citizen.