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Six Receive Awards from
UW-Eau Claire's Service-Learning Program
MAILED: May 3, 2002
EAU CLAIRE — Six individuals received special awards at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's recent fourth annual Service-Learning Recognition Breakfast, held to honor the more the 400 community partners and UW-Eau Claire faculty mentors and supervisors who have contributed to the success of the university's service-learning program.
Dr. Lucretia Mattson, associate professor of accounting and finance, and Barbara Blackdeer-Mackenzie, Knight Foundation journalist in residence, received Faculty/Academic Staff Member Excellence in Service-Learning Awards.
When presenting the awards, Provost and Vice Chancellor Ron Satz told the group that Mattson was known for encouraging her students to be involved in community service.
"A professional gives back to the community and tries to make his or her community a better place," said Mattson. "I'm convinced one person can make a difference, and I hope to instill that in students."
In addition to teaching, Mattson has served as a faculty mentor for 96 students. This semester, she mentored 48 students working either with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program or the Financial Planning program. Both programs reach out to the community to assist the elderly and low-income families with tax preparation and financial planning. Annually, 200 community members are assisted with taxes, and fifteen students in the Financial Planning course are matched up with clients to help plan for short- and long-term financial goals.
Barbara Blackdeer-Mackenzie, a visiting media professional on the UW-Eau Claire campus for 2001-02 school year, wasted no time getting involved with the service-learning program and has been demonstrating the enhanced learning potential from embedding service-learning in a course or discipline, said Satz. Last semester she involved an entire class of 27 students in a project to write a public relations campaign proposal for Eau Claire's L.E. Phillips Senior Center, and she said it was especially important to her that the students do real work that could be used in the real world. "The experience guaranteed that the students would do their best, and I hoped it also would help an organization in need," said Blackdeer-Mackenzie.
This semester she has another class working with James Vance, director of the American Ethnic Coordinating Office, on the Diversity 2008 plan to increase awareness both on and off campus about the value of looking ahead to a more diverse campus and community. The students are involved in activities such as high school outreach, videography, governmental relations, and adding elements of diversity to regular campus activities.
Chancellor Donald Mash presented Community Partner Excellence in Service-Learning Awards to emeriti faculty Alvin and Barbara Rolland and to Andrea Sullivan of Indianhead Area Special Olympics.
In 1999 the Rollands started the New Beginnings program, which partners UW-Eau Claire service-learning students (19 this past year) with at-risk or expelled students in the Eau Claire area and provides one-on-one tutoring and encouragement to help these students get back into school or complete high school degrees. The program typically serves 20-30 youth each semester in twice weekly, intensive two-hour tutoring sessions. As of this year, some Eau Claire schools have recognized New Beginnings as a valid program and are now recommending that expelled students be encouraged to continue their studies in this program.
Robert Burns, former Service-Learning director, said the Rollands have a deep concern for the welfare of both the New Beginnings students and the university students. "Al and Barbara have a special commitment to these young people. It's very energizing to see them working with youth in their retirement. They are fantastic people!" said Burns.
Sullivan has served as project supervisor to 27 service-learning students this past year and a total of 77 students since 1999. The students assist individuals with cognitive disabilities by serving as coaches and volunteers, and Sullivan has provided opportunities for them to help at Special Olympics events all over Wisconsin, said Mash. Andrea also has worked with numerous students in Social Work 188, a one-credit service-learning course. Students have had only praise for these experiences, said Mash, noting that students regularly comment that they get as much or more than they give when they volunteer with Special Olympics.
Senior Jamie Borchardt, an English education major from Wausau, received the Student Excellence in Service-Learning Award, presented by Angel Brown and Shawn Everhart, two students who work in the Center for Service-Learning. Borchardt was recognized for her early and continuous involvement in the program. In her freshman year she worked with Kristine Stein to develop the Writing Mentorship Program for Gifted and Talented Students at DeLong Middle School and has continued to serve there through all four years of college. She also teaches English skills to at-risk kids at North High School and through the New Beginnings Program. She has been accepted as an intern in the Abbotsford school district for the fall 2003 semester.
For more information on UW-Eau Claire's service-learning program, contact Dr. Donald Mowry, director of service-learning, (715) 836-4649.
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: May 3, 2002