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Ten Individuals and One Organization Recognized at UW-Eau Claire's Service-Learning Breakfast

RELEASED: April 28, 2006

EAU CLAIRE — Nine individuals received special awards at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's 8th annual Service-Learning Recognition Breakfast, held to honor the more than 500 community partners, project supervisors and UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff mentors who have contributed to the success of the university's Service-Learning program.

The theme for this year's event was "Service at the Core of Education for 10 Years Running." Although this was the 8th annual breakfast, Service-Learning has been a graduation requirement for the past 10 years.

John Wallace, who earned a bachelor's degree in '72, an education degree in '78 and a master's degree in '81; his wife Ruth Wallace; and Sona Mehring '83, received Alumni Excellence in Service-Learning Awards.

John Wallace, principal of South Middle School, is a native of Alexandria, La. After Hurricane Katrina hit, he and his wife put into action Operation Classmate where students from Eau Claire County schools raised over $45,000 and a semi-load of supplies for school children in Rapides Parish schools. This initiative sparked a variety of creative ways of giving, from walk-a-thons to penny collections to T-shirt sales.

Mehring created an online service called CaringBridge eight years ago when a pregnant friend developed a serious illness, and lost her child. The service is named in the baby's honor. Today, CaringBridge allows families to upload updates and connect with other family members and friends without spending hours repeating the same information to each concerned person through phone calls. As of 2005, 19,000 personalized Web pages have been created and about 1,000 are added each month.

Susan Haugen, professor of accounting and finance, Donna Lehmkuhl, Jumpstart-Eau Claire Site Manager, and Scott Lester, associate professor of management and marketing and director for the Center for Leadership, received Excellence in Service-Learning as a Faculty/Staff Mentor Awards.

Haugen has been an active supporter of Service-Learning since her days on the Diversity Task Force of the Commission on the Re-Definition of the Baccalaureate Degree. In addition to her role establishing and implementing the Service-Learning program, she has served as a faculty mentor for over 50 students. She also has been an active member of the Academic Affairs Advisory Committee for Service-Learning for the past several years. Haugen is retiring from UW-Eau Claire in August.

Lehmkuhl was hired in January 2003 as the second site manager for Jumpstart, a national non-profit early education organization that recruits and trains college students to work with low-income preschoolers and ensure they enter school with the skills necessary for future success. The program was in its first year of operation in Eau Claire when Lehmkuhl stepped into the position of leadership for 40 Jumpstart Corps members, three community partner sites and staff, and the Jumpstart organization. Under Lehmkuhl's direction, Jumpstart has had great success. In Eau Claire it has maintained at least a 92 percent retention rate and a 95 percent graduation rate each year.

Lester worked on a research study that examined the value of Service-Learning from the standpoint of multiple stakeholders, and he has mentored over 55 students for their co-curricular Service-Learning projects. Lester has also contributed by honing students' leadership and teamwork skills through the Center for Leadership, enabling students to become better leaders and team members.

Lisa McIntyre and Gary Steward and the Hope Gospel Mission staff received Excellence in Service-Learning as a Community Partner Awards.

McIntyre, as program director of the Boys and Girls Club of the Chippewa Valley, strove to provide community Service-Learning opportunities for UW-Eau Claire students. Students have volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club for Service-Learning credit and participated in internships and employment opportunities in the community service through the Federal Work Study program. McIntyre is a former UW-Eau Claire employee who served as head gymnastics coach and director of a year-round children's gymnastics program. She also worked as director of the National Youth Sports Program, which provides low-income families with opportunities.

Steward and the Hope Gospel Mission Staff received the award for their treatment of students. Since 2002, the Center for Service-Learning has worked with faith-based organizations and groups on over 280 service projects meeting community needs. The Hope Gospel Mission has been the site of over 30 projects, and 11 different staff members have served as project supervisors both at the Mission and at the Bargain Center. Hope Gospel Mission was recognized because they treated students as equal partners, allowed them to negotiate the learning contract to include students' strengths and interest areas, and provided training, orientation and ongoing supervision.

Seniors Jane Jadack, Eau Claire, and Katie Peters, Green Bay, received Student Excellence in Service-Learning Awards.

Jadack wanted to raise awareness among her coworkers and also do something for child sexual assault victims, so she began collecting stuffed animals for children who undergo examination by Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners. SANE provides compassionate skilled care for victims of sexual assault. The exams can be frightening and upsetting, and Jadack felt that giving children a teddy bear could make the process less scary. Jadack collected so many animals that they were also placed in hospital emergency rooms.

Peters was instrumental in launching a community and campus collaboration to establish Eau Claire as a Community of Promise. The mission of Eau Claire's Promise is "to mobilize and engage people from every sector of the Eau Claire and campus community in order to help young people to grow up with the character, confidence, competence and connection needed to live healthy and fulfilling lives." In high school Peters was involved with the America's Promise movement in her hometown, as well as statewide in Wisconsin. She was also one of the original members of the National America's Promise Youth Partnership Team, which serves as a sounding board and leadership group for America's Promise staff.

For more information on UW-Eau Claire's service-learning program, contact Donald Mowry, director of the Center for Service-Learning, at (715) 836-4649.

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BC/NW

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