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Ten Individuals Recognized at UW-Eau Claire's
9th Annual Service-Learning Recognition Breakfast

RELEASED: April 23, 2007

EAU CLAIRE — Ten individuals received special awards April 18 at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's 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 "Helping Communities Blossom; Planting Seeds of Service." Although this was the 9th annual breakfast, Service-Learning has been a graduation requirement for the past 11 years.

Heidi Fisher '90 received the David G. Anderson Community Builder alumni award. This award honors alumni who have made a career working in the non-profit sector. A $250 gift will be made in honor of the recipient to Literacy Volunteers, Chippewa Valley, where Fisher is the executive director. Jeff and Bridget Nelson ('95 and '96) received the David G. Anderson Community Service alumni award. This award recognizes alumni for continued commitment to community service and volunteerism. A $250 contribution will be made to Pennies for AIDS, an effort to link the children of the Nelsons' church to AIDS relief in Africa. The David G. Anderson awards were made available by the Ruder Ware law firm to honor UW-Eau Claire alumnus and former UW-Eau Claire Foundation chairman David Anderson, who is vice chair of Ruder Ware.

Fisher completed her master's in non-profit management and her thesis explored the feasibility of creating a state association to support Wisconsin's nonprofits. Later she conducted research to determine the initial interest in actually forming a state association. After collecting mountains of research and finding favorable opinion to begin, Fisher and friend JoAnn Stormer secured almost $50,000 in funding for a feasibility study. Through the feasibility study they found overwhelming support to form a state association. Wisconsin Non-Profits Association was born; and now after becoming incorporated, serves 31,000 non-profits in Wisconsin.

Jeff and Bridget Nelson have been very active in peace and social justice issues. Bridget Nelson has been involved with the Hunger Action Coalition of Michigan, Bread for the World, Young Neighbors in Action, and Alternatives for Girls. Jeff Nelson served as a community organizer for Groundwork for a Just World. After receiving his Master of Divinity degree and becoming an associate pastor, he and Bridget challenged the children of their church to save pennies for AIDS in Africa. To date they have collected 5.2 million pennies.

UW-Eau Claire students Maria Carvalho, a senior social work and Latin American studies double major from Eau Claire, and Lara Goetsch, a senior art major from Minneapolis, received Excellence in Service-Learning awards.

Carvalho is currently completing an internship with Defensa de los Ninos Internacional, a non-profit children's rights organization based in Moravia, Costa Rica. She supports education for children and advocates for children's rights by developing materials for sexual abuse intervention. Carvalho previously served in El Fortin, Nicaragua, to help children obtain school supplies so they could attend school.

Goetsch has been a Jumpstart-Eau Claire corps member for four years. She moved into leadership positions as a team leader, intern, and mentor and guide to younger corps members. Goetsch also started a successful story time for preschool children at local Starbucks stores. At several literacy events, many children have found Goetsch costumed as the cat from "The Cat in the Hat." She has also been selected for a prestigious Pearson Teacher Fellowship and is a finalist for Jumpstart's Spirit of Service Award.

Excellence in Service-Learning as a Community Partner awards went to Teri Piper-Thompson, partnership coordinator from DeLong Middle School, and Kris Becker, director of the United Way of Greater Eau Claire.

For the past 10 years, Piper-Thompson has served as the partnership coordinator for DeLong Middle School. She was the first partnership coordinator in Eau Claire and has grown to be a leader among her peers today. Partnership coordinators are the primary conduit for involving parents and other volunteers from the community in the education of youth.

Becker's leadership has impacted and strengthened numerous initiatives and proactive collaborative projects with UW-Eau Claire and the corporate sector. Among them are the Emerging Leaders Program, Hmong Refugee Resettlement Project, a community-based Non-profit Grant Initiative, Youth United, Community Assessment, Gifts in Kind, Day of Caring, Children's Council, and Healthy Communities. Becker supports UW-Eau Claire's Center for Service-Learning and students by hosting interns, volunteers for time-limited events, and as a site for Problem-Based Service-Learning capstone course teams from Tom Hilton's Information Systems course.

Paula Stuettgen, coordinator of UW-Eau Claire's Activities and Programs and the Community Action and Lifelong Learning Program, and William Frankenberger, professor of psychology and director of the Human Development Center, received Faculty/Staff Excellence in Service-Learning awards.

In addition to her position on campus, Stuettgen advises several honor societies and has been actively involved with The Bridge, Commission on the Status of Women, Labor of Love, University Senate, Tidy Up the Town and Honors Week. Early each fall and spring semester, Stuettgen can be found heading up the Community Action Fair to keep students aware of volunteer opportunities in the community.

For the past 10 years, Frankenberger has coordinated efforts for approximately 60 students to participate in the Lac du Flambeau Service-Learning Project. All students learn about the Ojibwa culture and the unique needs of children and families on the reservation. Frankenberger has also been the primary force behind a tutoring and mentoring program that has served Lakeshore and Lincoln elementary schools.

This past year through a Learn & Serve Collaboration grant, the Eau Claire Area School District partnered with the Center for Service-Learning to bring service-learning to all levels of education. Hjordy Wagner, director of the service-learning project, presented the project along with teachers and students from two elementary, one middle and one high school classroom pilot projects. Longfellow Elementary School's 3rd grade classroom project, "Art on the Bus," was headed up by Chuck Henning. Scott Kunferman worked with 5th grade students on the "Putnam Heights Health Fair." DeLong Middle School 7th grade students worked with Jennifer Birkholz and "Nonprofit Agencies to Meet Community Needs." Mary Oehler and Memorial High School Civics students focused their project on "Violence Prevention." Individual school presentations were made during the breakfast.

The Ryan Prechel Community Service Fellowship was presented to the Alternate Winter Break program sponsored by University Lutheran Church, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the UW-Eau Claire Foundation. Sophomores Liz Crammond, Portage, and Elecia Oleson, Nekoosa, summer fellows of the program, accepted the award. The fellowship will be used to assist students with stipends who may otherwise not be able to afford the trip.

The Sally A. Webb International Service Fellowship was awarded to senior Rebecca O'Brien, Duluth, Minn., who is planning a two month medical mission trip to serve the people of Mixtec Village in Oaxaca, Mexico, this summer.

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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DM/NW

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