If there’s one thing UW-Eau Claire students and faculty can pride themselves on, it’s their inherent backing of strong community involvement [AND] support of interdisciplinary experiences. Able to attest to this pride is Adrianne Taylor, a senior psychology major who completed her service-learning through the Human Development Center on campus (located in the Human Sciences and Services building). As an undergraduate with high hopes of grad school, Adrianne was able to gain invaluable experience in her field and also work with current graduate students.
Through the Human Development Center, Adrianne worked with children from the Eau Claire community who needed psychologically related clinical help. “Working as an intern for the Human Development Center, I meet with clients and their families from the community to help solve academic, behavioral, and socioemotional problems that their child may face,” says Adrianne. “These children often benefit from strategies and resources that the interdisciplinary team in the Human Development Center can offer to aid their success in school, at home, and in the community.”
As an undergraduate, Adrianne is part of a reading team, where she is paired with a client from the community and assesses the child to see what type of help they may need. After evaluating the client, Adrianne comes together with the other teams in the Human Development Center, where they discuss the case and eventually meet with the client’s parents to share their findings and make any recommendations they may have.
The service Adrianne has provided to the community through her service learning project is one of high importance. Not only has she had the opportunity to provide clinical services for families in need, but she’s also been able to work with and learn from professionals and grad students in her desired career path.
For Adrianne, the experiences she’s had and the connections she’s made through her internship are indispensable. “The main thing that I’ve taken away from this experience is the importance of interdisciplinary collaborations. I’m currently applying for graduate school, and there are grad students working with us at the center. Through this, I’ve been able to see the importance of working with people from different backgrounds and educational practices to really get a wholistic idea of the child in need.”
When asked about the most notable experience her work at the center has brought her, Adrianne commented, “One of the very first meetings we ever had, my partner and I were the only undergraduate students in the room. Everyone else was either a graduate student or a professor. I remember sitting in that room and feeling so small. This moment was a turning point for me, because it made me realize how lucky I was to be in this situation, and gaining the experience that I was.”
Adrianne’s service experience is just one of many that reminds us how lucky we are to be part of the Blugold community; a community that puts others first and never lets anyone feel smaller than the rest.