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Ten individuals honored at Service-Learning Recognition Breakfast

May 9, 2014

EAU CLAIRE — Ten individuals received recognition at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's 16th annual Service-Learning Recognition Breakfast April 24.

Service-learning has been a graduation requirement at UW-Eau Claire for the past 19 years. The recognition breakfast aims to honor those who have gone above and beyond for their school and community by showing great involvement and care in their service-learning activities.

Senior Sara Passint, an education major from Chippewa Falls,and senior Hannah Critchfield, a journalism major from Mondovi, received Student Excellence in Service-Learning awards.

Passint was chosen for her contribution to the Department of Public Instruction's Wisconsin Educational Opportunity Program through an AmeriCorps grant hosted by Marshfield Clinic. She worked with low-income and first-generational students in grades six through 12 to promote higher education, giving 1,400 service hours to this endeavor. Additionally, Passint gave 200 service hours at Delong Middle School, where she assisted middle school student participants in Odyssey of the Mind, helping them win the state competition.

Critchfieldwas selected for giving 875 hours last summer to Easter Seals, a non-profit organization that works to create opportunities for people with physical and cognitive disabilities. During a Transitions Weekend, Critchfield assisteddisabled campers ages 18 and older to learn valuable life skills that help them become more independent, such as cooking, budgeting and grocery shopping.

"Camp taught me that even though some people may not be able to do their own personal care, dress themselves independently or may not have the ability to talk, they are still intelligent human beings with feelings," Critchfied said. "Although my major is neither special education nor therapeutic recreation, like many who work there, I keep feeling the pull to go back."

Critchfield has served at the camp for the past three summers, giving hundreds of additional service hours.

Karen Rabideaux, volunteer coordinator for the Eau Claire County Humane Association,and Kyle Skipton, volunteer coordinator for Hope Gospel Mission, received Excellence as Community Partner Supervisor awards.

This past year, Rabideaux supervised 38 student projects that provided 915 service hours to the Eau Claire County Humane Association. Rabideaux has been very creative in helping students customize projects and utilize their talents and abilities in multiple disciplines.

Skiptonprovides the training for all Hope Gospel Mission service-learning students and gives tours of the facilities. Thirty-one UW-Eau Claire students have received training by Skipton in the past year, and students have provided 825 service hours within various areas of Hope Gospel Mission, including the Bargain Center, Ruth House and Men's Shelter.

Additionally, two service fellowships are awarded each year to UW-Eau Claire students. Freshman Hannah Lyrek, a marketing major from Independence, Minnesota, received the $1,500 Sally A. Webb International Service Fellowship. Sophomore Allison Arvey, a nursing major from Green Bay,received the $1,250 Ryan Prechel Community Service Fellowship, established by Nancy and David Prechel in recognition of their son's exceptional career as a student leader at UW-Eau Claire.

Lyrekwill conduct her international service project in New Delhi, India, with the Anurag Society, a non-profit organization serving women and children in a severely impoverished area of New Delhi. The organization offers a day care facility for infants and toddlers, primary school, after-school programs for children, a government-recognized sewing and tailoring school for young adults, computer courses, adult literacy programs for women, and a health care clinic. Lyrek will teach English at the school and interact with children through extra-curricular activities.

Arvey is a member of the newly established American Red Cross Club of UW-Eau Claire and was selected for her project to plan and host the first Run Red 5K to be held Sept. 21 in Eau Claire. The event is a fundraiser to support The American Red Cross Measles and Rubella Initiative, which provides immunizations to millions of children in developing countries throughout the world.

Faculty Mentor Awards were presented to Dr. Ruth Cronje, professor of English, and Dr. Marquell Johnson, assistant professor of kinesiology.

Within the UW-Eau Claire campus community, Cronje practices the values of active engagement she teaches in her classes. Last year, she successfully pursued grant funding and organized the first UW-Eau Claire campus/community visioning workshop on civic engagement. She serves on the Service-Learning Advisory Committee and actively works to deepen the civic engagement component of the university's service-learning requirement for community involvement.

Cronje also is working to build a collaborative engagement effort with the UW-Eau Claire College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Marshfield Clinic in Eau Claire and other community organizations. The effort will involve undergraduate students from a variety of academic majors in a multi-year initiative to connect low-income households with a full array of available community resources, as well as build the civic capacity of low-income individuals to identify and work for their own self-interests.

"In Dr. Cronje's environmental stewardship class, she brought together local citizen scientists and community engagement practitioners to partner with her students in designing and implementing a project to enhance an urban habitat for pollinators," said Mike Huggins, retired city manager, who co-teaches Honors courses with Cronje. "Her students learned fundamental civic problem-solving skills, including one-to-one interview techniques, power mapping and public evaluation. The students then applied these skills in the broader community to build a pollinator garden in a low-income neighborhood park. The students learned through hands-on experience how to convene and work with diverse community members, navigate government and institutional procedures, and move from talk to action."

Johnsoncreated the PRIDE, or Physical Activity and Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities, program in 2008 and serves as the program director for both PRIDE and PRIDE4Adults (which he started in 2011).

"Since starting at UW-Eau Claire in 2007, Dr. Johnson has made a difference in the preparation of students in kinesiology by providing experiential learning and scholarly expertise in working with individuals with disabilities," said Dr. Jeffrey Janot, chair of the UW-Eau Claire kinesiology department. "Numerous current and past students have identified their participation in PRIDE and PRIDE4Adults as a top and memorable experience in their academic preparation. The outreach programs delivered by the kinesiology department are a source of pride for all faculty and staff, and both PRIDE programs are at the very top of service programs we make available for our community members."

Darcy Way and Susan Tietz received the David G. Anderson awards, made available by the Ruder Ware law firm to honor David G. Anderson, a 1966 UW-Eau Claire alumnus and a shareholder with Ruder Ware, in recognition of his community service and volunteerism.

Way received the David G. Anderson Community Builder Award in recognition of his career in the nonprofit sector. A $250 contribution will be made to a charity of his choice.

For more than 10 years, Way was an integral part of Michigan Technological University's fundraising and annual budget management. In 2001 he became the director of Momentum Chippewa Valley, where he managed the annual operating budget, generated $60,000 in annual membership support and coordinated the work of more than 200 volunteers. After three short years, Momentum Chippewa Valley was recognized throughout the Midwest as a model for bringing public and private entities together to sustain and expand upon regional economic development.

Way worked as the development specialist at the Chippewa Valley Technical College from 2004-2009 before serving as the executive director of the Children's Museum of Eau Claire from 2009-2014.Way has recently been named the director of philanthropy at St. Joseph's Hospital.

Tietz received the David G. Anderson Community Service Award, which recognizes continued commitment to community service and volunteerism. A $250 contribution will be made to a charity of her choice.

Tietz has been a member of the Eau Claire Community Foundation's founding board of trustees for 10 years, serving as chair for two years. She continues to serve on the operations, personnel and advisory committees and is an active founding member of the Women's Giving Circle, a fund of the Eau Claire Community Foundation that supports the needs of women and children in the Eau Claire area.

As one of the original members of the Business Advisory Council of the UW-Eau Claire College of Business, Tietz participated in accreditation site visits, assisted with dean searches and provided feedback on academic programs. She also served on a committee to reorganize the department of business education and administrative management, renaming it the department of business communication to reflect a new focus on communication skill development.

Tietz also served as a guest lecturer in advanced business communication classes. Her interest in students and communication skill development inspired her to make two major gifts to the business communication department: in 1995, the Susan K. Tietz/McDonough Manufacturing Business Communication Classroom, and in 2005, the Susan K. Tietz Business Communication Labs. Tietz also has served on the Blugold women's basketball advisory board for the last six years and is one of the founding members of the Fast Break Club, which raises more than $25,000 annually for the basketball program.

For a full listing of 2013-14 outstanding service-learning students, visit the Center for Service-Learning website.

For more information about the UW-Eau Claire service-learning program, contact Benita Wagner, Center for Service-Learning coordinator, at wagnerbj@uwec.edu or 715-836-4649.

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