Whether it’s in their own backyard or on the other side of the globe, Wright State University students and faculty make an impact through service-learning courses. Their efforts were in the spotlight at the annual Service-Learning recognition.
“Anti-bullying is growing, but it’s not as prominent as it should be,” said Matt S. Green, a graduating senior in organizational leadership who was one of the honorees.
He and some fellow students mentored Thurgood Marshall and Meadowdale High School students in developing anti-bullying campaigns for their schools as part of a service-learning class on urban youth.
“It affected some of the students in profound ways,” Green said. He has even run into some of the high school students in public and they say, “Hey, we really appreciate what you guys did.”
Green said he enjoys helping people and comes by it naturally since his family also enjoys helping people. He believes strongly that people should take advantage of situations where they can influence those around them for the greater good.
Faculty play an integral role in creating courses that meet learning objectives while incorporating unique service opportunities. Rosemary Eustace, Ph.D., assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Health, was one of the faculty members honored. She custom tailors the Tanzania Global Health course to the educational interests of students. It is listed as a nursing course, Honors course and RST Africa Course and is open to all students.
Last summer, students learned about global health issues, such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and the Millennium Development Goals before traveling to Tanzania. Once there, they attended classes with Tanzanian students at the School of Nursing at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, the host university. Visits to health care centers and social agencies for observational and service-learning were included. One student studying international business even had the opportunity to interview a clinic director to see how the clinic is funded.
One of the service-learning projects involved Wright State students visiting an orphanage and conducting health-teaching sessions, such as washing hands and brushing teeth. “The children played with the stethoscopes we were wearing,” Eustace said. “The students loved it and wanted to spend more time there.”
The trip also included home visits to HIV patients and their families so students could see how people live with the disease and what they’re doing about it. They could talk one-on-one with clients through a translator.
“I regard them as Tanzania global ambassadors,” Eustace said of her students when they return home. She encourages them to continue their service, whether that is going back to the country, joining the Peace Corps or acting locally to create awareness about a problem.
“Dr. Eustace worked so hard and did everything in her power to make our service-learning experience the best one we could ever have,” Katelynn Alcorn wrote in her nomination.
“Wright State’s service-learning program supports the university’s mission to transform the lives of our students and the communities we serve through significant community service,” said Cathy Sayer, director of service-learning. The courses help students develop knowledge and skills for effective citizenship, understand community needs and engage to enact positive change.
Faculty nominated the following students for recognition:
Ashley Bass, URS 3250
Rebecca Beesley, STEPS
Masyla Brown, ED 3100
Nicole Craker, STEPS
Dayna Dollar, ED 2100 and SRV 2000
Erin Duffley, OL 4020
Matt R. Green, URS 3250
Matt S. Green, URS 3250
Sheri Heath, ED 3250
Aaron Johnson, ED 6020
Lizz Kelly, NLA
Johnny King, MKT 4100
Stephanie McCain, NLA
Katie McGrath, URS 2000
Serenity McKenzie, HST 1200
Ashley Owen, ED 3100
John Phelps, OL 4020
Amaha Sellassie, URS 6300
Kayla Schaub, Honors Service-Learning
Osman Shamuratov, HST 1200
Ashley Studley, RHB 3700
Students nominated these faculty members for the honor:
Christa Agiro, ED 4500
Ksenia Bonch Reeves, SPN 1020
Hunt Brown, EES 1900
Rosemary Eustace, UH 4000
Jason Fruth, EDS 2900
Jennifer Subban, URS 4940
Amber Vlasnik, WMS 4980