Tag: Servant Leadership

Lawrence leftovers: Student organizations helping to feed the Fox Cities

An old English proverb claims the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

Lawrence University senior and Servant Leader Fellow Shang Li is applying a similar philosophy not for affection, but to improve the lives of hundreds of area residents.

A product of Lawrence’s innovation and entrepreneurship program, Food for Fox is the brainchild of Shang, Rachel Gregory and Malcolm Lunn-Craft and run with the help of the Lawrence Food Recovery Network team to reduce food waste while also providing a healthy meal for clients of two area non-profit organizations, Harbor House Domestic Abuse Shelter and the Fox Cities Boys and Girls Club.

Helping to provide meals to area nonprofit organizations are Professor Mark Jenike, faculty advisor, Food for Fox co-founder Shang Li, Food Recovery Network co-presidents Sarah Diamond and Lindsay Holsen and Food for Fox co-founders Malcolm Lunn-Craft and Rachel Gregory.
Helping to provide meals to area nonprofit organizations are Professor Mark Jenike, faculty advisor, Food for Fox co-founder Shang Li, Food Recovery Network co-presidents Sarah Diamond and Lindsay Holsen and Food for Fox co-founders Malcolm Lunn-Craft and Rachel Gregory.

With the help of various student groups of volunteers — athletes, fraternity and sorority members, residents of theme houses and passionate individuals — unused food is collected from Andrew Commons, the Lawrence dining area, several evenings three weeks a month for twice-a-week deliveries of between 50 and 100 pounds of food to Harbor House. The collection the last week of the month is earmarked for a meal for children and their families at the Fox Cities Boys and Girls Club.

Beyond simple nutrition, Food for Fox’s goal is to support education of needy children through these donated meals.

“Food is a very powerful thing,” said Li. “We want to partner with local organizations to provide educational sessions for the children and their families on the importance of establishing healthy eating habits, especially at a young age.”

Gregory was drawn to Food for Fox in part because of her interests in sustainability.

“We waste an abundance of food, while many families in our own community go hungry or do not have access to a reliable supply of nutritious foods,” said Gregory, an environmental studies major from Plano, Texas. “We are melding two problems together to create a solution.”

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The Food for Fox program has partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley to provide a family meal the last Friday of each month.

As of the end of February, the Boys & Girls Club had served 230 meals courtesy of the Food for Fox program.

“The biggest benefit of this program is being able to open the meal up to our member’s families,” said Holly Purgett, Healthy Habits Food Program Coordinator at the Boys and Girls Club. “Socially speaking, this event encourages families to have a meal together and spend quality time with one another on a Friday night. Our kids are proud to bring their parents, siblings and grandparents to the club and show them where they spend much of their time.

“Although we receive certain reimbursements, they do not cover all of our food program expenses,” Purgett added. “Having a meal donated, even once a month, helps with those non-covered expenses.”

Li was initially inspired by a Facebook video she saw two years ago about the Food Recovery Network, which prompted her to help establish a campus chapter — one of the first two in the state of Wisconsin — in the spring of 2014.

“That Facebook video really touched my heart,” said Li, a government and history major from Tianjin, China. “I was fascinated with how simple procedures and a support system can transform food waste into warm, nutritious meals for people in need.”

“I envision LU Food Recovery Network along with Food for Fox being run by generations of Lawrentians because there is always a demand for food and there is always a platform that will allow our students to shine as servant leaders.”
     — Shang Li ’16

In its first year of operation (May 2014- June 2015), the Food Recovery Network collected more than 5,000 pounds of leftovers, which were shared with its initial Fox Cities organizations, Loaves & Fishes and Homeless Connection. When those partnerships dissolved for various reasons, Li proposed the Food for Fox idea last fall to the Food Recovery Network’s new leadership team, Sarah Diamond and Lindsay Holsen. Harbor House and the Boys and Girls Club became the new beneficiaries.

“We are extremely appreciative of the Boys & Girl’s Club for their willingness to collaborate with Food Recovery Network and Food for Fox to create an event that has a lot of potential as it continues to build awareness, promote sustainability and provide meaningful meals to kids in need,” said Holsen, a Servant Leader Fellow who joined the Food Recovery Network board in 2014 and became co-president last April.

Food for Fox founders Shang Li (l.), Macolm Lunn-Craft (c.) and Rachel Gregory (r.) are using surplus food from Lawrence to help feed others in the community.
Food for Fox founders Shang Li (l.), Macolm Lunn-Craft (c.) and Rachel Gregory (r.) are using surplus food from Lawrence to help feed others in the community.

Like Li, Gregory and Holsen, Diamond is passionate about food, maximizing its use and reducing its waste. She sees the collaboration between the Food Recovery Network and Food for Fox as an ideal vehicle to accomplish those goals.

“Food is a topic that is largely under discussed in daily life, especially among those that have enough of it,” said Diamond, a junior from Winchester, Mass., who worked with a group that focused on food, farming and hunger in the Boston area while in high school. “The fact that 40 percent of food produced in this country is thrown away while at the same time one in seven Americans are food insecure is simply not okay.”

The students involved see the two programs growing and expanding their reach in the years ahead, including operating during the summer and winter term break.

“We want to be a support system to low-income families and their children throughout the year,” said Li, who plans to pursue graduate studies in social innovations post-Lawrence. “I envision LU Food Recovery Network along with Food for Fox being run by generations of Lawrentians because there is always a demand for food and there is always a platform that will allow our students to shine as servant leaders.”

Gregory sees great potential for the Food for Fox program, especially in the education realm.

“I hope over the next five to 10 years, the program increases awareness to food-related issues. We want to introduce the kids to delicious healthy foods they might not have tried before, which will give way to healthy life-long eating habits. Economically, Food for Fox could even increase economic efficiency among our donors as they begin to take note of which foods are often left over. In our work this term, we tried to build a simple, logical model that can be applied to many different locations so that the program expands throughout the Fox Valley, Wisconsin and the Midwest.”

Members of Lawrence's athletic teams are among the groups who volunteer to collect leftovers for the Food for Fox program.
Members of Lawrence’s athletic teams are among the groups who volunteer to collect leftovers for the Food for Fox program.

Julie Severance, general manager of Bon Appetit, has served as the advisor for Food Recovery Network since its inception while Mark Jenike, Pieper Family Professor of Servant Leadership and associate professor of anthropology, joined the team as faculty advisor earlier this year. John Brandenberger, Alice G. Chapman Professor Emeritus of Physics, Adam Galambos, Dwight and Marjorie Peterson Professor of Innovation and associate professor of economics, and Gary Vaughan, coordinator of the innovation and entrepreneurship program, have served as mentors to the Food for Fox program.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence Historian Monica Rico Honored as Fox Cities “Future 15”

Lawrence University historian Monica Rico has been selected one of the winners of the 4th Annual Fox Cities Future 15 Young Professionals awards.

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Monica Rico

Rico and her fellow Future 15 honorees, selected from among 102 nominations, will be recognized at an event Thursday, Jan.  23 at the Communication Arts Center on the UW Fox-Valley campus.

The Future 15 awards is part of the Pulse Young Professionals, a program of the Fox Cities Regional Partnership. They recognize young business and community leaders for their efforts in work, civic and charitable causes. Future 15 recipients are chosen based on their dedication, strong sense of vision for the Fox Cities and understanding of the importance of volunteering and giving back.

Rico, associate professor of history, joined the faculty in 2001. Her research focuses on gender and cultural history, especially of the American West. From 2010 to 2013, she served as the college’s Pieper Family Professor of Servant Leadership and director of engaged learning.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

 

Principles of Servant Leadership Examined in Lawrence University Presentation

The principles of servant leadership and how they can be used to build a more just, caring and sustainable world will be the focus of a Lawrence University presentation.  Kent Keith presents “The Case for Servant Leadership” Monday, April 25 at  7 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center.

Kent Keith

Keith, an author and speaker who seeks to help people “find personal meaning in a crazy world,” is the chief executive officer of the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership in Westfield, Ind.  The non-profit organization promotes the awareness, understanding and practice of servant leadership by individuals and organizations.

A graduate of Harvard University and Rhodes Scholar, Keith is the former president of Chaminade University in Honolulu and the author of the Paradoxical Commandments, which was first published in a booklet for student leaders. He has since published four books related to the commandments, including “Do It Anyway: The Handbook for Finding Personal Meaning and Deep Happiness in a Crazy World.”

The term “servant leadership” was coined by Robert Greenleaf in his 1970 paperback “The Servant as Leader,” in which he argued that the most effective leaders wish to serve rather than command and control.

In 2007, Lawrence received a $1 million gift from the S & R Pieper Family Foundation in Mequon to establish the Pieper Family Servant-Leader Professorship to foster and promote the concept of altruistic leadership at the college. The chair is currently held by Associate Professor of History Monica Rico.