Tag: volunteerism

Two Lawrence alumni named Future 15 Young Professionals

A pair of Lawrence University graduates are among this year’s Fox Cities Future 15 honorees.

Marty O’Donnell and Jake Woodford, 2008 and 2013 Lawrence graduates, respectively, were selected from among 25 semifinalist who were chosen from an initial pool of dozens of nominees.

The Future 15 awards are part of the Pulse Young Professionals, a program of the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce and the Fox Cities Regional Partnership, in collaboration with The Post-Crescent. All of the honorees will be recognized March 1 at the Young Professional Awards banquet at the Outer Edge in downtown Appleton.

The program recognizes 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.

“Having Marty and Jake selected for this year’s Future 15 speaks highly of Lawrence and the Fox Valley. It’s a positive reinforcement of how many of our alumni remain in the Fox Cities after graduating and make a positive difference in the community,” said Mark Breseman, associate vice president of alumni and constituency engagement. “Our current students and alumni continue to make an impact through so many different ways. Many of them make the transition from volunteering, performing and competing to providing enthusiasm, new insights and entrepreneurial mindsets to their chosen profession.”

Marty O'Donnell
Marty O’Donnell ’08

O’Donnell is the conductor of the Lawrence Academy of Music Symphonic Band, a position he’s held since 2015. He also teaches band at Gerritts Middle School in the Kimberly Area School District. As a cooperating teacher for Lawrence student teachers, O’Donnell has hosted music education practicum students and rehearsal techniques classes with his middle school bands.

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, O’Donnell has served as director of the Neenah Community Band since 2010 and he is the co-founder, president, treasurer and guest conductor of VENTO Winds, a professional-level, audition-only adult wind band based in Northeast Wisconsin.

A talented trombonist, O’Donnell has performed with more than a dozen ensembles in the Fox Valley as well as the College Band Directors National Association Honors Band, the Wisconsin National Band Association Collegiate All-Star Band and the United States Navy Band.

Woodford serves as assistant to Lawrence President Mark Burstein as well as secretary to the university’s Board of Trustees. He coordinates the activities and communications of the Board, manages major institutional projects, conducts research and analysis, as well as facilitation, plans and implements university initiatives, supports collaborations between Lawrence and local/regional government and manages the university’s real estate.

Jake Woodford
Jake Woodford ’13

An Appleton native, Woodford joined the Burstein administration in 2013 shortly after earning a degree in government from Lawrence. He has since led a number of significant institutional projects, including a comprehensive review of the university’s parking infrastructure, policies and procedures; negotiated a 305-acre conservation easement for Bjorklunden, Lawrence’s “northern campus” in Door County; co-chaired the writing of the university’s current strategic plan; and led the relocation of historic house on the university campus to the City Park Historic District.

Active in the greater community as well, Woodford serves as Lawrence representative to the city of Appleton’s Downtown Mobility Study planning process, recently completed a two-year term on the board of directors of the Rotary Club of Appleton, is a member of the board of directors of the Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust and is a commissioner on the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Appleton.

O’Donnell and Woodford are the 12th and 13th Lawrence graduates and/or employees who have been recognized since the Future 15 program was launched in 2011. Past honorees are:

  • 2017— Fanny Lau ’14; Elyse Lucas ’10; Paris Wicker ’08; Oliver Zorrow ’10
  • 2016 —Jamie Cartwright ’14; Carolyn Armstrong Deorosiers ’10; Jennifer Dieter ’03; Josh Dukelow ’02
  • 2015— Nathan Litt ’08
  • 2014 —Monica Rico, associate professor of history
  • 2013 — Korey Krueger, ’95

For this year’s program, past Future 15 winners narrowed the original pool of nominations to 25 semifinalists. Nomination forms with information about the candidates — excluding their names and personal details — were rated by community leaders, accounting for 90 percent of the decision. The final 10 percent was determined by votes collected online by The Post-Crescent.

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.” 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.

Riverview Gardens Receives Lawrence University’s 2014 Collaboration in Action Award

One of the Fox Cities’ newest and most inventive social enterprises was honored Oct. 14 by Lawrence University during the college’s sixth annual Report to the Community.

Riverview Gardens was presented Lawrence University’s Collaboration in Action Award as part of the report.

Report-to-the-community_newsblog
Lawrence students helped construct hoop houses last January at Riverview Gardens, the recipient of Lawrence’s 2014 Collaboration in Action Award. Students contributed a total of 1,038 volunteer hours to Riverview Gardens last year.

The award recognizes an individual or organization, who, in partnership with Lawrence, has provided exemplary service to the Fox Cities community through strategic vision, leadership influence, long-standing commitment and enthusiasm, financial contributions and/or volunteerism.

Riverview Gardens was founded in December 2011 on the grounds of the former Riverview Country Club on Appleton’s south side. As a self-sustaining social venture, it engages Fox Valley residents in community stewardship of a market garden, community park space and job training program. It seeks to assist local outreach organizations and build financial resources to help address the root causes of poverty, homelessness and unemployment.

“Riverview Gardens is not only innovative in its approach to addressing root causes of poverty, it has been equally creative in its partnership with Lawrence,” said Burstein. “The staff at Riverview has collaborated with Lawrence on a variety of initiatives ranging from courses that use the gardens as a living laboratory and research and internships that help students prepare for a wide range of careers to outreach projects that take classical chamber music beyond the concert hall and community meetings to foster dialogue on issues of common concern.”

“Our relationship is far more than just a volunteer affiliation,” Burstein added. “It is a deeply rewarding connection that helps both the college and community thrive.”

Since embarking on its mission, Riverview Gardens has utilized Lawrence students with expertise in sustainable agriculture provided by the Sustainable Lawrence University Gardens (SLUG) and the college’s environmental studies program. During the 2013-14 academic year, more than 300 Lawrence students contributed 1,038 volunteer hours at Riverview Gardens, the most of any of the 144 area agencies at which students served.

Two recent Lawrence graduates, Oren Jakobson (2011) and Hava Blair (2013) turned their student involvement with environmental and sustainability issues into key leadership roles with Riverview Gardens after they graduated.

“Riverview Gardens is not only innovative in its approach to addressing
root causes of poverty, it has been equally creative in its partnership
with Lawrence. It is a deeply rewarding connection that helps
both the college and community thrive.”

— President Mark Burstein

Jakobson, who led the permitting process involved with establishing a bee colony on campus, serves as Riverview Gardens’ director of farm operations. Blair, who conducted an independent study project that created a wetlands restoration plan for Riverview Gardens, is the manager of farm sales and markets.

Lawrence’s connection to Riverview Gardens also includes executive director Cindy Sahotsky and ServiceWorks outreach coordinator Ronan Christman, 1984 and 2013 graduates, respectively.

“Riverview Gardens is a great opportunity for students to put thought into action and the people we serve benefit greatly from their impetus to action,” said Sahotsky. “Many students will take what they learn at Riverview Gardens and use it to provide community, wherever they live. We are extremely grateful and humbled by the financial and volunteer support we receive from Lawrentians.”

Report-to-the-community_newsblog2
Bethesda Thrift Shop, where Lawrence students help sort donated items, was one of 144 community agencies in the Fox Cities served by Lawrence student volunteers in 2013-14.

Riverview Gardens joins the Boys & Girls Club of the Fox Cities (2013), the Appleton Area School District (2012), the YMCA of the Fox Cities (2011) and the Mielke Family Foundation (2010) as previous winners of Lawrence’s Collaboration in Action Award.

As part of its Report to the Community, Lawrence’s involvement with the greater Fox Cities community was highlighted, including:

• Lawrence faculty and staff volunteer and make contributions to 133 community agencies, serve on the boards of 46 local nonprofits while spending an average of 71.4 hours a year volunteering in the community.

71 different Lawrence student organizations volunteered in the community in the past year.

 52 percent of Lawrence students — 785 — volunteered during the 2013-14 academic year, contributing 12,420 volunteer hours to 144 community agencies.

 Lawrence Academy of Music teachers and students provided 74 free community concerts, recitals or master classes during the 2013-14 academic year.

35 local employers provided internships to 45 Lawrence students.

• 73.1 percent of the Wisconsin vendors used by Lawrence University in the 2013-14 fiscal year were located in the NEW North Region.

 Lawrence spent $5,438,819 in the NEW North Region during the 2013-14 fiscal year.

 2,026 Lawrence alumni live in the NEW North Region.

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 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” 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 Chapter of Mortar Board Cited with National Awards

Lawrence University’s chapter of Mortar Board National Honor Society was honored at the organization’s recent national conference in Atlanta, Ga., as one of the most outstanding in the nation.

Mortar Board LogoFrom among 230 chapters around the country, Lawrence’s Iota Chapter was presented the Most Improved Chapter Award and the Golden Torch Award. The awards were based on chapter accomplishments over the course of the past year. Senior Kevin Killian, current Iota chapter president, represented Lawrence at the national conference.

The Most Improved Award honors a chapter that achieved success in re-establishing and reinvigorating programming and membership, including operations, community service and visibility. Recipients are chosen from chapters first nominated by a committee.

The Golden Torch Award reflects exceptional chapters that exceed minimum standards throughout the academic year, including tangible achievements on campus and in the community. Selections are based on devotion to Mortar Board’s key ideals of scholarship, leadership and service.

Kevin Killain with MB award_newsblog_edited-1
Senior Kevin Killian, current president of Lawrence’s chapter of Mortar Board National Honor Society, proudly displays the “Most Improved Chapter Award” presented to LU at the recent national conference in Atlanta.

The chapter’s accomplishments included:

an average GPA of 3.8 among its members.

volunteer partnerships with Saving Paws, a local animal shelter, and the Boys and Girls Club of the Fox Valley, including a sushi-making night with the Hmong Youth Pride and Empowerment group (HYPE)

a “Reading is Leading” initiative that benefits the Fox Valley Literacy Coalition

a “dorm-storm” book drive, exchanging old books for free candy at the residence halls

assisting with major campus events, including the inauguration of Lawrence’s 16th president, Mark Burstein, and a reception for members of the freshmen class who completed Lawrence’s signature academic program, “Freshman Studies.”

“Being recognized with these two awards is a very proud moment for our organization, especially after a year of making major strides in our operations, campus programming and community outreach,” said chapter past president Tara Jensen, who graduated in June. “None of the Iota chapter’s accomplishments would have been possible without the help of campus advisor Linda Fuerst, so we owe her our thanks for this recognition as well.”

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 2015 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.

Lawrentians Turn MLK Holiday into Day of Service

It may have been a day off from classes, but several hundred Lawrence University students, staff and faculty put Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy into practice in the Fox Valley community.

MLK-Day_Hoophouse_newsblog
Students braved cold temperatures to build hoop houses for Riverview Gardens as part of Lawrence’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

From helping build hoop houses for an area community garden, baking treats for the local warming shelter, knitting scarves for the homeless and leading area students in after-school art, dance, music and sports activities, Lawrence volunteers registered to provide 587 hours of service on the holiday honoring Dr. King (1/20).

In all, Lawrence partnered with 10 local organizations for a day of community engagement:  the Boys and Girls Club of the Fox Valley, Brewster Village, Riverview Gardens, Bethesda Thrift Shop, Fox Valley Warming Shelter, Fox Valley Humane Society, CHAPS Academy Creative Counseling programs, National Alliance on Mental Illness, SLUG and Glamour Gals.

MKL_Thrift-Shop_newsblog
Najja Gay, a junior from Charlotte, N.C., helped organize clothes at Bethesda Thrift Shop, one of 10 area agencies Lawrence students provided volunteer service to on the Martin Luther King holiday.

“Our community partners provide an opportunity for Lawrence students to learn beyond the classroom, to gain a new perspective and to further explore their own beliefs,” said Kristi Hill, Lawrence’s director of volunteer and community service programs. “This year’s ‘What do you believe’ theme encouraged students to first explore their beliefs with a book discussion and then encouraged students to put those beliefs into action through service opportunities available both on and off campus.

“Lawrentians showed strong interest with 378 people registering for at least one opportunity,” Hill added. “This day would not be possible without our community partners and we appreciate their collaboration to help us all honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”

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.

 

Service Learning Efforts Earn Lawrence University National Honor Roll Recognition

For the fourth consecutive year, Lawrence University has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

Lawrence is one of only four Wisconsin institutions named to the Community Service Honor Roll every year since the program was launched in 2006. This year’s honor roll, announced by the Corporation for National and Community Service, recognized more than 700 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from poverty and homelessness to environmental justice in 2009.

“Preparing students for lives of responsible citizenship is a tenet of a Lawrence education and I am gratified that the dedicated efforts of our students here in our community and elsewhere once again have earned national recognition,” said Lawrence President Jill Beck. “I commend the students on their efforts to impact the greater community in a positive manner during their time here, as well as our Pieper Professor of Servant Leadership and the other faculty and staff members who assist them in those efforts.”

Honorees for the 2010 President’s Community Service Honor Roll were chosen on a series of factors, including scope and innovativeness of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

In the past year, more than 600 Lawrence students contributed more than 12,000 service hours to service-learning and volunteer programs. Among the initiatives for which Lawrence was recognized was the establishment of a partnership with the Pragati Foundation in Bangalore, India, for summer teaching opportunities with underprivileged middle school students; the Confidence and Determination in Youth (CADY) student organization which provides younger students an inspirational, college-like experience in learning; and the Lawrence Assistance Reaching Youth (LARY) Buddies, a mentoring program for at-risk elementary students.

“Our students are contributing literally thousands of hours of volunteer service on behalf of others in both our own Fox Valley community as well on the global stage, all within the confines of a rigorous academic program,” said Alan Parks, Lawrence’s Pieper Family Professor of Servant Leadership and director of the college’s Office for Engaged Learning. “We’re seeing annual increases in service hours by our students which makes it all the more gratifying that those efforts are being recognized nationally through the President’s Community Service Honor Roll.”

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency, 3.16 million students performed more than 300 million hours of service in 2009. The Corporation’s Learn and Serve America program supports service-learning in schools, institutions of higher education and community-based organizations.

The President’s Community Service Honor Roll is compiled by the Corporation for National and Community Service in collaboration with the Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact, and the American Council on Education.

LU Students Turning Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service into a Day On, Not a Day Off

More than 100 Lawrence University students are expected to take advantage of a day free of classes by participating in various community projects Monday, Jan. 18 as part of 2010’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

Coordinated by Lawrence’s Volunteer and Community Service Center (VCSC), students will volunteer several hours of their time Monday (12:30-3:30 p.m.) with nearly a dozen different programs and agencies in the Fox Cities.

MLK-Day-of-Service-logo-web.gifSome of the volunteer projects include working with Rebuilding Together Fox Valley to paint and clean at Holy Spirit School in Kimberly, helping prepare a meal at the Emergency Shelter of the Fox Valley and assisting the Appleton Housing Authority renovate a duplex.

As many as 30 students will be involved in a diversity activity with students at Appleton’s Richmond Elementary School.

Kristi Hill, Lawrence’s coordinator of internships and volunteer programs said it takes dedicated student leaders and collaborative community agencies to make the MLK Day of Service possible.

“This year we have created strong relationships with 12 community agencies that are hosting a Lawrence AmeriCorps member serving in a volunteer liaison capacity,” said Hill. “This partnership has resulted in some well-planned community projects. Both the Lawrence Volunteer and Community Service Center and the Day of Service are entirely student-led, which speaks volumes of the passion our students have for the Fox Valley community.”

Sophomore Brenda Zuleger, the VCSC’s events coordinator, said the MLK Day of Service “provides a great opportunity for both Lawrence students and the Appleton community to connect and serve the needs of others.”

“Lawrence students learn a little bit more about the service organizations throughout Appleton on their day off from classes while making a difference in someone else’s life. That is truly a phenomenal feeling.”

The Day of Service also includes a volunteer fair coordinated by the VCSC from 3:30-5:30 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center featuring representatives from 40 area agencies and several Lawrence student organizations with a service focus.

A presentation on VCSC summer volunteer opportunity grants will be conducted in the Warch Center’s Kraemer Conference Room from 4-5 p.m. Lawrence seniors J.B. Sivanich, who taught English to academically talented children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds in Bangalore, India; Rebecca Bohl, who served as an intern for the Guatemala Human Rights Commission in Washington D.C.; Sylvie Armstrong, who worked as a dog adoption coordinator for Saving Paws Animal Rescue near Appleton; and Zachary Becker, who worked on the Ramchander Nath Foundation’s prisoner art project in New Delhi, India, will discuss their experiences as 2009 summer volunteer opportunity grant recipients.

The day’s events conclude with the 19th annual community-wide Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel at 6:30 p.m. Rev. Wanda Washington, pastor of Grace United Church of Christ in Milwaukee, will serve as the celebration’s keynote speaker.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service was founded in 1994 to transform the federal holiday honoring King into a national day of community service grounded in the civil rights leader’s teachings of nonviolence and social justice.

The Power of Hope: Milwaukee UCC Pastor Keynote Speaker for 19th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

Rev. Wanda J. Washington, the first African-American female member of the United Church of Christ to start a new church in Wisconsin, will deliver the keynote address at the 19th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Monday, Jan. 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel, 510 E. College Ave.

The celebration, presented by Lawrence University and Toward Community: Unity in Diversity with the support of numerous organizations, individuals and churches throughout the Fox Valley, is free and open to the public. The Post-Crescent and WFRV-TV CBS 5 are media partners for the event.

The theme for this year’s celebration — “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that” — is drawn from King’s 1963 book “Strength to Love,” a collection of some of his classic sermons on social justice and non-violence.

“Those are more than just words Dr. King delivered, they resonate with me as the true essence of Dr. King and his life’s work,” said Kathy Flores, the chair of the MLK Committee and the intercultural relations coordinator for the city of Appleton. “Dr. King may have died by an act of violence, but he lived by acts of love and light. We hope that Fox Valley residents will join us for the celebration to hear Rev. Washington’s message of love conquering hate as we celebrate Dr. King’s life and are reminded that his legacy lives on through us.”

Pa Lee Moua, Lawrence’s assistant dean of students for multicultural affairs, said King’s message remains vitally relevant today.

“Although history reflects what has been done in the past, it’s still very much a part of our future,” said Moua. “Dr. King’s mission has and will continue to shape our nation and the lives of our children for many generations to come. Individually, it is our responsibility to continue his legacy by serving our community and striving for equality and social justice for all. As a community we need to stand together, lead by example and inspire others to make a difference.”

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Washington, who spent 20 years as a special education teacher working with deaf and blind students in Glen Ellyn, Ill., before pursuing a master’s of divinity degree, will speak on the power of hope, the many positive changes King hoped would occur in the country and the importance of people remaining hopeful in the face of adversity.

After graduating from the Chicago Theological Seminary, Washington served as associate pastor at Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ for more than 10 years. In 2006, she moved to Wisconsin and started Grace United Church of Christ in Milwaukee. The church now serves more than 200 members.

Highlighting the evening’s celebration will be the annual presentation by Toward Community of the organization’s Jane LaChapelle McCarty Unity in Diversity Award, which recognizes an area individual who has made great strides in bringing different people in the community together.

The celebration also will feature area students reading their winning essays focused on King’s theme of love triumphing over hate as well as musical performances by the Menasha High School Marching Band and singer Sirgourney Tanner, a Lawrence senior.

A sign language interpreter will be present for the program and a reception for all in attendance will be held following the event.