Through Buffalo State’s Volunteer and Service-Learning Center (VSLC), campus volunteers have planted city gardens, served in soup kitchens, tutored children, and painted houses—among numerous other projects in Buffalo and beyond. During the 2013–2014 academic year, the last year for which hours were counted, the campus collectively performed almost 481,000 hours of service.
On May 5, the VSLC recognized these efforts and honored its top volunteers during its annual Celebration of Service ceremony held in Campbell Student Union Social Hall. Poster presentations preceded the distribution of awards with faculty and students sharing videos, posters, and other media demonstrating their service-learning experiences this semester.
In her opening remarks, Buffalo State President Katherine Conway-Turner reflected upon what inspired her love for community service. While growing up in a Missouri town of just 600 residents, Conway-Turner said her mother taught her that engagement with the community and helping others is just what you do—whether it’s offering someone a meal, a piece of clothing, or a place to sleep.
“You had a sense of being a member of a community,” said Conway-Turner. “Others’ hurts became your hurts, too.”
Conway-Turner said she realized early on that members of the Buffalo State community also understood this call to service and heeded it regularly.
“Alumni tell me that one of the things they most remember about their time at Buffalo State was their engagement with the community.”
Now, students have more opportunities than ever to participate in service that has been incorporated into academic courses. Since 2003, service-learning courses have jumped from nine to 115. Over this past academic year, students set a record by performing a whopping 42,215 hours of service as part of a course.
During the Celebration of Service, students and faculty were recognized both for service tied to academic courses and done independently. Awards included:
Outstanding Student Community Service in a Service-Learning Course (14 hours or less)
Kathryn Piniewski: EDU 310 Teaching Social Studies in the Elementary School
Kathryn Vitale: EDU 311 Teaching of Reading and Other Language Arts in the Elementary School
Outstanding Student Community Service in a Service-Learning Course (15 hours or more)
Amelia Kimble: EDU 211 Introduction to Literacy
Outstanding Service-Learning Course (14 hours or less)
BUS 305 Workforce Diversity in the 21st Century, taught by Jo Yudess, lecturer, Center for Studies in Creativity
Outstanding Service-Learning Course (15 hours or more)
DAN 401 Teaching Dance, taught by Joy Guarino, associate professor, Theater Department
THA 335 Costume Design, taught by Ann Emo, associate professor, Theater Department
Outstanding Faculty Commitment to Service-Learning
Kim S. Truesdell, associate professor, Elementary Education and Reading
Outstanding Student Volunteer
Outstanding Service-Learning and Academic Learning Connection
Margaret Giamo for her work in AED 302W Functions and Practice in Art Education
Outstanding Service-Learning Community Partner
Peggy Dolan and Dina Ziegler, special education teachers at McKinley High School and Buffalo State alumni, for their work with the Art Partners program
Outstanding Alternative Break Participant
Participants in the 2014 Service-Learning Faculty Fellows Program
Selcuk Acar, assistant professor, Center for Studies in Creativity
Reva Fish, associate professor, Social and Psychological Foundations
Ruth Goldman, assistant professor, Communication
Jonathan Lindner, lecturer, Center for Health and Social Research