By Jamie Lee, Carlson Center for Public Service and Leadership
On May 9, over 200 people came to honor and recognize University of Washington students, community partners, and faculty who have turned the ideal of civic engagement into action. The Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center and the Pipeline Project were proud to host their fifteenth annual Spring Celebration of Service and Leadership. This yearís celebration was held in the University of Washington HUB Ballroom from 4:30-6:30pm.
The celebration kicked off with inspiring opening remarks by former Seattle mayor Norm Rice. The recognition ceremony acknowledged the outstanding work of students, community partners, and faculty. Among those recognized was the 2006 recipient of the Edward E. Carlson Leadership Award, the Mary Gates Leadership Scholars, the 2005-2006 S. Sterling Munro Public Service Fellows, Pipeline Project Tutors Extraordinaire, Zesbaugh Scholars, and various faculty and community partners. In addition, service learners, Pipeline tutors, Jumpstart members, and Students in Service members were recognized for doing 128,899 total hours of service this year.
Following the ceremony was the Gallery of Student Projects, the centerpiece of the Spring Celebration. In the Gallery, students shared visual representations of their service and leadership work with the UW and surrounding community. With almost sixty displays, students presented on projects as wide-ranging as advocacy for fair trade, after-school tutoring, wetland restoration and international healthcare.
Brandon Stogsdill, a third-time Gallery participant and the 2006 Edward E. Carlson Leadership Award recipient, is a transfer student from Pierce College. His project, The REAL Experience, is a three-phased systematic process that is designed to allow at-risk youth to assess the repercussions of destructive behavior, provide an outside support system, and open up the possibilities of their potential.
Another transfer student, Sheri Davis, from North Seattle Community College, presented a project on a year-long wetland restoration project at the Washington Park Arboretum (WAP) through the UW Restoration Ecology Network program. Her project involved engaging students and community members in volunteering at the WAP environmental restoration site. She was responsible for acquiring $2900 in plant donations from local native plant nurseries and $350 in food donations from local grocery stores for the volunteers. (See the Transfer Student Interview in this issue for more about Davisís project and her experience as a transfer student at the UW.)
Attendees were able to freely move through the Gallery, allowing the students to engage in one-on-one conversation about their work and commitment to public service. Students left the event with the understanding that their hard work and commitment is valued and supported. While it was the end of a celebration, it was just the beginning for the many dedicated individuals that this event recognized.