HIGH POINT, N.C., April 17, 2015 – High Point University students, faculty, staff and members of the community were honored at the 2015 “HPU Serves Showcase.”
Students created and shared nearly 100 posters to demonstrate the service they’ve completed this academic year at the event. The posters represented nearly half of the 100,000 hours of volunteer service that the HPU family contributes annually.
“The value of the Serves Showcase is that it puts a face to the 100,000 hours of service students complete each year,” says Dr. Joe Blosser, Robert G. Culp Jr. director of service learning at HPU. “It raises awareness about the problems our community faces, but also the creative solutions and innovative partnerships the university and city can develop when we work together. I’m am proud that High Point University looks to integrate service into the core of our students’ education, providing a truly values-based, holistic education.”
At the event, the following awards were given to recipients to recognize their exemplary service:
Community Partner of the Year: Open Door Ministries – The biggest award of the night was $1,000 to Open Door Ministries for their partnership with HPU. Open Door Ministries is a non-profit organization in High Point that provides immediate assistance in the areas of food, housing, clothing and emergency financial assistance to people experiencing poverty and homelessness. Open Door serves 3 meals a day, 7 days a week. This year, they hosted four different MLK Day of Service projects, worked with Dr. Daniel Hall’s Microeconomics Service Learning Class and offered countless other volunteer opportunities to HPU students and staff.
Service Learning Professor of the Year: Dr. Paul Ringel – After teaching two sections of his history detective’s service learning course, Ringel has made a tremendous impact on both his students and the city of High Point. Two years ago Ringel had the idea to tell the history of William Penn High School, High Point’s historic segregated African-American school, now known as Penn-Griffin School of the Arts. Over the last 2 semesters, Ringel’s students have interviewed nearly 50 of the last graduates of William Penn before it was closed in the late 60’s. His class has mended fences, crossed boundaries, affirmed nearly lost histories, and will create a website repository to make all of their findings about William Penn High School public.
Service Learning Student of the Year: Taylor Curran – Through Allison Walker’s Service Learning English literature course on narrative medicine, partnered with Pennybyrn and the Culler Senior Center, Curran was introduced to the power of poetry for seniors who struggle daily with the stresses and pressures of the medical system. She’s completing an independent project in which she’s developing a full sensory book to help seniors who suffer from dementia remember the stories and poetry they write.
Quality of Display: Interiors and Home Furnishing Club – The poster this group designed showcased their partnership with the Hartley YMCA and Kappa Delta Pi to help create a new children’s library.
Biggest Student Group Impact: Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education – By collecting 250 books and nearly $8,000, Kappa Delta Pi helped spark a childhood literacy program at the Hartley YMCA and a library for the children. This will impact the 8,000 members of the YMCA.
Best Student Led Project: Kappa Delta’s 5K Super Hero Dash – High Point University students, faculty, staff and members of the community dressed up as their favorite super hero for the second Super Hero Dash co-hosted by HPU’s Kappa Delta sorority and the Guild of Family Service of High Point. More than 350 people participated in the dash and over $20,000 was raised for Family Service of the Piedmont.
Best Sorority Service: Alpha Chi Omega – Their signature project is to raise awareness about domestic violence through a volleyball tournament, Strut Your Stuff event, pie throwing contest, and much more. Throughout the year they also partnered with Special Olympics and local sciences fairs.
Best Fraternity Service: Alpha Phi Omega – With nearly 300 members in their group, they made a big impact this year through a partnership with Piedmont Christian Home, an alternative break trip to Honduras and service work with both Habitat for Humanity and the YWCA of High Point.
Best Reflection on Service: Ashlyn Henning – From her Bonner Leader work at West End Ministries, to her leadership in Zeta Tau Alpha, and her service at Mental Health Associates, Henning is a proven servant leader. Her poster demonstrated how deeply she has reflected on her service.
Most Innovative Project: English 2230, Shoulder Stoppers – As a part of Allison Walker’s English literature Service Learning Course on narrative medicine, these students met regularly with local seniors to capture their memories and experience in poetry and narrative, affirming the seniors experiences and developing empathy in HPU students.
Best Youth Development Project: Impact Club – This group is committed to alleviating childhood hunger. In addition to their work with after school programs, they recently packed 1,012 lunches for 506 children to be fed for two weekends with Backpack Beginnings, a local nonprofit organization serving High Point schools.
Most Sustainable Project: Alternative Spring Break Haiti Trip – Ten HPU students spent their spring break volunteering in Haiti by teaching English in local schools, planting crops in the rural village to help food insecurity and learning more about the people of Haiti throughout their trip. They earned the sustainable project award because of their demonstrated commitment to regularly return to Haiti to serve.