The Service-Learning Department at Grambling State University, directed by Dr. Rory L. Bedford, held a luncheon to honor GSU faculty and staff for their exemplary projects and service. Many claimed that this luncheon was one of the best they have attended.
Waneene Dorsey, Stacey Duhon, Joyce Evans, Elaine Foster, King David Godwin, Rhonda Hensley, E. Glenn Lewis, Joyce Montgomery-Scott, Cassandra Peoples, Gary Poe, Roderick Seals, Ellen D. Smiley, Avaine Strong, and Loretta Walton-Jaggers were the special honorees.
Dr. Frank G. Pogue, GSU president, said he knows all of those getting special recognition, and they are hard working.
“With all of the budget cuts, you can’t be doing it for a raise. You are enabling Grambling to emphasize and enhance the academic profile of the university,” he said.
The award recipients created and participated in programs and activities such as ACT Preparation workshops, jobs and internship projects, KGRM’s Season of Giving, recreational water management, Operation Stand Down, Project KaBoom and the Swanson project. Also, some were recognized for the great service they provided to the university for many years.
The speaker was Eric Rowles, president and CEO of Leading to Changes, Inc. He is a nationally recognized trainer, speaker and consultant.
Rowles said he is a product of service learning. “Someone like you pulled me aside. It is not just about what happens in the classroom. It is what happens after it, outside it, in between,” he said.
He encouraged everyone to “pay it forward” because philanthropy is about time and talent. It does not mean money.
Rowles engaged the audience by asking, “What was the song for you back in the day, and how were you listening?”
Peoples said her song was Marvin Gaye’s popular tune “Let’s Get It On,” and she listened to it on an 8-track. Student Azanna Briggs claimed the Steps’ “Stomp” as her song. For Lakeisha Jenkins it was Al Green’s “Love and Happiness.”
He used this exercise to show that although people are from different generations, they still have much in common. Then he gave a generational overview. They were the Silent, Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennial.
“Every generation expects something different, which affects the way they view service learning. The Millennial Generation has given more hours of service learning than any other,” said Rowles.
In the last three years, GSU’s Service-Learning Department has been the recipient of the Presidential Award as part of the first President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for two years: 2009 and 2011.
The Service-Learning Department assists faculty with the development of service-learning projects to provide hands-on experience for students to ensure an understanding of applying what is learned in the classroom to real life situation.
One of the department’s main goals is to encourage citizenship among students that carry over into the workforce after graduation.