Source: Trisha Gott, 785-532-6085, tcgott@k-state.edu
Website: http://www.k-state.edu/leadership/programs/altbreaks/
Hometown connection: Andover, Benton, Cedar Vale, Derby, El Dorado, Eudora, Goddard, Great Bend, Hutchinson, Kansas City, Kensington, Lansing, Leawood, Lincolnville, Manhattan, Mulvane, Olathe, Olpe, Ottawa, Overland Park, Topeka and Wichita, Kan.; Oakland, Calif.; Littleton, Colo.; Sycamore, Ill.; Kansas City, Mo.; Omaha, Neb.; and Carlisle, Pa.
News release prepared by: Stephanie Jacques, 785-532-3452, sjacques@k-state.edu

Monday, April 2, 2012

Leading through lending a hand: Students devote spring break to community service across the nation

MANHATTAN -- Communities across the nation got a helping hand from more than 50 Kansas State University students participating in the alternative spring break program coordinated by the university's School of Leadership Studies.

Students served in seven cities from March 18-23. Service projects varied from helping the homeless and feeding the hungry, to working with people living with AIDS, helping children and working at an animal shelter.

The opportunities provided students with experiences working in communities as part of a team.

"As students participate in the alternative break program, they have the opportunity to immerse themselves in new communities, develop new perspectives regarding various social issues and work with or serve a local community partner," said Bethany Caldwell, senior in psychology, Overland Park, and student co-coordinator of the program.

"Students are afforded a chance to develop friendships with K-State peers, engage in critical reflection about their service experience with their teams and become better advocates for active citizenship," said Erika Williams, senior in theater and pre-medicine, Topeka, and student co-coordinator of the program.

Service sites included St. Jude's Children's Hospital, Ronald McDonald House and the Community Feeding program in Memphis, Tenn.; AIDS Service of Dallas; Shared Table community feeding program and Stray Hearts animal shelter in Taos, N.M.; Roseland/Pullman Boys and Girls Club in Chicago; Cherokee Nation volunteer services working with local youth initiatives in Tahlequah, Okla.; a food bank in Little Rock, Ark.; and the Day Resource Center for the homeless in Fort Worth, Texas.

"The alternative break program at the School of Leadership Studies is special in that our program is almost entirely student led," Caldwell said.

"Each alternative break team is led by a peer leader, and the program is coordinated by students," Williams said. "This allows for applied learning opportunities for students to exercise leadership and reflect about their experience with their peers."

Students participating in the alternative spring break program, their hometown and project location include:

From Andover: Taylor Murray, freshman in life sciences, Chicago; Kyle Reynolds, senior in mass communications, site leader in Tahlequah; and Joshua Umscheid, junior in biology, Tahlequah.

Ally Burden, sophomore in athletic training, Benton, Little Rock; Macy Warburton, junior in political science, Cedar Vale, site leader in Fort Worth; Katlyn Jones, junior in dietetics, Derby, Dallas; Ashley Leckliter, junior in family studies and human services, El Dorado, Memphis; Connor Hartpence, senior in microbiology, Eudora, site leader in Memphis; Diana Maki, senior in communication sciences and disorders, Goddard, Memphis; Estefany Martinez, freshman in biology, Great Bend, Chicago.

From Greater Kansas City: Elahe Bahadori, junior in mass communications, Kansas City, Kan., Taos; Shauna Muehlbach, junior in feed science and management, Kansas City, Mo., site leader in Taos; Samantha Kellerman, sophomore in nutritional sciences, and Kaitlin Long, junior in entrepreneurship, both from Leawood, both to Tahlequah; Brady Armstrong, sophomore in arts and sciences-open option, Tahlequah, Kelly Blake, sophomore in life sciences, Taos, Alyssa Campbell, junior in psychology, Dallas, Marie Gardner, sophomore in life sciences, Chicago, Cassandra Smith, senior in life sciences, Memphis, and Ann Swanson, senior in public health nutrition and dietetics, Memphis,all from Olathe; and Jeanette LaFreniere, junior in microbiology, Overland Park, Memphis.

Trenton Stringer, senior in life sciences, Dallas, and James Arpin, sophomore in biology, Chicago,both from Hutchinson; Amanda Sarr, senior in family studies and human services, Kensington, Taos; Patrick Sigle, senior in biology, Lansing, Dallas; Carlye Simons, sophomore in food science and industry, Lincolnville, Chicago.

From Manhattan: Cynthia Arias-Dowling, senior in dietetics, Little Rock; Paul Cain, master's student in software engineering, Tahlequah; Emilie Patterson, junior in food science and industry, site leader in Little Rock; Mark Murray, senior in kinesiology, Memphis; and Taylor Rees, junior in kinesiology, Little Rock.

Stephanie Wilson, sophomore in public health nutrition, Mulvane, site leader in Dallas; Brooke Schmidt, sophomore in kinesiology, Olpe, Taos; Kayla Hambleton, sophomore in biology, Little Rock, and Mallorie Mendell, senior in family studies and human services, Tahlequah, both from Ottawa.

From Topeka: Brittany Poston, senior in family studies and human services, Tahlequah; Erika Williams, junior in theater, Chicago; and Grace Works, freshman in sociology, Fort Worth.

Hope Faflick, sophomore in political science, Wichita, Chicago.

From out of state: Eric Moy, Oakland, Calif., master's student in counseling and student development, Dallas; Mackenzie Mong, sophomore in arts and sciences-open option, Littleton, Colo., Fort Worth; Alexandra Dominguez, sophomore in pre-veterinary medicine, Sycamore, Ill., Taos; Lucia Finocchiaro, sophomore in animal sciences and industry, Omaha, Neb., Chicago; and Nicole Galvan, junior in hotel and restaurant management, Carlisle, Pa., Little Rock.

From out of the country:

Vagif Hasanov, graduate student in public administration, Azerbaijan, Chicago.

From China, Yufan "Heidi" Gu, senior in accounting, Fort Worth; Xiang Li, sophomore in biology, Taos; Yingyin Liang, senior in finance, Taos; Cong Luo, sophomore in business administration, Taos; Jiayi Wang, freshman in architectural engineering, Fort Worth; Yuqin Xu, senior in accounting, Dallas; and Jun Xue, junior in accounting, Dallas.

In addition to the alternative spring break program, leadership studies also offers opportunities to serve during winter, in May and on weekends. For more information about alternative break opportunities visit http://www.k-state.edu/leadership/programs/altbreaks/.