St. Norbert College Receives Grant to Fund Olive Branch Initiative

The Cassandra Voss Center (CVC) at St. Norbert College recently received a $5,000 grant from Campus Compact’s Fund for Positive Engagement for the 2017-2018 academic year. The grant is meant to help the CVC in “piloting a new initiative called the Olive Branch Initiative, aiming to bring the community together to share stories from, and engage with, different perspectives.”

St. Norbert was selected from a pool of more than 300 grant applicants, making St. Norbert’s selection even more honorable. Applicants were assessed by the following criteria: “the project must engage with divergent or unfamiliar perspectives to foster empathy and understanding; the project must develop positive relationships across differences to lift up our common humanity; and the project must engage in collaborative problem-solving to strengthen social times and civic vitality.” Grant submissions we assessed by how well a project would address the challenge named by the institution and lead to positive change. Congrats to St. Norbert College!

To read more about St. Norbert’s recent grant, click here.

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One Million Acts of Kindness visits Saint Vincent College

St. Vincent College welcomed Bob Votruba, founder of One Million Acts of Kindness. According to Votruba, One Million Acts of Kindness is a goal for each person to perform one million acts of kindness in their lifetime. It is meant to be a mindset that is lived out every day of one’s life. Votruba had the desire to create a safer, more inclusive environment and did this in a unique way. He bought a bus and recruited friends and family to help him paint it. From there, he began his journey across the nation visiting different “college campuses across the country hoping to convince as many people as possible about this much needed movement for the world.” Votruba also works with educators to create a curriculum for school children K – 12 in order to help “create programs for teaching kindness in the classroom with emphasis on incorporating into everyday life.”

Vortuba brought his “Kindness Bus” to the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College on October 6. Fred Rogers had a major influence on Votruba’s message so he met with many of the students who are Fred Rogers students to spread his message of kindness for all.

To read more, visit Saint Vincent College news.

University of Portland Student Awarded for Her Work against Injustices

Emma Martinez, from the University of Portland, was recently recognized by the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration with the prestigious 2017 Outstanding Student Award. This award is given to students who are majoring in social work and are making a difference in their community. Martinez’s contributions have been mainly focused on issues of immigrant rights, racial injustice, and equity concerns in the Portland area and campus community.

Currently her senior year practicum is with Enlace, “a multiple alliance that strives for racial and economic justice.” She also serves as the liaison to the Portland Immigrant Rights Coalition, a volunteer-led organization which is creating an urgent responders’ network in support of undocumented immigrants and their families.” Martinez’s is work is reflective of the University of Portland’s commitment to service and an education outside of the classroom.

To read more about Martinez’s work at the University of Portland, click here.

Mount Aloysius Charity Comic Con Raises Money for Children in Hospitals

Mount Aloysius College is using creative and innovative ways to raise money for children in need. The Mount Aloysius Comic Book Club hosted its Second Annual MAC Charity Comic Con on October 21st. The proceeds from the event will provide entertainment for children in hospitals throughout Western Pennsylvania through Child’s Play. The MAC Comic Book Club wanted to bring joy and laughter to kids by showcasing something that brings fun.

The Charity Comic Con was open to the public and all ages. There were over 15 vendors of comic books, pop culture, fantasy, and sci-fi merchandise at the event. There were also feature games, cosplay contests, a basket raffle, special programming for kids, as well as a screening of Wonder Woman. Schools that also participated included St. Francis University, Duquesne University, and The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.

To learn more about The Mount Aloysius Charity Comic Con view their Facebook page or Aloysius News.

St. Scholastica Hosts Advocate for Nuclear Non-Proliferation

The College of St. Scholastica’s Alworth Center for the Study of Peace and Justice hosted Marion Küpker, a leading German peace activist and advocate for nuclear non-proliferation. She is the “international coordinator against nuclear weapons for the German Peace Society of United War Resisters.”

Her speech focused on her work with respect to the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty, the new UN treaty banning nuclear weapons, and on the 180 nuclear weapons (gravity bombs) still deployed in five European countries. She is “Hamburg’s international coordinator on nuclear weapons for the German Peace Society of United War Resisters, the country’s oldest anti-war organization.” Küpker’s work on direct non-violence is a mission supported by St. Scholastica, which advocates for peaceful resolution to conflict. Hosting Küpker reflects the university mission of providing “intellectual and moral preparation for responsible living and meaningful work.”

To read more click here.

University of Mary Day of Service Proof of University Mission

University of Mary Day of Service has grown to become the largest one-day volunteer event in the entire state of North Dakota. 1,000 students, faculty, staff, and some Benedictine sisters came out on October 11th to serve the Bismarck community. Day of Service began three years ago as a way “to not just serve one day, but rather to be a kickoff to a year and a lifetime of service and build connections with organizations that are in need of volunteers throughout the year.”

Volunteers spent the day shoveling debris, installing fence at a national park, cleaning up the zoo, wrapping tress to protect from winter critters, cleaning ditches through the city, preparing meals for those underserved, and many other services. The university community places tremendous value on “becoming servant leaders of moral courage, providing a culture grounded in service, [and] fostering a great capacity to pour themselves out in loving service to others.” The Day of Service is putting into action the university’s mission of serving those in need.

To hear more about University of Mary Day of Service, click here.

Saint Joseph’s College Receives $4 Million in Funding to Launch Institute for Local Food Systems Innovation

Congratulations to Saint Joseph’s College for announcing the launch of their Institute for Local Food Systems Innovation! The announcement comes as the institute recently received $4 million in funding from a Public Works Construction Project award from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, and donations from the Hannaford Charitable Foundation, Organic Nutrition, Inc., and several private foundations and individuals.

This project “pursues the College’s long-standing initiatives in sustainability and community engagement, while contributing solutions to Maine’s need to recover manufacturing jobs, develop the state’s food and beverage industry, and meet regional food security goals.” These funds will allow the College to begin the initial phases of development for the institute. The institute will include “a food manufacturing incubator, a hydroponic farm, a traditional crop and livestock farm, an agritourism event center, and an entrepreneurship development and education program offering certificates in areas such as hydroponic farming, food processing, and good merchandising.” The college’s strategic plan seeks to positively affect those in need in the community, those learning from the institute, and the local environment.

To read the full article, click here.