Jan 22, 2014

USD students honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

VERMILLION, S.D. -- On Monday, Jan. 20, the University of South Dakota’s Alternative Week of Off-campus Learning (AWOL) program hosted a day of service to honor and celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. More than 75 students, faculty, staff and community members helped at local organizations like the Center for Children and Families, St. Agnes Catholic Church, Vermillion Public Library, Heartland Humane Society, Vucurevich Children’s Center, the Vermillion Fire Station, and the Yankton Boys and Girls Club.

Project highlights included painting walls at the Newman Center and the Vermillion Armory, playing games and socializing with residents at the Assisted Living and Sanford Care Center, assembling activity kits for children at Head Start, sorting recyclable materials at the Recycling Center, preparing and serving food at the Welcome Table, setting up an upcoming exhibit at the Vermillion Area Arts Council, and packing lunches with the Vermillion Backpack Program.

In addition to the day of service on Jan. 20, Dawn Fraser, a humorist, storyteller and national speaker, delivered the keynote address to a campus audience on Tuesday, Jan. 21 as part of the MLK Jr. Day Celebration. Fraser led an interactive presentation, “The Art of Storytelling in Leadership,” where students were introduced to the transformative power of storytelling and learned how it can be used to inspire and motivate others. Students also had an opportunity to tell their own stories and receive feedback on how to shape and mold their stories.

About the AWOL Program

Housed in the Center for Academic Engagement, AWOL offers students the opportunity to combine community service with education during academic breaks. The AWOL program is in the eighth year on campus and the program has continued to grow. Prior to departure, students participate in six weeks of educational training. By utilizing experiences and education, AWOL enables students to become active citizens, whose community becomes a priority in their everyday life, and provides them with avenues for continued community involvement and learning. More information is available at www.usd.edu/engage/service-learning/awol-alternative-breaks.cfm.

About The Center for Academic Engagement

USD’s Center for Academic Engagement was created as a central point of contact for students to find experiential learning information, including information about service-learning, undergraduate research, study abroad and off-campus academic experiences.  The office is also a place where faculty can receive support for integrating service-learning and other experiential activities into their courses.  Finally, the CAE acts as a general volunteer clearinghouse for Vermillion and the surrounding area.  For information on upcoming events, e-mail the CAE at engage@usd.edu or visit www.usd.edu/engage.

About The University of South Dakota
Founded in 1862, The University of South Dakota is designated as the only public liberal arts university in the state and is home to a comprehensive College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, School of Health Sciences, the state's only School of Law, School of Medicine, the accredited Beacom School of Business and the College of Fine Arts. USD has an enrollment of more than 10,000 students taught by more than 400 faculty members. More information is available at www.usd.edu/press/news.

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Peter Carrels
The University of South Dakota
(605) 216-1233
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