Leaving a legacy for the future Honors students of GSU!
This semester, students Andrea Fuentes, Melissa Johnson, and Wes Brazel are working to create the Honors Program Civic Engagement Committee. The goal of this committee is to provide opportunities for leadership and volunteerism in the larger community beyond Governors State University. The Honors Program Civic Engagement Committee will be responsible for planning regular community service events for Honors Program students and friends in the communities surrounding GSU. It is their hope that the Honors Program Civic Engagement Committee will continue beyond this semester so that the Honors Program may become known for its activities beyond GSU.
March 26th 2016 the Honors Program Civic Engagement committee
participated in its first volunteer service event at the Lincoln-Way Special Recreation Foundation Bunny Breakfast. The
event was held at the Lincoln-Way East High School in Frankfort Illinois. The
Civic Engagement committee assisted with the setup for the event, breakfast,
Easter egg hunts, arts and crafts, and photos with the Easter Bunny for
community members. The Foundation has reported that a total of 600 people
attended the event last Saturday. Five volunteers from the (HPCEC) along with
other community volunteers came together to make this event a success for the
Lincoln-Way Special Recreation Foundation. The
Lincoln-Way Special Recreation Foundation’s mission statement is, “to
provide recreation and leisure services for individuals with physical or
intellectual disabilities while promoting greater disability awareness in the
community.” We, the Honors Program Civic Engagement Committee leaders, are
proud to have been of service to this wonderful foundation. It was a humbling
experience for all of our volunteers and we look forward to participating in
many more service events in the future.
On Sunday, May 1st,
two of the Honors Program Civic Engagement Committee’s Leaders as well as guest
students volunteered at the “Run for Your Life Safety” 5k Run. It was the
fourth annual 5k hosted by the Tinley Park Fire Prevention Bureau at the Metra
Station in Tinley Park, Illinois. The event was held to
raise money for the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance’s camp, “I Am Me.” It is a
burn camp for children ages 8 to 16 who are burn survivors. In the past 3
years, this event has raised more than $39,000 for the burn camp. The Honors Program Civic
Engagement Committee along with our volunteers were able to assist with the
event by guiding the runners in the right direction and cheering them on their
way to the finish line! There were around 700 people signed up to run the race
that day each paying a 20 dollar donation to run, so the event was very
successful overall. The HPCEC is proud to have been a part of this event and
looks forward to volunteering at events like it in the future!
On Friday, April 29th, the Honors Program Student Council participated in the Relay for Life event to raise money for the American Cancer Society. This event struck a personal note for some students involved as many of their lives have been affected by cancer, such as student Ayah Darwish who stated, "For me, joining was a bit personal because I lost my grandma to breast cancer and my grandpa to lung cancer, so raising money for a potential cure is really important to me". Team captains Gabby Pierre-Louis and Kendall Wright created the logo and team name, Honors Heroes For Hope. The group thought it would be a fun idea to have carnival type games for people to play at the event, to help raise money for the American Cancer Society. At their table, the group had several games set up including the ring toss, a bulls eye game, and a gumball guessing game. One of the most popular games was “Find the ‘U’ in cure.” Several rubber ducks were floating in a tub, and if the player selected the duck with a "U" written on the underside, they won a candy prize. The team also organized fundraising online, by sharing the team page and encouraging others to donate. At the event, many students participated by walking, dancing or playing games with other teams around the track. The team also participated in the Luminairia Ceremony, by lighting a glow stick and placing it in a luminaria honoring someone battling cancer, or dedicating it to a loved one lost to cancer. Each one of student was touched by this event, and the students would like to continue participating in coming years. Megan Boots, Gabby Pierre-Louis, Kendall Wright, Jocelyn James-Moore, Linda Coleman and Ayah Darwish were all instrumental in making this event a success for the Honors Heroes For Hope this year, and they can’t wait to see how the team grows, and can continue to contribute to the fight against cancer in the future.The students managed to raise over $700 in donations towards the cause!
Recently, students Megan Boots, Brittany Bledsoe, and Bridget Drury wanted to address some of the most critical needs of the Honors Program through their Leadership Project Initiative. They felt that there was some confusion surrounding the process of getting involved with the Honors Program and what responsibilities that entailed. They envisioned a welcome packet to offer to new members, which would provide further insight and clarity about the program. By providing imperative information about membership, they hoped that the packet would help gain new members not only by removing any confusion surrounding the process to join, but also by marketing the Honors Program to potential members. The group felt that it would most beneficial to produce a brochure geared toward transfer students, because the information could be based on their own experiences when joining the Honors Program. The group proceeded to develop content for a brochure in categories including: Background Information, How to Become a Member, How to Graduate with Honors, and Frequently Asked Questions. Working with Lindsay Gladstone from the marketing department, the group added photos and testimonials from current students to help market the Honors Program. The group also helped to develop a logo which was used by the marketing department to develop an image in order to establish a visual identity for the Honors Program. This text image will be displayed on the cover of the brochure. There is currently a working draft that is awaiting approval before it can be put into production. By organizing the majority of the information that transfer students may need into one brochure, the group hopes to draw more attention to the Honors Program. Stemming from the same motivation, the group also wanted to arrange a central location for current members to find. Working with maintenance, the group recycled an old bulletin board to place outside of Dr. Rhea’s office to serve as the Honors Program information station. Using re-purposed materials, the group decorated the board, with areas included to hold the newly developed brochures, as well as other important packets. There is space for a calendar, where events can be posted in order to help encourage involvement. Finally, the board is embellished with photos from recent Honors Program events. The group hopes that this central board will help to encourage current members to get more involved and stay organized, while providing awareness to potential members.
In 2014, the GSU Honors Program Class year wanted to leave a legacy to represent the transition and revamping of the Honors Program. Our class was split into groups that would endeavor to make some changes that would help promote who and what the Honors Program represents. You will see an over view of those projects and the goal that was set out to be accomplished.
The first group consisted of myself, LaTonia Ames-Sheared, Marlene Lees, Desmond Warren, and Sandi Gustafson. Our team's endeavor was to create a webpage for the Honors Program that would enable existing and future honors students to have access to information regarding our Honors program. This webpage provides a look into what you can experience and anticipate from becoming a member. The webpage includes static and dynamic pages to provide the information necessary to educate, motivate and inspire the potential Honors student.
As you browse through, our goal was to answer questions anyone might have about the Honors Program and give insight to what this program is about. We each selected what we wanted to contribute and then collaborated as a group to make sure it would be feasible to carry out. We also wanted to leave it open to future students to update after we have graduated. While it is a tremendous honor to be a member of the group we also want to impress that we are group that as leaders want to give back our group and local communities. We are sure that as you explore the page in its entirety, you will appreciate the hard work and effort put forth to make this page a reality. Our group considers it to be a tremendous accomplishment. Read More...
The second group consists of Nathan Davis, Mary Beth Lunter, and Estefania Palafox. There endeavor is also a great contribution to assisting to transform the Honors Program to a better program by forming a student advisory committee.
Their effort will encompass composing a mission statement, laying bylaws, and recruiting board members. This effort is to help empower the students of the Honors Program and create ownership of the program which will increase participation. The input from students will also give insight to the Honors program faculty and leadership, that otherwise may not be expressed or heard. This would also be a first for our GSU Honors Program.
As our groups have come together to set practices in place to help the sustainability and attractiveness to the revamped Honors Program, our goals are to attract and motivate the current and new students to get involved now.