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2013 -14


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Friends, During my tenure as president of Eastern Washington University, one of my top priorities – aside from student success – has always been to make sure Eastern remains connected to the communities it serves. Not only does this enrich the educational experience for students and faculty, it helps a community prosper by addressing critical needs. This is why community engagement is one of the four key pillars of our new strategic plan, and a key point of our fundraising campaign. Community engagement can mean many things to many people, but at EWU it means that our students, faculty and the university as a whole are actively involved in meaningful projects that result in the betterment of a community. This could be through research or collaborative projects, internships, community service, partnerships or in the form of professional programs offered as part of the ongoing education of the working public. And that leads us to this new publication, Engage. It’s a chance for Eastern to showcase some of the great – and often overlooked – ways the university works to foster a culture of civic responsibility. One of the stories you will notice is a profile of the director of our Office of Community Engagement. It has always been a priority of mine to have a dedicated staff which can focus every day on ways to make sure Eastern stays connected to the wider community. And as you see, Eastern is doing some fascinating things to stay engaged with the public. I hope this inspires you to become involved in your community!

Dr. Rodolfo Arévalo, President


2013-14 | Volume 1, No. 1 Engage, Eastern Washington University’s magazine of community engagement, is published annually by EWU Marketing & Communications.

On the Cover: Spokane elementary school student Caitlyn Tracy takes in a poetry lesson as part of EWU’s Triceratops Poetry Project.

Contact Us Engage Magazine, Eastern Washington University 300 Showalter Hall, Cheney, WA 99004-2445 Phone: 509.359.6489 Website:

Contents 6


Elementary school students learn the wonders of poetry from EWU faculty and graduate students.

Social Work students team up with the Spokane Fire Department to offer help to vulnerable citizens.



An unconventional spring break is a lesson in leadership for Eastern students.

Campus Community Garden hopes to change hearts and minds.

Creative Connection


Cultivating Change

Trails of Engagement


Cheney String Academy Eastern faculty take young students beyond the music.

SECTIONS 02 » Meet Molly Ayers 03 » Eastern Engaged: News of Note 13 » 26 Days of Kindness 24 » Engagement by the Numbers

E NGAGE Magazine Staff Teresa Conway Director of Marketing & Communications Molly Ayers Director of the Office of Community Engagement

Libby Campbell, Teresa Conway, Courtney Dunham, Brian Lynn, David Meany Contributing Writers Kandi Carper, Brian Lynn Copy Editors

Steve Bateman Art Direction/Graphic Design Larry Conboy, Eric Galey, David Helberg, David Lane Photography

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MEET MOLLY AYERS Director of the Office of Community Engagement

Eastern Washington University’s commitment to the community took on new meaning in 2012 when it opened the Office of Community Engagement. Its goal is to connect the campus to the wider community through meaningful, reciprocal partnerships in order to enrich student learning, address critical community needs and foster a culture of civic responsibility and community engagement. Under the direction of Molly Ayers, who came to Eastern in fall 2012 from Gonzaga University where she was assistant director of the Center for Community Action & Service Learning, EWU is widening its

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by David Meany

impact in the community. Ayers was first introduced to community-based education when she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, coordinating servicelearning projects at a Title 1 middle school in Seattle. Ayers viewed the Eastern job as a chance to make a difference. “I was drawn to the position because of the opportunity to build a program that expands transformative learning opportunities for students at EWU while meeting critical needs in our community,” said Ayers. “I focused my energy this past year on grant writing, building infrastructure and learning about the EWU community and its many engagement efforts,” said Ayers. “I am continually impressed by the level of innovation and the sophistication of community-based projects occurring across the colleges and in student affairs. The EWU community truly lives up to the challenge to start something big.” One of our big initiatives is the Eagle Volunteers Program. The Eagle Volunteers Program provides opportunities for EWU students to participate in one-time or ongoing service projects where student leaders will be placed within local non-profit agencies to recruit, train and reflect with student volunteers. The Eagle Volunteers Program is partnering with Communities in Schools and the Cheney School District to provide mentors at area elementary and middle schools. New projects will help Eastern strengthen its connections to the communities it serves – which is just what the university envisioned when it opened the Office of Community Engagement. If you are interested in learning more about Eastern’s community engagement programs, please contact us at or 509.359.6255.

eAsTerN ENGAGED news of note

Helping Vets Smile

A Day On, Not a Day Off

Eastern Washington University’s Dental Hygiene Program donated services totaling more than $32,600 on its annual Smile for Veterans Day in early March. Overall, EWU’s dental hygiene students treated 62 veterans at the Riverpoint Dental Hygiene Clinic. For a $10 fee, veterans enrolled at area colleges, who have no other  dental  coverage,  were allowed to make appointments. “This is a great way to give back and thank our veterans for serving our country,” said Rebecca Stolberg, director of the EWU Dental Hygiene Program. “Eastern students took the lead in this project, and offered as much dental treatment as they could with the help of faculty, staff and volunteer Spokane dentists.” Smiles for Veterans is part of an annual community service project for EWU dental hygiene students, who help with cleanings, x-rays and complete dental exams.

EWU students, staff, faculty and alumni took part in Spokane’s Martin Luther King Jr. Unity March on Monday, Jan. 21, in downtown Spokane. The group showed off their Eagle Pride while joining in the annual event celebrating civil rights.

EWU Greeks do Good As part of Greek Week, EWU fraternities and sororities perform community service, raise funds for local charities, and participate in events like dodgeball, paintball, volleyball and football. Here are some of the positive outcomes from Greek Week 2013:


The number of students who engaged in community service projects on the Saturday morning of Greek Week.


Cans of food collected for the Cheney Food Bank.


Amount raised to help a local child, Sierra Higbee, in her fight against cancer.

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eAsTerN ENGAGED CONNECTING EWU JAZZ WITH THE WORLD Eastern Washington University’s annual Jazz Dialogue Festival hit a magnificent musical milestone this year with a concert featuring musicians from around the world performing together, in real time, over a computer network. Moments before featured musician Robin Eubanks took the festival stage, 1,400 people watched as the EWU Concert Jazz Ensemble led this trailblazing experience, utilizing the high-speed network and Internet2 at the stunning Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox in downtown Spokane, Wash. The Jan. 12 concert, “Jazz at the Speed of Light,” featured the jazz ballad Body and Soul performed by EWU Director of Jazz Studies Phillip Doyle (in Spokane) and Charles “Chip” McNeill on piano inside a music room at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. McNeill, the Jazz Division head at the University of Illinois, could be seen via a theater-size screen on stage and was thrilled to collaborate on the project. “This new technology will revolutionize how musicians and audiences will interact,” said Doyle, who is also a saxophone lecturer at Eastern. “We weren’t sure we’d pull it off, but that night, it couldn’t have gone better. Playing jazz together over the Internet was as smooth as silk.” Doyle added, “There was an approximate 30 millisecond delayed interaction time between

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performers due to the constraints of sending their sounds over the high speed network. However, the delay, or latency, was not enough to have a negative influence on the performers.” Two additional musicians, Ari Braggi, and Eythor Gunnarson, also participated in the event, but from even further away, at the University of Reykjavík in Iceland. They performed Dyravisur, a folk song arrangement written by drummer Einar Scheving. This real-time musical cyber performance is part of the unique MANOME project at Eastern, one of the few universities in the country to actually utilize this groundbreaking technology. MANOME, the Metropolitan Area Network Optimized Music Environment, allows musicians who are far apart from each other a chance to perform together as if they were in the same room. It is utilized for rehearsal or education purposes, and this inspired EWU faculty to team up with Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox staff to do the same with the Jazz Dialogue Festival, to showcase the power of this amazing technology and what is being done at EWU. n

news of note Feeding the Hungry The 6th annual Eastern Washington University Community Food Drive generated more than $15,000 in cash donations for area food banks and outreach programs, bringing the six-year total raised to $72,083.06. During the same period, more than 16-anda-quarter tons of food have been donated during the community service event. Of the total cash donations, almost $8,200 will go to the Cheney Food Bank. Director John Matthews said donations will go a long way toward stocking the shelves to help the approximately 400 families who rely on the Food Bank. “Five-thousand dollars will give us the ability to purchase about 10,000 pounds of food,” said Matthews. “It makes a big impact and the need is only growing.” Another $6,800 raised this year will go to the Communities in Schools of Spokane County, which sponsors such programs as the Friday Backpacks of Food program. This money will provide 42 children with a weekend backpack filled with food, and is part of a nationwide effort to reduce the dropout rate and give children a secure meal source on the weekends.

During the six-year run of the Food Drive, donations have made it possible to sponsor 120 students in the Friday Backpacks for Food program and filled another 256 backpacks with school supplies, which are distributed through Cheney Outreach. “The generosity of the EWU community amazes me every year,” said Nadine Arévalo, co-chair of the food drive. “It’s a key initiative for the university to give back to the community.” Every year, various university teams have competed to see who could collect the most food, raise the most money and collect the most backpacks filled with school supplies.

EWU Recognized for Community Service Eastern Washington University has been named to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). A total of 690 higher education institutions were named to this year’s Honor Roll. The Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities. Combined, the Honor Roll awardees engaged 3.1 million students in community service for a total of 118 million service hours. That’s $2.5 billion in value to communities across the country. Selection to the Honor Roll is recognition from the highest levels of the federal government of Eastern’s commitment to service and civic engagement on campus and in our nation. The entire Honor Roll is available at

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creative connection By Libby Campbell ’13

EWU creative writing graduate student Casey Patrick offers a poetry lesson to third grade students at Spokane’s Westview Elementary.

In a classroom in northwest Spokane, third graders slowly clap their hands to help count syllables as they work on cinquains, a style of poetry that follows a structure based on syllable count. 6 » E  NGAGE

Graduate-student teachers, whose focus is that’s okay. They get off on the sound. They get creative writing, circulate around the classroom off on the rhyme. They get off on the beats – answering questions and helping students find whatever.” the right words for their poems. Once a week for four weeks, two Eastern Cinquains are just one type of poetic form these graduate-student teachers visit a Spokane third-grade students have studied as part of the classroom for one hour. During the visits, third Triceratops Poetry Project. graders read and write various poetic forms. Led by Writers in the Community, an internship During the final week, third graders are that allows creative writing graduate students presented with a chapbook that contains one to teach writing in local settings, and Willow original poem by each student. Springs, a publishing internship that produces “They’re always really excited to see their EWU’s national literary journal, Triceratops aims to teach youth “We’re not giving them children’s verse…we’re giving them cool poems. Some of it’s over their heads, about poetry by having them read various poets and poetic forms, and that’s okay. ” n Sam Ligon as well as by writing their own Associate professor of creative writing, editor of Willow Springs poems. But they’re not reading Dr. Seuss or Shel Silverstein, they’re working with material by some of poetry’s heavy hitters – Mary Oliver, William names in a book,” graduate student Casey Patrick Carlos Williams and Carl Sandburg, just to name said. “We tell them, ‘You’re published authors a few. and you’re only eight years old!’” “We’re not giving them children’s verse,” said The idea for Triceratops came to Ligon after he Sam Ligon, associate professor of creative writing taught poetry to his own children’s classrooms and editor of Willow Springs. “We’re giving them when they reached third grade. The reaction he cool poems. Some of it’s over their heads, and received from the students was invigorating.

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“It is hard sometimes with the time constraint,” Patrick said. “I wish we could cover more stuff, but I think we’re giving them at least a little taste of it; a little taste of creative writing and what that can do for them.” The Triceratops Poetry Project is mutually beneficial to both the graduate students and the third graders. The grade-school students develop critical thinking, writing, reading and revision skills that meet Spokane Public Schools Power Standards, “They were tapped into something. They had not while also discovering their own writing voice. lost their poetic sensibility. Though I had, in some Graduate students get the pedagogical training ways, lost some of mine. Most people have that they need – and much more. kind of systematically beaten out of them so that “Everybody benefits from this in a huge way. My when you reach a certain age, you don’t have access students get a lot, the third graders get a lot, the to that anymore,” Ligon said. “There’s no sense that teachers who we work with love it, the parents poetry’s uncool. Poetry’s in the air for these kids.” like it. What’s not to like?” Ligon said. “What my Patrick served as poetry editor of Willow Springs students get is access to an electric connection to and has participated as a teacher in the program. poetry that these eight year olds have that I want She also believes third grade is the perfect age to my students to go back to. I want them to be as have students explore their poetic sides. invigorated by poetry as these eight year olds are.” “Just from teaching older kids and adults, you can Support from Community Engagement at tell that there’s a point where they actually have Eastern and administrators from “Everybody benefits from this in a huge way. My Spokane Public Schools has helped students get a lot, the third graders get a lot, the get Triceratops up and running, and teachers who we work with love it, the parents like Ligon hopes to expand the project with help from Eastern’s Education it. What’s not to like?” n Sam Ligon Department. Associate professor of creative writing, editor of Willow Springs “We’ve got student teachers here. If we can get help from them, and also help teach developed this fear which our culture has about them how to teach poetry, that’s cool. It’s deeper poetry,” she said. “They don’t understand it, it’s too community involvement,” he said. hard and they don’t want to do it. Third graders are Ligon has big plans for the future of the program. still at that age where they’re willing to try. That’s He would like to eventually collaborate with Get Lit!, when we want to be in there and be like, ‘Keep Eastern’s annual literary festival, to hold a poetry writing. You’re a good writer, keep doing this. Keep reading for the kids, and ultimately he would like it stretching your language like this.’” to be a citywide project that reaches out and teaches Ligon and some of his graduate-student teachers poetry to as many third graders as possible. piloted the program during the 2011-12 school “We’re trying to help them tap into what they year, working with six different classrooms in the already know how to do, which is use their poetic Spokane area. Last year, the program expanded sensibility to make sense of the world. This is what to 10 classrooms and they are working with 14 we always do with art,” Ligon said. “We’re trying this year. to look at the world, and we’re trying to figure out Four weeks may not seem like a long time, but what it means. We’re trying to give them a vehicle students are still learning more about poetry than through which they can do that.” n they would otherwise.

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Rose _______

Every Night ________

Rose oh look at it

Every night

the petals grow so

I creep

slow watch it move smell it off the summer breeze blow the petals off oh such a flower.

by Mia Lake

down to the ocean I feel the sand it feels like a thousand

Cottonwood ________ The fire burns I hear cackling as the wood gets burned, the river’s water smells fresh like ocean breeze the memories float around I see trees, the taste like

nails I drink the

a bite in

water from the sea it tastes like fire burning to

a memory cake. The cottonwood trees say to me, remember cottonwood as

ashes I hear the

I’m asleep in a tent I

waves thrashing I smell the air it smells so fresh

hear the animals I dream cottonwood

I see the sunset it’s so I go back

feelings. by Ariana Hut chinson

to bed and the next night I do it again. by Zara Hill

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by Brian Lynn ’98

trails of engagement When final exams wrap up at the end of winter quarter, students across the country often relieve stress and celebrate nicer weather with the college ritual of spring break – an adventure to an exotic beach or relaxing at home with friends and family. For 11 Eastern Washington University students, however, the 2013 spring break was spent swinging axes and heaving shovels of dirt in Moab, Utah. You might say students were digging in for a hard-labor lesson in leadership and community engagement. The trip was part of a collaborative pilot program between the Academic Success Center (ACS), EPIC Adventures and the Office of Community Engagement. It combined the intangibles of leadership and abstract ideals of community with the concrete resources and support that has become the hallmark of the university’s Academic Success Center. The underlying motive was to increase student retention by increasing the undergraduates’ connection to the larger community – both within EWU and to the surrounding world. Retention at any college largely depends on student success – in and outside of the classroom. Good grades, leadership skills and connection to a community all contribute to a student’s overall achievement and desire to

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persevere and graduate. For junior Vu Nguyen, the experience proved fruitful. “Normally for spring break, I would just head home and go hiking or camping, but on this trip I also had the chance to meet new people and give something back,” said the therapeutic recreation major, who also participates in activities and events for AmeriCorps and Special Olympics. “It usually takes me awhile to get to know people, but they threw us all together and I was surprised how quickly I bonded with everyone. And then once we had a common goal, we all really bonded and worked together to achieve success.” The unconventional spring break engaged the students in a service-learning experience that included cutting bike trails and building campground fences on Bureau of Land Management property near Moab, as well as time working to clean the banks of the Colorado River. “The trail work was a blast. Being able to make the campground more aesthetic was big, too. It was an eye-opening experience to see how enthusiastic the other people I was working with were. It really made me want to be a part of it,” said Nguyen, who has kept in contact with several of the other students that participated in the event. The 11 students and four chaperones – two from EPIC Adventures, EWU’s outdoors education and skillsbuilding program, and two advisors from the Academic Success Center – built a mile of bike trail over two days and spent another 90 volunteer hours repairing fences throughout the Bureau’s Lower Onion Campground. In total, the team worked 16.5 hours and amassed 240 man-hours of volunteer time, which equated to more than $3,500 in labor costs. “It took two days of hard labor to build approximately one mile of bike trail. It was rugged terrain and the work consisted of building a huge rock ramp and

bench-cutting into vertical walls in several places,” said Molly Orheim, a retention specialist with the Academic Success Center, noting that course goals went far beyond physical labor. “We wanted to provide an opportunity that would immerse students in an outof-state experience that would provide a meaningful service-learning experience; an opportunity to improve leadership skills, enhance their knowledge and understanding of the geological, geographical, historical and cultural perspectives of a community in need, and increase community engagement while strengthening the ASC community.” While the idea of a service-learning spring break

EWU students and their advisors pose for a picture during their “working” spring break in Moab, Utah.

originated within the Academic Service Center and Office of Community Engagement, EPIC Adventures helped develop the less tangible curriculum surrounding leadership. With decades of experience planning off-site adventures, EPIC assisted with trip

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planning and risk management, but also incorporated leadership programming. “We provide effective leadership training to develop our own trip leaders, and after a lot of discussion, decided to add a practical leadership component to the trip where each of the students, working in pairs, would be leaders for the day for the entire group,” said EPIC’s Kevin Klim. The field leadership team, which consisted of Klim and Orheim, as well as fellow retention specialist Summer Hess and EPIC student staffer Zach Turner, took on a greater role than mere chaperones. They led preparatory classes on leadership before the group left Cheney, and they modeled effective leadership behavior for the three days of the trip. Then they handed the reigns over to the students and let each team take a turn leading the group. “On the third night, we had our first ‘circle’ where the participants provided feedback to the field leadership team so that we could model accepting feedback and also help them identify strategies for providing effective feedback,” said Klim. “That night, after circle, the first student team took over, only to give up leadership the next night after the next circle where leadership duties would be passed to the next team.” With a diverse student group from varied backgrounds working together in a labor-intense setting removed from the EWU campus, potential conflict was always possible. “Most of these students had never met each other, they came from a variety of majors and ranged in age from freshmen to seniors,” said Hess. “But they had common tasks to complete, and they did so with a sense of purpose. It was a very positive experience that broke down barriers between people and went a long way toward community building and friendship – which, at the end of the day all aid in student retention.” Heading the group for a day gave each pair of students the chance to experience the responsibility of leadership, and the consequences and repercussions of decision making. Alternating the leadership and

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support roles gave the entire group the chance to understand how best to give and receive feedback, both during the workday at the end of the day around the campfire. “Student teams were given considerable latitude to make mistakes, as long as the risks to the group were acceptable to the field leadership team,” said Klim. “Making these mistakes and receiving feedback from their peers that was both positive and constructive was a profound experience.” It’s an experience that cultivates a well-rounded student who is more likely to succeed in class and graduate. Beyond graduation, the skills and experiences gained on the trails of Moab, Utah, will serve the students as they enter the workforce and deal with, and become, managers. n Taking a break after repairing fences on BLM campgrounds.


orchestrated 39 total events 21% % 10% 8 5%



Inspired by NBC News reporter Ann Curry’s call for 26 acts of kindness in memory of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. The 26 Days of Kindness initiative, coordinated by EWU’s Office of Community Engagement, has brought together faculty, staff, students, and alumni in random acts of kindness.


Community Service


Donation Drives



Random Acts of Kindness


ACTS of in memory %ofofthe the ACTS Inspired by NBC News reporter Ann Curry’s call for 26 acts of kindness victims kindness were Food related of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. The 26 Days of Kindness initiative, coordinated benEfiting by EWU’s Office of Community Engagement, has brought together faculty, staff, students, and community alumni in random acts of kindness. 170 Bears for

16 agencies

Sally’s House

170 Bears for Sally’s House seventeen Hundred & fifty cookies handed out

Nine Hundred & Forty seven Participants

@Ann Curry “Imagine if we all committed to doing 26acts of kindness for each precious life lost. An act of kindness big or small. I’m in. U in?” - Ann Curry

or ABOUT 1 out of15 People at EASTERN


Labelsseventeen Labels Labels Labels Labels

Hundred & SOUP SOUP SOUP SOUP fifty cookies 37 pairs handed outof socks

@Ann Curry “Imagine if we all committed to doing 26acts of kindness for each precious life lost. An act of kindness big or small. I’m in. U in?” - Ann Curry



Collected 50 Soup can Labels RAISED $1826

to SUPPORT SPOKANE COUNTY AREA SCHOOLS orchestrated 39DONATED total events 33% 21% % 10% 8 EWU Office of Community Engagement Data collected from internal sources. 5%

benefiting Local Charities


=10 Bears

=10 people


=10 labels

Follow the backchannel: #26Actsofkindness, #26Acts

Labels Labels Labels Labels Labels SOUP



Community Service

3181 kindness ACTS of


Donation Drives


Random Acts of Kindness

63 were Food related % of the ACTS

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By Libby Campbell ’13

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: Cheney String Academy

Eastern music professors take young students beyond the music

another eastern influence Marshall implements methods of teaching developed by a Japanese violinist named Shinichi

Judging by the ease in which her bow glides over her cello strings, you would never know

Suzuki. “The Suzuki method is a style of teaching

that Paige King, a sixth-grade student at Cheney

that I studied when I began cello at age six,”

Middle School, picked up the instrument for the

said Marshall. “The student is learning music

first time only nine months ago.

by memory and by ear, so as to develop critical

“My dad played it, so I thought I’d be able to get some good advice from him,” she said. Every Wednesday, Paige practices with the

listening skills. Dr. Suzuki compared studying an instrument to learning a language. So that is why in the Cheney String Academy we do most of the

Cheney String Academy at Cheney Middle School

teaching by ear. However, we are also using note

with other cellists, violinists and violists. Two

reading techniques when we are teaching the

Eastern Washington University professors –

students orchestral pieces.”

Dr. John Marshall, who teaches cello, and

Suzuki’s methods and Far East influences are

Dr. Julia Salerno, who teaches violin and viola,

also apparent at the beginning and ending of

lead the program.

each class, when students make eye contact

Stringed instruments used to be offered in

with a fellow musician and bow to one another.

the Cheney School District until it was cut for

“That’s the way of signaling the beginning

budgetary reasons in the 1980s. “There were

and the end of the class. Just like if you’re in

students in Cheney who wanted to learn strings.

karate, you have to bow. There is a lot of Eastern

An opportunity was not available to them, so that

influence,” Marshall said.

is why I started this program,” said Marshall. The forerunner to the Cheney String Academy

The Cheney String Academy isn’t restricted only to students. Parents are encouraged to play

was created in 2005 at the Robert Reid School

alongside their children, another trait modeled

on Eastern’s campus. It began with just a couple

after Suzuki’s practices.

students, but grew once the program relocated

“If the parent does not play an instrument, the

to Salnave Elementary. When strings were

parent of the child is expected to learn along with

reintroduced to the Cheney School District in

the child,” Marshall said of Suzuki’s expectations.

the fall of 2012, Marshall’s academy relocated

“I don’t require that, but as we started, many

to the middle school.

parents said they also wanted to learn and asked if they could join in, too. It’s important for the

Left: Middle-school students Riley Loughery and

parent to know what their child is learning and

Jane Emehiser take part in the Cheney String Academy.

what they’re going through.”

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“It’s just like learning a language. It has to be something you are doing as part of your life

a win-win for all students

every day. The more you play your instrument, the more you learn.”

In addition to weekly group practices, students in the Cheney String Academy also receive weekly one-on-one instruction from Eastern music students. “This is an opportunity for the Eastern

Playing an instrument can have benefits far beyond just learning how to play. “There are studies after studies that show how music helps the academics. When you’re learning music you are also learning about rhythm, which

students to work with this age group, to see how

incorporates math. You are learning the history

these kind of classes are organized and how they

of the composers and the history of the time

function. The Eastern students get hands-on

when that music was composed,” Marshall said.

training,” Marshall said. Eastern students also help Cheney String

Suzuki’s method of teaching also emphasizes more than just learning how to play an

Academy musicians practice their solo material

instrument – it has an underlying principle that

for winter and spring recitals. To prepare for her

focuses on creating a well-rounded person.

spring recital, Paige practiced four days a week, playing through each song twice. “The students are told they should only

“Dr. Suzuki’s intention was not to teach great string players, his intention was to cultivate human beings,” said Marshall. “To make them

practice on the days they eat or breathe; to make

appreciate art, to make them better people.

this a part of their everyday life,” Marshall said.

That is the bigger picture.”

Below: Dr. Julia Salerno, who teaches violin and viola at EWU, shares her knowledge with students in the Cheney String Academy. Opposite page: Dr. John Marshall, professor of cello at EWU, originally started the String Academy in 2005 on the Eastern campus.

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adversity, inclusion and the future Another Cheney String Academy student, Riley Loughery, a sixth-grader who has played violin for the past three years – though it was not her first choice of instrument – has learned to handle the challenges of learning to play and care for a musical instrument. “I wanted to play cello, but there were violin spots open. The violin has worked out very well for me,” she said. “It can be a little frustrating to play a string instrument. Any instrument, but especially an instrument you have to tune. But, it’s worth it.” Paige and Riley plan to play their instruments regularly, at least through high school. Both girls feel that the Cheney String Academy serves as an important activity for students who want to be involved and accepted by their peers. “I think it’s important because no one gets left out,” Paige said. “If you want to do an extracurricular activity, in sports there’s always someone who’s sitting on the sidelines. In orchestra, everyone can play.” Now that the Cheney School District has reintroduced strings into the curriculum, Marshall sees the program expanding over the next few years. “I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that strings have been brought back into the grade schools and middle schools,” he said. The future of the Cheney String Academy appears to be taking on the form of an orchestra growing in both participants and tempo – and that’s a welcome sound to the ears of instructors, parents, Eastern students and grade-school pupils throughout the Cheney area. n

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Social Work students offer bridge of help for most vulnerable

By Courtney Dunham Firefighters already know that they couldn’t save lives and make a difference in countless others without teamwork. Now that team includes students in Eastern Washington University’s School of Social Work program, who have become heroes themselves to some of the community’s most vulnerable. Each year the Spokane Fire Department responds to hundreds of non-emergency calls made to 911 from people looking for some kind of help. It costs $400 an hour to send a truck out. Those numbers have increased over the years,

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especially from chronic callers – people who repeatedly dial 911– largely because they don’t know who or what other help is out there. That feeling of helplessness often extended to the firefighters themselves, whose duty is to respond to every call, only to find out upon arrival that sometimes the need falls outside of their training. The frustration began to shift into a community resolution in 2007 when an EWU social work student asked Lisa Parise, MSW and director of field education and training, if he could do his practicum at the fire department.

“My student wanted to work with the firefighters to help people through a traumatic experience. They already had therapists to do that, so what I heard the Fire Department saying was that they needed someone to do assessments and act as a liaison to services that could solve these issues instead of just put a temporary BandAid on it,” Parise said. “What he needed was social workers, who can listen to what they’re saying. Their whole job is to connect clients to community services.” The timing of Parise’s outreach was impeccable

for Spokane Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer, who had recently spent a lot of time on a case. He responded to a 911 call from an elderly couple living alone. The husband had fallen out of bed and couldn’t get up, nor could his wife help him. It was the fifth or sixth time that officers had been called there in just a few days. Schaeffer said that there was only one phone up on the wall with most of the numbers too small to read, except for 911. He also noticed that they had very little food in the refrigerator. He sat down with the couple for more than four hours to see how he could help.

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EWU Social Work student Lisa Miles-Sudbury takes notes on the scene as part of the CARES team.

“All they cared about was wanting to stay together,” he said. “More than anything else that they may have needed, they kept saying that they didn’t want to live apart.” Schaeffer worked for days researching options and agencies that could help the couple. “There were no smart phones then, so I kept searching the yellow pages for answers on how I could help them,” he said. “Needless to say, I became very frustrated.” Already dealing with a recent downsize in his department, the call from Parise offered a solution to a need that had continued to grow throughout Schaeffer’s career. “We train firefighters to do so many things, but social work has never been a discipline that has traditionally been part of any curriculum,” said Schaeffer. “Quite frankly, social work is a profession and a completely different discipline that the fire service has been lacking for years in our delivery model.” After countless hours of research to set up an unprecedented program, the EWU School of Social Work and the Spokane Fire Department established the Community Assistance Response (CARES) Team to address the needs of the elderly and other vulnerable individuals and families who experience crises and turn to 911 for help. Because these callers lacked the information and support needed to survive beyond the crisis, a bridge to more appropriate services was needed. The student CARES Team works with callers, family members, friends, neighbors and

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community agencies to help clients find alternatives to calling 911. Parise and Schaeffer partnered to create a program that could better serve the community’s needs. Schaeffer asked two EWU students to research any possible programs across the country to address the increase in non-emergency calls. There was nothing like it. They did find other firefighters across the nation, though, who were just as frustrated as Schaeffer. “It is so hard for us to leave a social situation,” Schaeffer said. “We want to be able to say that we’re connecting them with a social worker.” So Parise and her students went to work, and the program began to really take off after the first year. The fire department worked with EWU to write a grant to fund a part-time paid position to oversee the students in their practicum. They needed a person with two years post MSW, and Parise said they found the ideal person in Patty Gregory. Gregory, who recently retired as the MSW CARES manager, typically oversaw an average of eight to 10 students during their practicum. The students begin by spending 48 hours at a fire department, so they can go out on calls to get a real feel for what the firefighters do. The fire department then refers people who have called 911 more often than they probably should have, Gregory said. The students do a home assessment to see if there are other community agencies, social service support or family networks that they can help connect them to, as an alternative to calling 911. In its early stages,

the CARES Team primarily focused on the elderly. After getting a good handle on their needs, Parise said they’ve seen a big shift in the past year and a half toward helping people with mental illness. That means that the team is now responding to a wide variety of needs. “We can never predict what kind of calls or referrals that we’re going to get. I think it started out as just the little old lady who was falling. We went into the home and did an assessment. We looked to see if they had grab bars in the bathroom. Do they have appropriate equipment in their bedroom to make that transition out of bed,” Gregory said. “We’ve gotten much more complex referrals these past couple of years, ranging from someone who’s intoxicated and needs help with rehab or detox to a patient with mental illness who’s gone off their meds. “We then get mental health agencies involved, so we can help stabilize that person. There are folks who need support from a variety of agencies and not just a one entry, problem solved kind of a thing.” Gregory said. “It’s more much complex, and we try to wrap services around that person, so we can stabilize them in a variety of ways, including getting their family involved to let them know that their family member is in crisis and needs their support.” The continued mission of the program is to help clients make a connection, which will allow them to live more independently. Adina Eichorist, CARES Team member and MSW student, said most of the time their clients aren’t even aware of the services that they may qualify for. “Once we present them with the literature and information or actually call a social worker at another agency and connect them, they’re quite happy to know that there’s something else out there,” she said. The positive feedback extends to the crews in the field too, Schaeffer said. “I had initial reservations about bringing in a civilian culture where we have an organization based on 130 years of tradition,” he said. “Once the CARES Team was implemented, they spent a lot of time with our firefighters listening, learning and developing that relationship. Now they are an equivalent and relied upon part of our team.” Other fire departments in the country have taken notice, especially after hearing Schaeffer speak about the program and its positive effects at a conference

EWU Social Work students Alexi Bolen and Miguel Zuniga reaching out to those in need.

in Las Vegas last year. Several cities, such as Bellevue, the Tri-Cities and one in Utah, are now modeling their programs after CARES. The only requirement is that there must be a post two-year MSW program nearby. The positive ripple effects are coming back to the students themselves. Not only are they helping the fire department and community with their efforts, they’re also gaining valuable experience and professional connections with a wide variety of agencies and hospitals throughout the area. “We’re seeing that our students are getting hired much easier too,” Parise said. Perhaps no greater benefit is the one bestowed on social cases that Schaeffer once agonized over. Although he still reviews every case, he now revels in the improvements that have occurred. He recalled a Seattle man who could not get a hold of his mother after repeated attempts. The elderly woman was living on her own and had not been showing up for appointments either. The CARES Team intervened and found that her house was severely in need of repair and posed numerous obstacles from hoarding. One reason why she wasn’t getting out anymore was because she needed ramp access for her walker and lived on the 7th floor of her building. Management had previously denied her requests to move to the first floor – that is, until the CARES Team got involved. They helped her move and hired someone to clean her home and to better organize it. As for that couple who wanted nothing more than to stay together? They were helped by Meals-on-Wheels and a variety of other elder services that they didn’t know about before. And they’re still together. n

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cultivating  by Brian Lynn ’98

Biology professor Robin O’Quinn works in EWU’s Community Garden.

As part of Eastern Washington University’s promotion of sustainable communities, a studentinitiated community garden was created on campus four years ago. Current faculty advisors Dr. Robin O’Quinn, from the Biology Department, and Dr. Laurie Morley, from the Physical Education, Health and Recreation Department, help maintain consistency from year to year and act as student liaisons. The pair aspire to educate students outside of a classroom setting on the benefits of health and wellness, as well as the impact on society when it comes to growing and consuming your own food. Both have lofty goals of incorporating the garden into daily operations of campus and the Cheney community as a whole, while also spreading the

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educational curriculum to K-12 educators throughout the region. “One goal is to expand this concept beyond biology,” said Morley, who points to the structured curriculum in EWU’s Science for Gardeners class. “It’s really about extending the message of making responsible decisions when it comes to what you eat, eating local, and changing the hearts and minds of what young people are eating.” For the past four years, the garden was located at corner of Elm and Washington streets next to the University Recreation Center, but moved this past June to property behind the Red Barn. While the garden has undergone a rebirth and is in a second infancy, donations and hard work have helped keep the

change endeavor going and the hope to increase yields that will have a larger impact on the immediate community. “We had a late start this year, but because we have relationships with local nurseries, such as Blue Moon Nursery, who donated all the planting material, and the work of the EWU grounds’ crew, who put water in and have been just great to work with, we’ve been able to make all this work,” said O’Quinn, gesturing to the tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, broccoli and assorted herbs growing in multiple raised beds. “In the future, we hope to have higher productivity and to produce greens for Dining Services or perhaps have a campus kitchen. There are people in Cheney who go hungry, and there are older people who don’t get out and shop or eat healthy, and that’s something we could potentially help change.” In addition to supplementing the university with local fare and feeding those in need, the two advisors hope to expand the program beyond biology by offering courses that take the student to the next step in the process – preparing and serving healthy dishes from the cultivated offerings. They’re also working on outreach to increase participation – currently 15 to 20 active students plant, tend and harvest the crop – and spread the concept. “Much of this is modeled after the ‘Life Lab’ at UC Santa Cruz,” said Morley, who took a sabbatical last year and studied at the institute. “We’ve been working with the WSU Extension Office to help spread the message and to help educate K-12 teachers in the community so that they can start their own school garden and begin the education much earlier.

“We’ve met with principals and teachers throughout Cheney and Spokane, and they’re interested, but need help implementing it all,” she continued. “And that’s something we can provide through continuing education programs and certification courses or having our students work with schools and individual teachers.” O’Quinn also touts the popular trend toward buying local and growing your own food – and how small changes in traditional suburban thinking can have big impacts when taken in totality. “I’d like people to start to think differently, and to start to incorporate food-source plants into their landscapes.

“It’s really about extending the message of making responsible decisions when it comes to what you eat, eating local, and changing the hearts and minds of what young people are eating.” This concept of separate plots for farming is an ancient idea; it doesn’t have to be garden rows versus landscape plants – you can have both,” she said, noting the holistic benefits of including native and food plants into an area, such as increased pollinators and other organisms whose value extends ecosystem wide. “As a society, we’re wasting a lot of space. Unless you have a sheep, you don’t need a grass lawn.” Cultural changes that the two professors are hoping to nurture often start with small ideas on a local level, growing until they demand attention and become accepted practice. In Cheney, that seed of change is being cultivated among EWU students in a small garden behind the Red Barn.

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ENGAGEMENT Fa c u lt y and s ta f f s e r ved o n



boards for various organizations in the Inland Northwest.

A c ade m i c  Se rv i c e - L ea r n i ng

f a c u lt y m e m b er s t a u g h t

1,036 »› 21,996 61 148 23,456 contributed

service-learning students

s e r v i c e learning c o u r s e s

hours at sites statewide

Students completed internships hours in community-based organizations.


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b y   t h e n u mb er s

20 1 2  - 2 0 13

Co-curricular Service & Outreach Programs



students Contributed

hours of

 service to the local community through programs such as Athletics, Biology outreach to Turnbull, Love   Your Vets Day, SAIL (Student Activities Involvement and Leadership) and the 26 Days of Kindness.

3,036 60,595 hours

EWU students contributed A total OF

of service to the local community.

The estimated net worth of student service hours totaled


Independen t  Se c t o r  e s t i m at e s an hour of volunteer service in Washington State to be worth $22.69




E NGAGE Magazine Eastern Washington University 300 Showalter Hall Cheney, WA  99004-2445

Plunging with Purpose

The Eastern Washington University football team won the award as the top fundraising school at the annual Polar Plunge at Liberty Lake, Wash., this past winter. A group of about 20 players helped raise approximately $700 for Special Olympics, and were led by linebacker Ronnie Hamlin and offensive guard Steven Forgette. The Polar Plunge required participants to jump into the frigid waters of Liberty Lake and wade out about 20 yards. It is a fundraising effort organized by law enforcement agencies throughout the state benefiting Special Olympics Washington. “I appreciate our student-athletes and staff helping the community, and this is just another great example,” praised EWU athletic director Bill Chaves. “Our commitment to Special Olympics has been well-documented and I can only see it growing in the years ahead.”

Engage | 2013-14  

The Community Engagement Magazine of Eastern Washington University