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Volume 1, Issue 2

Florida Gulf Coast University Volume 1, Issue 2 Spring 2011

From the Director’s Desk Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,

Wow! It was a busy fall semester for the Office of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement. We were learning, teaching, serving, collecting, planning, promoting and recording.

FGCU community to serve our Southwest Florida community! “Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve, and everybody can serve because everybody has his or her own special talents.” MLK

Take a moment to read through our Spring 2011 Newsletter to find out more about what we have Happy serving, been doing and see which faculty members, students, and community agencies are being featured in this issue for their commitment to Rhea of Inspiration service. Don‟t miss the pictures of “I am only one, service-learning in action – look But still I am one. closely and you might even see a I cannot do everything, picture of me in a HAIRNET! Be But still I can do something; sure to read our Community EnAnd because I cannot do everything gagement Day announcement and I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.“ service-learning tips too. Finally, note the upcoming service events, so we can work together as the Edward Everett Hale

Jessica J. Rhea

Florida Campus Compact 2010 Awards Gala

Congratulations Jessica Rhea!

I was honored to represent Florida Gulf Coast University as the recipient of the 2010 Service-Learning Faculty Award at Florida Campus Compact‟s 2010 Awards Gala in Melbourne, Florida last fall. This award recognizes and honors a faculty member in each of the three higher education sectors in Florida for contributing to the integration of service-learning into the curriculum. This Gala was a featured event at the annual Community Service Director‟s Retreat – a professional development and planning conference for faculty and administrators from member campuses responsible for coordinating community service and engagement activities. At the retreat, I was able to attend numerous breakout sessions as well as facilitate a session entitled Course-Based Service-Learning: Making It Work In Your Classroom.

Inside this issue: Director’s Desk FLCC Awards Gala

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Pajama Program


Extreme S-L Haiti Relief

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Picture This: Eagles in Action!


Faculty Spotlight


Language for Lunch Job Well Done

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Who’s Who Around the Office


Team SL Faculty Corner A Delicate Line Contact Information

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Ongoing Service –Learning Opportunities Be a “Big”! Big Brothers Big Sisters in Collier County is offering service-learning hours. Please contact Roberto Briceno at 239-281-4414. Become A Mentor! Take Stock in Children currently needs mentors for Caloosa Middle, Dunbar, East Lee County, Fort Myers, Ida Baker & Lehigh Senior High Schools. Please call 239-337-0433 for information. Meet wonderful people! Cape Coral Kidney Thrift Store is seeking volunteers. No experience necessary. Training provided. Shifts are 3 ½ to 4 hours. Volunteer in am or pm. For details call Sharon at 239-4588242.

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Agency Profile Best Bedtime By Nancy Eckert

“Come on in, have a seat,” says Lizzie Golumbic as she bounds from the Story: The Pajama Program front office of the dental practice to warmly greet us in the lobby. “Our patients know to bring pajamas when they come for their appointment.” Over on the wall hang various framed degrees and licenses. This doesn‟t look like your typical non-profit organization. Behind the beautifully etched glass door are several examining rooms for dentistry and another room that houses neatly organized pajamas for children up to age 17.

Lizzie Golumbic sorting out donated pajamas.

“I didn‟t want to come here to Florida, but my husband (Dr. Burt Golumbic) called me one day and said to meet him at the airport. One week later I packed up my townhome and moved down. I didn‟t know how to offer help in this community and then I came across an article in O Magazine about a lady who stopped by a New York City shelter to deliver pajamas, and a young girl asked her, „What are those?‟ The little girl slept in her street clothes. Genevieve Pitturo was the donor and decided to take it one step further and start the Pajama Program so that children can feel warm and cozy at night while enjoying a bedtime story, just like she did as a child.

Lizzie decided she wanted to help and collected a box full of pajamas. At first she thought that she‟d done enough, until she phoned Genevieve Pitturo, the woman who‟d started the Pajama Program in NYC. Genevieve suggested she start her own chapter to have all the pajamas stay local in her community. Seven years later, Lizzie is busy running her own Southwest Florida Chapter of the Pajama Program. Going to the dentist is really fun and, as we found out, Dr. Golumbic loves to volunteer at the shelters and read a story to the youngsters as they sit in his lap. Lizzie isn‟t offended at all when a little tyke comes up and says, “It‟s not that we don‟t like you, but your lap is too small.”

FGCU Hosted a Pajama and Book Drive to Benefit SWFL Chapter of the Pajama Program October 19-23 for Make a Difference Day! Cute as a Button Donors received this awesome keepsake button.

Participation Comes in All Sizes! Little ones

from the Family Resource Center showed up in their jammies to donate and promote the Pajama and Book Drive.

Pajama Jam! Scott Kelly and members of the FGCU Music Maniacs, “Pajama-Jammed” and wore pj‟s every day of the five day event from October 19 thru 23.

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FGCU Supports Make a Difference Day! Jo Anna Bradshaw receives a button from Lisa Paige and listens to Lizzie Golumbic explain how she became involved in the Pajama Program seven years ago.

l to r: Lisa Paige, Jo Anna Bradshaw, Dr. Burt Golumbic, Lizzie Golumbic

Go Team S-L! Team S-L (Team Service-Learning) members sort the books and pajamas according to size and age group.

Stuff a Truck! The bed of this truck was loaded with bins of over 200 donated pajamas and books. Thanks to everyone who helped make the national Make a Difference Day successful! Special Thanks to College of Arts & Sciences for the loan of their vehicle!

There’s More… We‟re now an official drop off location! Lizzie Golumbic was so impressed by our efforts that she gave Service-Learning a collection bin. And look in the bin! We‟re STILL receiving jammies! ( Want to donate??? It‟s not too late. Come see us! We‟re on the 4 th floor of the library: follow the signs.

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Extreme Service-Learning S‟ak Pase (What‟s Up)

the group to present to the sponsoring organization‟s board.

“Imagine how shocked people were when I turned down Labor Day weekend parties to instead volunteer for a medical mission trip to Haiti! No parties in Haiti. No electricity, phones or warm water either. Just insects, mud, rubble, and lots of sick people. Was I crazy? Perhaps, because there are easier volunteer opportunities that don‟t require typhoid vaccines or spending over $500 of your own money for travel expenses. For me, however, volunteering in Haiti wasn‟t just a way to earn service-learning hours for graduation. It was an opportunity to explore “disaster relief” nursing and positively impact people‟s lives and health. While in Haiti, I helped the medical team care for 521 patients in a mountain top school accessible only by foot. At first I figured I‟d

I am excited and very pleased to have contributed to the mission in so many different ways. Someday I‟ll party on Labor Day weekend, but for 2011, I‟ll be back in Haiti.” Michael G. Danis Class of 2014 Major: Nursing only be used for my strength. Many of the nurses were older and couldn‟t lift the 50 pound suitcases filled with medical supplies, much less tote them up the mountain. My role quickly expanded though. High school anatomy and physiology labs had prepared me for the real thing! I took over 200 sets of vital signs. My sign language skills even allowed me to communicate with a deaf child when no other member of the team could.

I also helped set up the pharmacy. One afternoon we cared for the elderly who could not climb the mountain. We set up on a concrete front porch next to the farm. I took turns taking vital signs and chasing chickens off the porch. Does volunteering get more extreme than that? Every evening the team would debrief and I would take the minutes. After returning home, I prepared a mission summary report for

Are you a faculty member looking for a community partner? Or a student looking to work with an agency? Visit the Service-Learning Website for ideas:

Haiti Relief Effort: Feed My Starving Children “On behalf of the Office of Community Outreach, I would like to thank each of you for making sure the meal packing event was a success. The role everyone played, both large and small, made a major impact.

Our goal was to have 500 volunteers and pack 100,000 meals. Thanks to your support and hard work, the support of our FGCU family, and the support of the surrounding communities, we had 472 volunteers and packed 107,136 meals. I was informed that this will feed 294 children for an entire year. Again, thank you.” “Gratitude takes three forms: a feeling in the heart, an expression in words, and a giving in return.” Isaac Brundage Director of Community Outreach 239-590-1034 Mayra filled bags at a rice station during the Meal Pack.

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Angelie Abreu (left) won a $25 FGCU Bookstore gift card and Erica Renisoff (right) won a $25 Starbucks gift card. All they did was “like” us on Facebook!

Do you have pictures from a service-learning event? Share them with us and they may wind up in the On the Wing Newsletter. Email them to

Lindsay Scott (top) and Katie Broomfield (below) helped out at the LARC Halloween Party.

Jessica Rhea and FGCU basketball player Christophe Varidel packed food for Feed My Starving Children.

DJ Grube lent a hand during the Kids Against Hunger Meal Pack. Team S-L Planted a Maple Tree during the event.

Nancy Eckert and FGCU students worked hard during the event.

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Spotlight on Dr. Patricia Fay Mmmmmmm…I‟m thinking about the tasty soup that I devoured at FGCU‟s Annual Pottery Sale and Empty Bowls Soup Lunch event on December 3rd. These two events have been coupled together for the last four years at FGCU, although it‟s the 10th year for the Pottery Sale. Both events draw pottery enthusiasts, holiday gift buyers, and community supporters. The Pottery Sale event provides visitors with an opportunity to purchase beautiful, functional handmade pottery while also benefitting the United Arts Council of Collier County‟s art education programs in Immokalee. The Empty Bowls fundraiser works as follows: potters and FGCU Ceramic students make bowls, area restaurants donate soup and bread, and visitors pick out a bowl and fill it with the soup of their choice for a $15 donation. After enjoying the “soup kitchen” style meal, the bowl is taken home as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the community and the world. FGCU‟s Empty Bowls event donates 100% of its proceeds to partner organization Interfaith Caregivers of South Lee, Inc. in Estero. The money raised at the 2009 Empty Bowls event raised $3,600, which helped keep Interfaith Caregiver‟s food pantry stocked for 6 straight months.

By: Jessica J. Rhea

Art, Culture and Society, and Senior Capstone for Art Majors. Tricia includes service -learning projects, such as Empty Bowls, in many of these courses on campus and has also begun teaching study abroad courses with a service-learning component as well. In 2008, Tricia and a group of FGCU students traveled to Nicaragua and worked with the Potters for Peace Organization. Students collaborated with Nicaraguan potters on projects and exchanged ceramic tips with each other. Tricia designs servicelearning projects that are reciprocal, a key component to effective service-learning. As stated in the National and Community Service Act of 1990, “both the server and those being served are teaching and learning during the interaction.” In 2010, Tricia and Dr. Win Everham brought a group of students to St. Lucia to learn and serve with a focus on cultural and environmental studies. (You can view highlights of their study abroad trip on St. Lucia Study Abroad 2010.) When asked about her reasoning for integrating servicelearning into her courses and study abroad trips, she stated “The best „real learning‟ happens when the service fits with the discipline and makes sense.” She then shared this simple formula: “Figure out a way to make your discipline work for yourself and others.” The Office of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement applaud Tricia Fay for her commitment to service-learning and for another successful Pottery Sale and Empty Bowls Event. Patricia J. Fay Associate Professor of Art (239)590-7229

The person responsible for bringing these amazing events to FGCU is our very own Patricia Fay, Associate Professor in FGCU‟s Art Department. Tricia, who double majored in Art and History at the College of William and Mary, and went on to earn her MFA in Ceramics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, came to FGCU in August of 2000. She is well known for teaching Ceramics, Caribbean

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Language for Lunch: Served Fridays Indili bwino! Muli bwanji! If you‟re not familiar with the African language Chichewa, the words above are only a string of unintelligible sounds. Imagine what it would be like to live and work in a place in which everyone speaks a foreign language. Forget holding a conversation about your favorite movie director, you need to get the basics down: In-dee-lee bwee-no. (I’m fine.) Moolee bwahn-gee? (How are you?) At FGCU, we have employees working hard to get the basics down in a language the rest of us take for granted: English. Many of our groundskeepers and custodial workers only speak Spanish, and, not surprisingly, they would love to improve their communication skills.

lish conversation. Each Friday, workers give up their lunch period and come to the Library to meet FGCU students and staff for conversation and instruction. In the best of situations, tutors work one-on-one with tutees for an entire semester, developing comfortable, non-threatening relationships and maximizing the number of minutes English is practiced. Experience teaching or tutoring English isn‟t necessary. Some skills in Spanish are helpful. If you‟re interested in bringing meaningful change to a person, or just want meaningful conversation, please email Karyn Everham at Zikomo! (Thank you!)

In response to this need, FGCU offers an informal class on the basics of Eng-

Job Well Done! Josh Youakim served as an intern in the EaglesConnect Service-Learning office during Fall semester 2010. He began at FGCU in 2004 and graduated in December with a degree in Communication and History, as well as a minor in Interdisciplinary Studies. He was also a TA for a number of Foundations of Civic Engagement classes. His post-graduation plans include a possible enlistment in the Peace Corps, and later, graduate studies. Ever since arriving in the Ft. Myers area, Josh has been active in the community. Among other things, he helped with numerous beach and trail cleanups, organized teams for "Relay for Life" and spent considerable time working with youth athletic organizations in Naples and the San Carlos Park area. He says, “Civic engagement requires us to be aware of our communities and their needs, and we should be willing to be active in addressing those needs.”

He is a firm believer in the values of service and thinks that with a positive attitude and an open mind, FGCU students will have some incredible (not to mention fun) experiences while engaging in service-learning. We wish Josh well as he spreads his wings and soars into the larger community outside of FGCU.

Service-learning Tip - Are you job hunting? Applying to a graduate program? Be sure to include your service-learning experience on your résumé and your grad school application!!

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Who’s Who Around the Office My name is Vanessa Delgado. I am a senior at FGCU, graduating with a bachelors in communications and a concentration in public relations. I‟ve been involved in service projects before, but I never thought I could lead one or start my own. It seemed that certain kids – other kids -- were born to lead. In January 2011, I was presented with the opportunity to be an intern for Jessica Rhea. Working with Jessica and the inspiring team at the Service Learning office, I have had the opportunity to create relationships with people who have done incredible things serving the community. Through my internship, I have been given the opportunity to lead FGCU‟s participation in the 2011 March for Babies for the March of Dimes. I was hesitant at first, but I told myself that even our most noted historic figures, such as Rosa Parks, started their involvement in modest ways and had as many failures as successes. I learned that in order for me to make a difference I must follow my convictions, act despite my doubts and speak even at the risk of making mistakes. I knew interning with Jessica Rhea would be an incredible opportunity, but I never knew the impact it would have on my life in such a short period of time.

Contact Vanessa if you are interested in helping with the planning and promoting of the March of Dimes March for the Babies walk on April 30, 2011

My name is Karla Dias. I am an international student from Brazil pursuing a Civil and Environmental Engineering degree. I also work part-time in the Office of Service-learning as a student assistant where I get to interact with FGCU students and nonprofit organizations. Some of you may think that my opinion of required servicelearning may be biased because I work there, but my positive attitude about service to our community has followed me my whole life. I believe that civic engagement, volunteering, service -learning or whatever you want to call it is a major component for the development of a successful community, society, nation or individual. I see service-learning as an opportunity to experience the “real world”. Aren‟t you tired of hearing your professor talk about the real world in class, and how we students need to know how the real world works? There you go, we can use service-learning as the initial step to discover this world that we hear so much about. I also think of service-learning as a practical application of the skills we are learning in school. So we can always do our service-learning at non -profit organizations that somehow are connected to our fields of study. We must see service-learning as an opportunity to make connections. Service-learning can serve as an appetizer to give us a taste of how our career path can be, a way to see if this is exactly what we want and expect from our careers. And to add an even deeper perspective, through service-learning we gain a valuable investment in our future. When I was in primary school there was no talk of volunteer work in Brazil. I did not have the opportunity to make a difference in somebody‟s life or in my community. My country has the natural resources and strong work ethic to become a leading nation. What Brazil is missing is America‟s sense of community and union. Service-learning builds community, a love your neighbor, and a “one for all and all for one” type of philosophy. I feel really good when I can help others, when I know I can make a difference! So students, while service-learning is a great part of our educational requirement, I am sure it can be and will be one of the best parts of our school experience. As you all should know by now, we all depend on each other, and together we are responsible for the well-being of our society. Let‟s revive the spirit that lies within us and build a better world.

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Calling ALL Eagles!!! Students, Faculty, and Staff: Come join the best organization on campus:

Team S-L! Connect with each other! Connect with the community!

Congratulations Kelsey Wilkinson! She earned her Team S-L Tshirt. When is it your turn?

Complete service projects together! For information or to join, contact Jessica Rhea at or call 590-7016.

Catch the spirit! FACULTY CORNER Attention all Faculty:

Jessica Rhea

Did you know that you can “rent” our director, Jessica Rhea, to come and speak to your class about service-learning? She can tailor her presentation to connect to your course content, share ways to learn about ongoing and upcoming service opportunities, review policies and procedures, and answer the most frequently asked question: “Why do we have to do service-learning here at FGCU?” Contact her directly at to schedule a 15-30 minute class presentation.

A Delicate Line Here we are, the spring 2011 issue of On the Wing, and I can admit that it has been a long arduous endeavor for me. Like industrious bees, the fabulous service-learning staff and I assisted faculty and students with fall semester service projects, dealt with graduation deadlines and attended numerous spring orientations. We have shuffled in a new year, planned and attended service events, all the while pulling together articles, pictures and ideas for this issue. When everything landed on my desk, I found myself bogged down, almost unable to move forward.

I knew I should ask for assistance from my willing cohorts but I didn‟t, I couldn‟t; I was embarrassed for some reason, as if asking was somehow a failing on my part. It was in those moments that I learned a valuable lesson: just how hard it is to ask for help. For an admittedly proud person, this is a difficult thing to do. Even for something as simple as putting together a collaborative labor of love. As lessons go, it brought home the realization that asking others for help is not easy. Not to mention how much harder it is to accept that help. This is something for us all to bear in mind when

offering our assistance, be it through service-learning, volunteering or community activism. There is a delicate line to walk between seeing a need, waiting for a request for help and stepping up to offer aid. Yet the rewards for everyone are immeasurable. Thanks Jessica, Nancy, Karyn, Karla and Vanessa for all your help. Together, On the Wing continues to soar. Lisa Paige Service-Learning 239-590-7015

Florida Gulf Coast University

What is ServiceLearning?

Office of Service-Learning Center for Civic Engagement 10501 FGCU Boulevard South Fort Myers, Florida 33965-6565 Phone: 239-590-7015


“Service-learning experiences put abstract classroom concepts into concrete form and provide meaningful opportunities to test and refine theories while helping to meet basic community needs.” (Source: The National and Community Service Act of 1990)

We’re on Facebook!

Got a Story for this Newsletter? For submission guidelines for stories, photos, and ideas email Lisa Paige:

Ongoing Service–Learning Opportunities (continued from page 1)

Have fun! The YMCA has multiple opportunities. Help coach basketball, soccer, flag football. Or assist with events and children‟s activities. Contact Lisa Weaver at Get Colloquium hours at Rookery Bay nature store weekdays and/or Saturdays. Also need Touch Tank volunteer at 2pm on Saturdays. Contact Donna Young at or call 239-417-6310 x412. Like fundraising and event planning? Have experience or are motivated and enjoy taking on projects? Help the staff at Senior Friendship Centers. Contact Cathy Wielgolinski at 239275-1881 x202. The Uncommon Friends Foundation seeks students to become docents at the Burroughs Home. Call Arlene Roth at 239-337-9505.

Look for additional service-learning opportunities:

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~~~~~ On our online Calendar of Events ~~~~~

Beat the rush!

On our service-learning database

If you are graduating Spring 2011 have your signed and completed forms submitted by or before April 1, 2011. Don‟t forget your Agreement & Verification Form. Print it out, before you head on out!

If you are graduating Summer 2011 have your signed and completed forms submitted by or before June 24, 2011.

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On the Wing  

In case you haven’t already guessed EaglesConnect is the nickname of the service-learning program and as the name implies, the Eagles (that’...