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Grant takes Morrisville State College students outside of classroom

MORRISVILLE, NY—A Learn and Serve initiative is giving Morrisville State College Collegiate Science Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) students an education outside of the classroom.

They’re reaching into the community, hosting service projects and initiatives thanks to a $25,000 Learn and Serve Higher Education Grant recently given to the college’s CSTEP program by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The grant was supplemented with additional money from CSTEP and the Sheila Johnson Institute.

The goal of the initiative is to promote health and wellness while engaging students in service learning.

“Our message is to find ways to reach out to build the community,” Cydney Johnson, assistant professor of business, said. “We’re instilling the effort to teach volunteerism in young people.”

“This is a way for students to make meaningful contributions to their community while building their academic and civic skills,” Darshini Roopnarine, CSTEP director, said.

So far, students have conducted health prevention service projects for the community, including a flu clinic and blood drive.

Students in associate professor Anne Englot’s architectural studies and design classes have their hands in a different project. They’re among those volunteering with the Madison County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity, repairing and renovating a house in Chittenango, N.Y.

More is planned throughout the month.

“Students really rose to the occasion,” Johnson said. Her Analytical Marketing class, although they are not CSTEP students, pitched in to help with the project too, creating a marketing plan and producing promotional materials to support the overall initiative.

Forming teams, students were responsible for interviewing clients, inviting them into the classroom and building a timeline and marketing plan for each project.

Reaching out to a different part of the community are students in associate professor Ken Patterson’s computer information technology classes. They are helping to build a website for Winds of Agape, a non-profit family in crisis program which provides advocacy services and distributes food to those in need.

On Friday, Oct. 22 at 1 p.m., automotive faculty and students will also be getting in on the action, providing free car repairs to community members chosen through the Community Action Program (CAP).

Other projects include a glucose-screening and a documentary on constitutional rights created by criminal justice students.

Morrisville State College, one of the most technologically advanced colleges in the nation for its ThinkPad University program and wireless technology initiative, offers more than 80 bachelor and associate degrees and options.

The Morrisville State College Norwich Campus offers associate degree programs in accounting, business, computer systems technology, office administration, liberal arts transfer, nursing, early childhood, criminal justice and human services to south central New York residents and employers. Students may also apply coursework to other associate or bachelor degrees at the Morrisville campus.