SOLVE hosts its third annual BU/Community Spring Summit

SOLVE hosts its third annual BU/Community Spring Summit

Spring Summit SOLVE recently invited non-profit and governmental organizations to the third annual BU-Community Spring Summit to learn about how to involve students in volunteer work and other efforts that benefit our neighbors in the region through work with those groups.

A range of options including work study, internships, community service projects, service learning, community-based research and more allow Bloomsburg University to enhance the educational experiences of students. And at the same time, these efforts aid non-profit and governmental groups which are facing unprecedented budgetary pressures coupled with ever-increasing demand for services.

Since its beginnings the Spring Summit has included about 30 different agencies from the region, many of which have attended repeatedly. They have included a range of organizations from the Women’s Center, Inc. to the Columbia County Commissioners, from the McBride Memorial Library to the Boy Scouts of America, and from the Berwick United Way to Angel Food Ministries and AGAPE, Love from Above.

Groups from BU that participated this year included Academic Internships and Community Outreach; Department of Sociology, Social Work & Criminal Justice; Department of Finance and Legal Studies; The Voice; Media Services and BUTV; Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity; as well as the SOLVE Office and its Civic Engagement Center.

Spring Summit The summit began when Richard Ganahl, while working on a project to enhance local non-profit agencies’ public relations capabilities, learned that all of them were interested in working with faculty and students. But most didn’t know how to go about it. He inquired about bringing a group of them to SOLVE while they toured campus, and Jean Downing, director, and Tim Pelton, civic engagement coordinator, suggested creating a gathering in which the “how-to” aspects of all forms of student participation could be profiled.

Ganahl’s projet, originally funded through a grant from the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation, returned some of its investment this year when the foundation’s Kara Seesholtz attended to learn about including student involvement in her work. And she was thanked, as well, for funding the work that led to the creation of the Summit, in the first place. The meeting features presentations from BU personnel and an extra hour for networking and one-on-one interaction with university departments.