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Washburn Annual Report 2007-2008

Page history last edited by rick ellis 12 years, 3 months ago



Annual Report – Programmatic Section


Please complete this template below to share programmatic highlights.  The entire report can be three pages or less.  Please share information and highlights, in a letter-like or reporting format, that addresses the following three categories and provides a synopsis of your Bonner Program this year.


Implementation of Student Development: 


How did you implement the developmental model this year within your co-curricular and service activities? (suggested one page text):

  1. The role of trainings, courses, & meetings 
  2. First Year Trip
  3. Second Year Exchange
  4. Third Year (and beyond) Leadership Roles
  5. Senior Capstone & Presentation of Learning


          This year we decided to continue the twice a month format for our meetings. However, we are using one meeting for the entire group of Bonners and the second meeting we divide the into two groups first year Bonners and second year Bonners. the first year Bonners fcused the second meeting on planning for leadership roles within their service projects, while the second year group used the second meeting each month to refine their leadership responsibilities as well as plan their future roles in the community as they complete the Bonner Leader program.

          Leadership roles for the LinC Scholars/Bonner Leaders do not happen in third and fourth years since we are a two-year Bonner Leader Program. We push our students into leadership roles in their second year. These roles have been developed in a number of areas. For example, the Bonner leaders at Battered Women’s Task Force coordinate the Concealed/Revealed Art Auction each year that raises money to renovate the emergency shelter house, and five Bonner Leaders each year function as site manager and team leaders for our four Literacy Education Action Project teams. This past year four Bonner Leaders organized Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, one organized International Slavery Awareness Week, and two organized the YWCA Week without Violence.  In addition, Bonners took leadership roles in a variety of agencies in town including coordinating training in program evaluation for the United Way, and reorganization of the Topeka Literacy Council (this included re-establishing the organization’s presence in the community and developing and implementing a city-wide training of tutors). Bonners also coordinated the Christmas Adoption Program and Project Topeka on campus.

      Bonner orientation is a two and one-half day event held the first week of school. During orientation students are introduced to the history of both the Bonner Foundation and the Bonner Program at Washburn, service responsibilities, BWBRS, AmeriCorps rules, and team building. We include a half day of service on the first Saturday.  We have not focused on either a first-year service trip or an exchange.  Given the location of Washburn there are not schools in close enough proximity for us to participate in an exchange.  We have instead created off campus service opportunities for the Bonners during school breaks 


Implementation of Community Partnerships: 


Please share a summary of your work with community partners, touching in particular on the following categories (suggested one page text):

  1. Orienting and managing community partnerships (orientation, site visits, meetings, strategic planning)
  2. Partners as co-educators and other unique initiatives (including new academic linkages)
  3. Integration of site-based or issue-oriented teams 


     During the 2007-2008 academic year, members of the BLP at Washburn University engaged in service (long-term and/or short-term) with approximately 65 different non-profit organizations. We have more community partners, but the sites that host Bonner Leaders in any given academic year vary slightly based on the interests of the membership and the current organizational needs. Of these current sites, six are considered to be committed partner sites. These committed partners are Big Brothers Big Sisters, Community Action Head Start, Let’s Help, Salvation Army Early Childhood Center, W. Clement Stone Nature Center, and YWCA Battered Women Task Force. We define committed partners as those organizations that have hosted a Bonner Leader at least three consecutive years (some of those listed are going into their seventh consecutive year with the program); have embraced the mission and vision of the Bonner program and proactively support the developmental model; provide outstanding mentorship to the Bonners at their site; and have engaged in an ongoing, collaborative, working relationship with the Washburn BLP. As a side note, four of these six sites currently employ Bonner Leader alumni, all of whom assist in the mentorship of the Bonners at their site which we believe speaks highly to their commitment to the developmental model and success of the placement process.  In addition to community organizations, several projects have been developed and coordinated by students under the umbrella of the Center for Community Service. These programs are developed, coordinated, and directed by Bonner Leaders under the mentorship of the Center staff. For example, the Literacy Education Action Project (LEAP) pairs college students with pre-school children from low-income households to work on literacy, language, and social skills; Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week involves a week of educational events and activities to raise awareness on campus about these issues; Alternative Winter/Spring Break coordinates groups of college students to go to a different community for one to two weeks of service; and Into the Streets engages the campus community in a day of service with the Topeka community. 

     Up until now, we have been using a developmental model with our community partners whereby we give them the basic information that they need to know about the BLP and AmeriCorps the first time they host a Bonner Leader (expectation and exploration) and then work with them to be able to provide a quality developmental experience for the members. This has had mixed results in how effective it has been.  Therefore, we are considering holding a once a year “get-together” for all current and potential sites to provide information about the program and address questions and concerns the sites may have.  


Campus-wide Culture and Infrastructure: 


Please describe key elements and progress in the development of campus-wide infrastructure and the role of the Bonner Program in enhancing (or being enhanced by) campus-wide culture and participation in service, touching on the following (suggested one page text):

  1. Key relationships and activities involving faculty and academic connections.  In particular, what work was done with relevant coursework, a minor, or other curricular integration.
  2. Key relationships and activities involving other departments or divisions on campus (for example for recruitment, student wellness or retention, financial aid, and so on).
  3. Unique initiatives (such as events or strategic planning) that have enhanced institutionalization of service and civic engagement on campus.


     Currently LinC is the oversight office for CBR activities on campus. This year we had a total of eight new CBR projects incorporated in eight different classes, eight faculty new to CBR and 85 students who actively participated in the CBR projects embedded in their courses. This project required our office to be actively networking with our community partners and faculty.  LinC serves as a centralized hub for community service opportunities as well as a catalyst for new community service initiatives at the university. In this capacity it has been most effective for LinC to be the entity that encourages the development of community based research as a cross-disciplinary approach to incorporating service learning and community service into the curriculum of courses irrespective of major.  

     The existence of the Bonner Leader program at Washburn has had a major impact on the culture of the university. In the past four years the Student Government (WSGA) has included a major service event in the fall clearly inspired by the Bonner Leaders Spring “Into the Streets” event. This Fall the event is being co-sponsored by LinC, WSGA and Admissions as a component of Freshman orientation. This past fall Washburn instituted a new academic requirement for all students seeking a Bachelor’s degree. The new requirement, the Washburn Transformational Experience, has students completing one of four experiences in order to graduate. These include leadership, study abroad, independent scholarly or creative work, and community service. The community service experience is coordinated through LinC and is designed as follows.

     Students who have engaged with faculty members and other students in significant, meaningful community service, and who have been guided to reflect on the power and purpose of these experiences, graduate from the University as citizens who are not resigned to accepting the community as it is but have a vision for how they can help make the community better.  Students participating in the community service transformational experience are required to complete 150 hours of service.  A mentor will guide each student through this WTE.  While engaged in direct service, students will meet with a mentor and other students at least four times per semester to reflect on their experiences.  These meetings will help students to develop a service focus complementing their interests and academic pursuits. 

     As stated above, service has become recognized as an integral part of the academic experience at Washburn University.  In addition, the Bonner Leaders have been responsible for number of campus wide activities. These include the annual Into the Streets day of service held each Spring, the development of the annual Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week, the annual International Slavery Awareness campaign, the continuation of our Literacy Education Action Project, the development of our Student to Student Secondary Education Literacy program, and our Winter and Spring Alternative Breaks.  Bonner Leaders also established Washburn Peace Works, a project dedicated to international service work. This effort has resulted in an ongoing partnership with the Achuapa Farmers Cooperative in Nicaragua. Beginning this past winter and continuing annually, Washburn students will travel to Nicaragua to complete a service project.  This past year thirteen students (10 Bonners) worked in a small community, El Cacoa, alongside the Camposinos digging trenches and laying water pipe to bring running water to homes of the families in the community.  These are the types of projects that will be part of the annual trip. 

            Each Spring LinC holds our Bonner Banquet which recognizes those Bonners completing their term of service while introducing the new class of Bonner Leaders to the University. The banquet is attended by all Bonner Leaders and their guests, our community partners, the President of the University, the Vice President of Academic Affairs, the five Deans, and the Directors of each of the other Transformational Experiences.  Each Bonner completing his/her term of service is recognized and awarded a medallion to be worn at graduation. This year there were 150 people in attendance. 

     Student Activities and Greek Life holds an Awards event recognizing the outstanding students and organization on campus. The SOAR (Student Organization Achievement Recognition) is awarded to outstanding programs, organizations, students, and advisors. Each year Bonner Leader projects have been recognized. This year Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week received the award for its focus on diversity (this event was coordinated by four Bonners),  Elizabeth Hinton and Megan Maes (both Bonner Leaders) each received individual awards for their community service, and Kristine Hart received an award as Advisor of the Year. 

     Upon graduation any student who has completed the requirements of the Bonner Leader Program is awarded the University honor of LinC Scholar/Bonner Leader. This is one of only three honors included on the student’s transcript, included in the graduation program, and announced from the stage as the student receives her/his diploma. The other two are Latin Honors and Departmental Honors.





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