[-] 2015 - 2016 service-learning scholarships
Fall 2015 – Choctaw County 4-H Students Invest in Community Health
Instructor: Mr. Darrell Banks
Choctaw County Extension agent Darrell Banks created an opportunity to teach 4-H members about gardening, making healthier food choices, selling fresh vegetables at the local farmer’s market, and giving back to their communities. The Choctaw County 4-H project was divided into two distinct phases. During phase one, the students worked to build six raised-bed gardens. A variety of seasonal vegetables were planted after bed construction was complete. The summer garden consisted of tomatoes, peppers, watermelons, and pumpkins, and the fall garden consisted of radishes, greens, and carrots. These vegetables were given to the 4-H cooking clubs for consumption and preservation through canning. Phase two of the project involved community outreach. This phase introduced the 4-H members to serving their community in two specific ways. Some of the vegetables grown in the gardens were given to needy families in Choctaw County through a local food pantry. This enabled the 4-H students to directly engage their community. Another portion of vegetables was taken and sold at a local farmers market. The funds from the sale were taken and used to purchase seeds for next year’s planting. The 4-H members will continue planting vegetables every year and maintaining the six newly constructed beds throughout the growing season under the supervision of Mr. Banks and other adult 4-H volunteers.
Spring 2016 – 4-H students connect with local government
Instructor: Ms. Regina Boykins
Ms. Regina Boykins, Extension agent in Humpheys County, wanted her 4-H youth to learn more about the importance of community involvement. She used her mini-grant funds to implement MSU Extension’s Keys to the Community program. The goal of the program is for students to connect with local government officials to learn the importance of civic duty. Students visited the local courthouse, the town museum, and other attractions to speak with officials. They also organized an anti-litter campaign for Humphreys County as well as worked in the Belzoni Community Garden. At the conclusion of the program, students shared their new knowledge with the community at a graduation ceremony.
Spring 2016 – ADS 4221 - Capstone Course
Instructor: Dr. Brandi Karisch and Ms. Jessica Graves
Academic Department: Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences
Ms. Jessica Graves and Dr. Brandi Karisch’s Animal and Dairy Science students were tasked with finding a way to show local kindergartners about the realities of working with animals. The Afternoon on the Farm project is part of the ADS 4221 capstone course. Groups of MSU students created stations where the kindergarten students could see and learn about working with sheep, cows, and pigs. The event was designed to challenge MSU students to apply knowledge they had learned during their academic careers into information that a kindergartner could understand. For example, they helped the children use balloons, shaving cream and tongue depressors to simulate sheep shearing. Both Ms. Graves and Dr. Karisch feel that the topic of farm animals is of particular importance as children are increasingly out of touch with where their food comes from. Their ADS students provided a way for local children to interact with livestock through unique hands-on activities.
Spring 2016 – TKB 4583 – Graphics and Web Design
Instructor: Dr. Sang Joon Lee
Academic Department: Department of Instructional Systems and Workforce Development
Dr. Sang Joon Lee’s TKB 4583: Graphics and Web Design class partnered with United Way of North Central Mississippi (UWNCMS) to address their organization’s need for a new website. The United Way of North Central Mississippi, established in 1979, is an organization comprised of community volunteers from a variety of areas that work to positively impact their communities on a daily basis. They build relationships with other public agencies and work together to make a positive impact and change the lives of community members by providing a wide variety of programs and services. The UWNCMS is accountable to the public for the distribution of their donated funds. They enable people that have donated to decide where their money goes to best benefit their community. The class met with UWNCMS’s Executive Director Candy Crecink and members of the Communications Committee to hear their visions for the new website. UWNCMS’s website had not been updated in a while and their leadership felt a re-design was essential for potential clients and donors. The students divided into groups and worked on designs for a new website for the organization. At the end of the end of the semester, the class presented their proposals to the United Way team who decided which plan they would implement.