Month: November 2020

Darnishia Slade appointed to Michigan Community Service Commission

Darnishia L. Slade has been appointed to a three-year term with the Michigan Community Service Commission, representing fellow experts in the delivery of human, educational, environmental, or public safety services to communities and individuals.

The Michigan Community Service Commission strives to build a culture of service by providing vision and resources to strengthen communities through volunteerism. The Commission develops a three-year comprehensive national and community service plan for the state that shall be updated annually, oversees and submits the state’s applications to the Corporation for National and Community Service and other public and private funding sources, establishes policies and procedures for the use of federal funds, and develops initiatives to promote community service in coordination with existing programs.

Dar Slade

“I am honored to receive this appointment from Governor Whitmer!” said Slade. “I am ready to roll my sleeves up and do the work of continuing to make Michigan one of the nation’s leading state service commissions and a model state for volunteerism. I believe that through volunteerism lives are enriched, cultural understanding is exchanged, and lasting partnerships are established.”

Lorelle Meadows, dean of the Pavlis Honors College, says “Dar is an excellent individual to serve the State of Michigan in this way.  She has the depth of knowledge, experience, and passion to make an impact on community service outcomes so important to our state at this time.”

Slade is an instructor, advisor, and the manager of global engagement programs for Pavlis Honors College. She is a member of the IDEAhub Leadership Team and an organization advisor for the Society of Intellectual Sisters and Canterbury House.


Meet Lexi Steve…

A woman sits on a stone wall overlooking a Spanish town.
Always ready for the next experience, Lexi also spent a term studying abroad in Spain.

By Dean Lahti

The Pavlis Honors College fosters and promotes our future leaders – Lexi Steve serves as an excellent example for the program.

Steve, a fifth-year mechanical engineering student, joined the Pavlis Honors College’s Honors Pathway Program during her second year at Michigan Tech. Steve said that she applied because of the travel experiences and leadership opportunities that the program had to offer.

Leadership is nothing new to Lexi. Steve received an Undergraduate Research Internship Program (URIP) award as well as a scholarship from the Dean of Students. She used her undergraduate research internship to establish a program in hydroponic research. As a member of the Green Campus Enterprise, Steve is involved in designing and building a tiny house that focuses on sustainable living in Bete Grise.

An indoor hydroponic garden
A hydroponic garden in Michigan Tech’s Sustainability Demonstration House, one of Lexi’s environmentally focused endeavors.

She said that her motivation for her endeavors at Michigan Tech comes organically. “Hardly any of these were planned,” Steve said. “I’m a bit of a social butterfly, so it’s easy for me to hear and learn about a lot of events and organizations MTU and Pavlis have to offer.” 

A group of elementary school-aged children in Peru, standing next to planters made of two liter soda bottles.
Working on a vertical gardening system with students in Peru

For her immersion experience through the Pavlis Honors College, Steve was part of a group that went to Peru. During her time in the country, she and her teammate used their training in design thinking to help the community refocus on how to communicate and support each other to the fullest. One of the projects that came out of that was a vertical gardening system that utilized old soda bottles filled with dirt and flowers at a local school mentoring program. It gave the kids something to take care of and added a bit of color to the area they were living.

She said that her volunteer experience in Peru was unique. “We formed a community there and it made me passionate about what Pavlis had to offer.”

These unique experiences through the Pavlis Honors College have allowed Steve to contribute to local and global communities. She is continuing her sustainability efforts at Michigan Tech through starting an organization called Students for Sustainability. The group has established a mini-composting project in partnership with Apple Acre Farms. This project focuses on community improvement through reducing food waste. 

A group completes an obstacle course
From classes like HON 2150 (pictured here), to exploring the world, Pavlis will help you find and build your community.

With graduation in the near future, Steve said that the networking opportunities that she has experienced through the Pavlis Honors College have prepared her for the future. “The staff at Pavlis is there to support students,” she said. “They give you the tools that you need for success.”

Steve recommends the Honors Pathway Program because it “is a great space to open up your mind and take advantage of the experiences that the program offers.”

For more information about the Honors Pathway Program, visit www.mtu.edu/honors/pathway


This piece is part of our student profile series by Dean Lahti, guest writer and current Michigan Tech student.