Maya Chappell (BS, Environmental Engineering, December 2020) completed the Peace Corps Prep program at Michigan Tech and was awarded a certificate by the U.S. Peace Corps this fall for her accomplishments. Peace Corps Prep is an official partnership between Michigan Tech and the Peace Corps to prepare undergraduate students for Peace Corps service after graduation. Students in the program focus on courses and hands-on experiences to build intercultural sensitivity and technical skills that can be used for Peace Corps service. Maya focused her technical training on water resources, combining a number of courses in civil and environmental engineering with an International Senior Design project partnering with a community in Ghana and an internship at TTM Technologies. Maya further embraced challenges and sought diverse perspectives as an undergraduate by studying abroad and volunteering in Ghana, where she also took a class in the Twi language. She holds leadership positions in several student organizations and was a recipient of the Community Ambassador scholarship for her work building local community service opportunities for students at Tech. Maya will move to Texas to start a job with 3M after graduation and hopes to one day also join the Peace Corps.
GivePulse is an online platform that connects non-profit agencies, student groups, universities and more to their community. The online portal easily allows organizations to list, find, and create events in the area, as well as measure the impact being made within the community. Students can use GivePulse to find volunteer opportunities, projects and beneficial partnerships.
GivePulse at Tech
Since the start of the fall semester, we have 850 users who have devoted 2,068 hours and 729 impacts to the community. According to GivePulse, this has created a total economic impact of $56,254. There are currently five ongoing opportunities for students to sign up with including working with HuskyFAN. We have 42 affiliated community organizations to reach out to if you have a special interest in volunteering or collaborating on a project.
This year we were able to house the registration and site matching through GivePulse for our Make a Difference Day, National Day of Service event. Make a Difference Day 2020 had 590 volunteers at 71 service locations. Service locations were located from Chassell all the way to Calumet. Student volunteers were able to rake and winterize for local residents, tear out the old carpet for the women’s shelter, and organize the local food pantry. Despite the weather (snow), students still showed up and showed their tenacity.
Other past events included the Red Cross Blood Drive, wood chopping for Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, Adopt-a-Highway clean up, and Keweenaw Day volunteering.
Creating Your User Account
There are two main ways you can log in and create your User Account on GivePulse.
The first way is through Involvement Link.
Log in to Involvement Link
Click on the Service Tab
Service Opportunities will be published from GivePulse on Involvement Link. You will be able to search by date, causes, and type. Click on the opportunity you are interested in registering for and you will be brought to the GivePulse Database. First-time users will be prompted to set up their user account.
The second way to create your account is by going to GivePulse on your web browser.
Click Log in via MTU
Sign in with your Michigan Tech ISO and password.
Registering For Volunteer Opportunities
Once your user account is set up with GivePulse, you can start registering for events/volunteering opportunities.
Find the opportunity you would like to volunteer for and click the green Register button. Depending on the opportunity you may need to answer different registration questions. You will receive an email once you have completed registering.
Impact is the term used to describe all the potential ways you will be engaging with the community. An impact can be funds donated, funds raised, goods donated, hours trained, or volunteer hours served.
Whether you have served your community at an event you found through GivePulse at Michigan Tech or you volunteered on your own, you can track your impacts.
Log in to your GivePulse Account and click the green Add Impact button. This is your opportunity to reflect and track on your community engagement experience.
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.
“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.
B.A.S.I.C., also known as Building Adult Skills in Computing, is a program run at Michigan Tech that helps community members in the area learn more about computers, tablets, phones, etc.
Leatrice Fullerton is the Program Manager of Advocacy and Community Education at Disability Network Southwest Michigan. Fullerton sat down with one of the GCEC committee members to discuss her experiences and work.
Joan Chadde, the Director for the Center Science and Environmental Outreach, sits down and talks with a member of the GCEC committee to discuss her work in the area.
Nurse Practitioner Robin Meneguzzo and Michigan Tech Professor Chris Morgan have been working together to develop online health resources for the Houghton, Michigan area.
Thomas Oommen is a professor in the geological and mining Engineering and Sciences Department and the director of the computational science and engineering PhD program here at Michigan Technological University. He is actively involved in undergraduate and graduate education, research, and service. He teaches the engineering geology course at Michigan Tech, has participated in over 8 million dollars in research grants and published over 100 peer reviewed publications. His research focuses on utilizing remotely sensed sensor data, remotely sensed data, data machine learning algorithms, and geological knowledge to solve real world problems that affect human health and safety. Beyond Michigan Tech he serves as the editorial board member of the GSA and AEG joint publication environmental and engineering geoscience. He’s vice chair of the ASCE Geo-Institute engineering geology and site characterization committee and a member of AEG technical committee on the landslides and a member of the AGU natural hazards Award Committee. He is also an ABET program evaluator for the geological engineering and geology programs.
Val Gagnon is the Director of the University-Indigenous Community Partnerships at the Great Lakes Research Center as well as a Research Assistant Professor in the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. Splitting her time between Michigan Tech and the Great Lakes Research Center, Val has done a lot of work for indigenous people in the Keweenaw Peninsula.
Dr. Caryn L. Heldt is the Director of the Health Research Institute, Covid lab technical director, the James and Lorna Mac chair in Bioengineering, and Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Michigan Technological University. She received her bachelor’s of science in chemistry and chemical engineering for Michigan Tech in 2001. She worked for two years at BASF corporation before commencing her PhD studies. Upon receiving her PhD in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University in 2008 under the guidance of Dr. Reuben Carbonell, she joined Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for her two year postdoctoral training under the guidance of Dr. George’s Belfort. In 2015 Dr. Heldt was was awarded a National Science Foundation Career Award to study virus surface chemistry for research. Her lab is focused on the purification removal and activation and detection of viruses and gene therapy vectors.