Ann Tobin: Campus/Community Liaison for the Center for Service-Learning (CSL)

Ann Tobin: Campus/Community Liaison for the Center for Service-Learning (CSL)

Throughout the 2018-19 academic year, we’ll be celebrating the many individuals in the Campus Library and Center for Service-Learning who do so much to contribute to student success and create an inclusive and welcoming experience for all students. This week’s blog features Ann Tobin, our campus/community liaison for the Center for Service-Learning.

Ann creates community connections by engaging IU East students in service for course requirements, work study, career exploration, volunteerism, special projects, tutoring/mentoring, graduate school applications, and personal enrichment. She explains, “It’s all about relationships –those with the community partners and with the IU East students.”

Answering needs of community organizations is a top priority, and many partners contact CSL with a need for service students. Answering the needs of IU East students is also critical, and the experiential learning that comes from service engagement can fulfil their academic requirements, positively impact the students’ perspectives about others, and provide real world experience. Many former service students who are now in graduate school or employment, have said that all of their service work at IU East helped them stand out as an applicant, provide talking points in an interview, and helped them reach their academic or career goals.

As the advisor for the recently-charted Circle K International Club (CKI) at IU East, Ann continues to develop connections between the IU East CKI students and the community sponsors, Kiwanis of Richmond and Golden K. CKI provides service students for Kiwanis projects and  develops their own projects, such as BINGO Night for Riley’s 3 Wishes, which raised $1100.00 last spring. For her work with CKI, Ann received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Richmond Kiwanis Club and 2 Outstanding Advisor Awards from Circle K International and the Indiana District of CKI. Student offficers in the Club have also received awards, along with great community connections and opportunities for leadership.

In addition to helping with many community and IU East programs and projects, the Center for Service-Learning manages the Math Counts! and Indiana Kids tutoring/mentoring programs. Math Counts! grew from the success of the 2015 K-12 Summer Tutoring program on the IU East campus, as the parents/students from summer asked to continue through the school year, and local school personnel requested help with math instruction.

Thanks to a Chancellor’s Innovation Grant, since February 2016, the Math Counts! program has provided free, year-round math tutoring at the IU East campus and at area schools. The grants provide funding to employ highly-skilled students needed for tutoring all levels of math. Beginning Spring 2017, the Stamm Koechlein Family Foundation generously funded Math Counts! for two grant cycles, for 6th-12th grade students.

With the addition of the Indiana Kids program in late Spring 2017, and integrating this mentoring/tutoring program with Math Counts! in Summer 2017,  Ann coordinates an expanding number of tutors, which enables expansion of our services. This includes mentoring, college/career workshops, a STEM workshop, a Hispanic College Night, and the STEM Scouts Program.

In summer 2018, Ann continued to lead and grow this 4th Summer Tutoring Program, with forty-three K-12 students coming to the IUE campus for individual tutoring, and more students at the Richmond Summer School and Boys and Girls Club benefitting from on-site tutoring. Plans for 2018/19 include expanding services further to even more students in the community, and continuing to offer tutoring and program coordinator jobs to the IU East tutors. These jobs work around the tutors’ school schedules, and provide valuable service work experience for careers in teaching or training as well as many community connections.

Are you a student interested in being hired as a tutor, or getting involved in service projects, or discussing placements for service-learning? Are you a community member or IU East employee looking for a high-quality tutoring or mentoring connection for your children? Are you IU East faculty or staff who want to recommend students to be involved in CSL programs? Contact Ann!

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