GLISTEN (the Great Lakes Innovative Stewardship through Education Network)
In December, 2009 The University of Akron was awarded $45,000 for the GLISTEN project.
“Funded by Learn and Serve America Higher Education program, GLISTEN is an initiative that will harness the expertise and innovation of college faculty and undergraduate students in 8 states to promote stewardship of the Great Lakes through service-learning projects. Projects will be incorporated into biology, geology, and environmental studies classes, exposing students to issues that will enhance their learning and foster civic engagement. As an added benefit of this project, students will explore career paths into STEM fields that contribute to the sustainability of the Northeast Ohio region through stewardship of the Lake Erie ecosystem.”
The Northeast Ohio GLISTEN Collaborative Cluster, lead by The University of Akron, includes Case Western Reserve University, Cuyahoga Community College, Hiram College, Oberlin College, and Baldwin-Wallace College. University of Akron students, under the guidance of Dr. Greg Smith, will work with experts from the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to address issues impacting Lake Erie watersheds.
Pay It Forward: Strengthening Communities through Student-Led Philanthropy
In June, 2010 The University of Akron was awarded $10,500 for the Pay it Forward project.
Initially funded by a grant through Ohio Campus Compact, “The Pay it Forward grant will help develop a new generation of philanthropists through a course-based service-learning environment by engaging college students in hands on philanthropy, grant-making, and volunteer service while providing community nonprofits with much needed assistance in the current deflated economic environment.”
Students identify community needs and research the nonprofit sector in an effort to select organizations meeting the identified community need (i.e. children and youth programs; neighborhood development and revitalization; and hunger, homelessness, and health issues). Students complete a service-project with the organizations. While working with the nonprofits, students get to know the specific needs of the organization. At the end of the semester, the students advocate to a panel of judges from the community on behalf of their organizations. Judges then choose which organization will receive the Pay it Forward grant.
The Pay it Forward Project continues to thrive today through a grant provided by the United Way of Summit County.
For more information on the Pay it Forward grant, click here.