On The Cover

30 Years of
NCAA Sports

Brand New
University debuts fresh look and feel

Giving Back
Service-learning shapes students

On Top Of The World
Barry pride displayed around the globe

Fall 2013, Volume 18

Campus Currents I Spotlight On Sports I Barry Beat I Features


Giving Back

The Mission of Center for Community Service Initiatives

By Travis Reed

Students work to restore an oyster reef on an Alternative Spring Break tripAlternative Spring Break participants in Key West worked with the local homeless community in spring 2013

Alejandro Tobin’s Alternative Spring Break trip to the Dominican Republic was eye-opening. The village had no reliable running water or electricity, and the poverty Tobin saw left a deep mark.

“It makes you realize how ungrateful we still are even if we count our blessings,” he said. Tobin, a biology and pre-med student, who now co-chairs Alternative Spring Break, believes service-learning is an essential part of his Barry education. More than ever, the school is focusing on new ways to emphasize the value of giving back. The Center for Community Service Initiatives (CCSI) serves as the clearinghouse for volunteer involvement between the school and outside partners. CCSI programs range from things like Alternative Spring Break to the Campus Democracy Project, a deliberative dialogue series and the Federal Work Study Community Service Program. Administrators last year approved an “SL” designation for the curriculum which incorporates a service-learning component. Two classes were approved last year, though 25 have a servicelearning component.

Tobin’s experience was so profound, he feels like service-learning should be a graduation requirement. “You learn so much all at once that you are not even aware in the moment,” he said. “It builds character. It creates conscious global citizens and you become that much better of a person because of the experience.” The CCSI was created by a task force in 2010, and began implementation in 2011 after securing a grant. Already, Barry has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the greatest distinction the institution can receive. In the 12-month period reviewed, more than 80 percent of Barry students were involved in some form of community service. In all, CCSI counted more than 26,000 volunteer hours spread over several programs, including health education and assessments for migrant workers and group counseling in impoverished areas involving nursing and social work students, respectively. “Barry University has an enduring commitment to service in and with the community. The work of the CCSI is designed to convey the message that Barry University is a private institution with a public purpose,” Bowen said. “Administrators, staff, faculty, students and alumni, together with our community partners, all have important roles to play in the fulfillment of the civic goals of our University.” Seretse Davis, a sport management major entering his second year with the CCSI as part of a work study program, said his involvement there has made him more confident. It is Davis’ job to help promote events, including his role last year as a liaison between the center and Sinai Plaza. “Usually it takes me awhile to speak up and talk. But since I am meeting new people every day and had to express my thoughts on different inputs, I found myself being more vocal in the classroom. It also helped me become more responsible and better with time management.”

You learn so much all at once that you are not even aware in the moment.”

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