The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education have announced the students selected for Carter Academic Service Entrepreneur (CASE) grant awards through the Oklahoma Campus Compact program. The awards recognize the best volunteer work of college students, faculty and staff as they partner with community groups.
The recipients of the CASE awards are Sarah Smith, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College; Cory Steward, Oklahoma State University; and Collins Uzuegbu and Meagan Decher, Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Three community groups will receive $1,000 each to fund the students’ proposals.
“The State Regents commend these students for such innovative proposals,” said Chancellor Glen D. Johnson. “By fostering academic-service learning, our students will make a difference in the lives of others by consistently giving back to their communities.”
Smith’s proposal identified the need for updated blood pressure and pulse vital sign machines for the Ottawa County Community Clinic. Because the current equipment is very old, community volunteers do not have the medical background and training to take vital signs such as blood pressure and pulse. Modern state-of-the-art equipment will allow more efficient use of volunteer time, translating into an increase in the number of patients seen, with less patient waiting time. This development will also allow for more efficient use of the medical professionals’ time, with better care for the community.
In collaboration with the Central Oklahoma Community Action Agency, Steward will work to increase the quantity of food and extend the length of time that the regional food bank can distribute food to individuals and families in the area. Working with local businesses and the university community, Steward will spread awareness and work for more efficient food collection methods. The grant will be used primarily for food purchases and some advertising.
Uzuegbu and Decher’s proposal will provide age- and developmentally appropriate toys and fun activities to pediatric patients in the Weatherford Regional Hospital. The availability of these activities can relieve the pediatric patients by decreasing anxiety and making their hospital stays less frightening.
The CASE grant award is a program of the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Partnership Foundation, whose programs recognize excellence in academic-service learning and provide financial support to outstanding examples of campus-community collaboration and innovative ideas to serve the community.
Campus Compact is a coalition of colleges and universities that develops college students’ awareness and skills in civic responsibility through service learning, community service and civic engagement. Thirty-four states have Campus Compact offices. In Oklahoma, Campus Compact was formed in 2000 and currently has 33 public and private colleges and universities that participate.