QU Goes Beyond Service Learning

By Bryce Moore

Quincy University is working hard on the recovery plan. The university is listening to several ideas. Some are small and some are what Karl Warma, associate professor of art, would call a “BIG idea.”

Jane Meirose, director of the Interpreter Training Program; Ray Heilmann, director of Campus Ministry; Fr. John Doctor, vice president of Mission and Ministry; and Warma formed an ad hoc committee to create a specific project that they think will benefit QU.

The QU Serve Initiative is a plan the group created to help with several obstacles the university is facing, such as rebranding, new messaging and identifying new audiences for QU to serve. It is also an initiative to increase enrollment, produce community involvement, create new curriculum and develop strategic partnerships.

Warma enlisted the help of his students in ART 490, a web design class, to develop logos and advertising compositions.

“We want to look beyond and serve our community, here and far,” QU student Shane Wingerter said.

The larger goal of this initiative is to build on QU’s already existent service learning program called QU Beyond.

“We want to create a program where students can learn and serve at the same time,” Wingerter said.

Warma, Wingerter and student Taylor McMonagle presented QU Beyond to Tom Ponto, interim chief financial officer, and Phil Conover, interim chief operating officer, Thursday Feb. 16 in the cafeteria. Each student presented an idea for the branding of the program.

“We want to appeal to all QU students…I went with the globe…so they (students) can learn without limits,” McMonagle said.

The QU Service Initiative has several components and is in the early stages of development, but the program could offer many opportunities to students and the university.

“We can use companies like DOT and Knapheide to sponsor students to do service work (in other communities) where their plants are,” Heilmann said.

These potential strategic partnerships could also offer full semesters of service work in the states and abroad. The committee explained that QU could also pair with other colleges and organizations and utilize its connections within the Catholic Church and its hospitals.

Warma has always been dedicated to service. He served in the Peace Corps from 1978-1982 in The Gambia as a volunteer. He primarily focused on photography, publishing and printing, which he puts to use in the classroom and on projects like this.

Service work is a very important part of QU. This initiative could benefit QU; the foundation already exists, it just needs some reinforcements.

“It is definitely a possible idea…Oh ya! My mind is running with possibilities,” Conover said.

Three levels in this program will allow QU to become a hub for projects, domestically and internationally. It will create positive, sustainable relationships with students, colleges, churches and organizations. QU Beyond will provide win-win strategies in the places it serves, satellite locations and here at QU.

“This could be a rare opportunity for students not offered by anyone else,” McMonagle said.

QU Beyond could easily become a part of QU’s history and serve students for many years.

“I would love for my kids to come here and experience a unique opportunity like this,” Wingerter said.

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