Many Connections. One U.

2016 Serve Projects

The Division of Student Success, in conjunction with the First-Year Experience Advisory Board, offers various optional opportunities in the spring semester for faculty and staff-led civic engagement experiences which align with the core values of Maryville. Students will gain hands-on experience through these interactive projects that include meaningful engagement and thoughtful reflection.

2016 SERVE Projects Registration Form

SERVE A Mile in My Shoes

Coordinator:  Stacy Donovan

I hope you will join me and other students to help promote awareness of issues involving diversity and inclusion by creating and sharing your dialogue. Growing up, my Dad would always tell me, you never know what someone is going through until you walk a mile in their shoes. The heart of this SERVE project is to have students interested in sharing their experiences, while “walking” with another student/staff or faculty member, with the goal that every mile “walked”, each person will reflect upon what they shared and what they learned. To help promote awareness, our reflections will be shared within the Maryville community (anonymously) through Magnolia, Maryville University’s Literary Publication.



SERVE Autism Awareness

Coordinator: Kelly Mock

During the semester, Maryville students will have the opportunity to learn about individuals diagnosed on the autism spectrum. This SERVE project will visit both a school that focuses on support for children who are on the autism spectrum as well as a day program that fosters opportunities for adults on the spectrum. Through this project, participants will learn more about the specific resources available in the St Louis area. Furthermore, participants will engage in opportunities off campus to develop a greater understanding and will use this information to develop an event on campus as a means to develop greater awareness of the needs of individuals on the spectrum.


SERVE in a Cultural Experience

Coordinators:  Karlla Dozier & Esra Uysal

We live in a global society where borders are no longer barriers to connecting, experiencing, and interacting with individuals from different cultures and backgrounds. Cross-cultural experiences can enrich your global perspective and impact how you live, what you believe and what influences you from day to day. As a group, we will promote and support cultural initiatives in and around St. Louis to broaden our perspective and understanding of those around us. Participants will have the opportunity to be immersed in diverse cultures through hands on learning experiences, tasting and cooking traditional world cuisines and fellowship with global citizens. This may include a visit to the International Institute and relevant cultural festivals and movies throughout the spring. We hope that this will be a fun and educational experience for all.


SERVE Empowerment

Coordinators:  Raphael Garcia and Steve DiSalvo

The purpose of this SERVE project is to raise awareness in the areas of gender inequality and human trafficking, and to make an impactful difference in combating against such issues. Students in this project will collaborate and work with such organizations such as HeForShe, Destiny Rescue, and local St. Louis area organizations (Covering House, Lydia’s House etc.). Students will have the opportunity to work on projects such as Her Smile, Her STORY (a Humans-of-New York blog focused on promoting the empowerment of women).   In addition, students will volunteer directly with a St. Louis area affiliated organization and putting together awareness events for campus. As part of this SERVE Project, students will help transform this SERVE project into a movement that will give rise to a student organization on campus. Come with new ideas and the passion to make a difference!


SERVE Families

Coordinator: Penny Greene

Maryville University students will have an opportunity to reach out and help families with a child undergoing medical care away from home.  Students will tour a local Ronald McDonald House to learn about the mission and needs of this “home-away-from-home” for the families of seriously ill or injured children.  Students will organize a wish-list drive on campus for items needed by a local Ronald McDonald House.  Students will tour a commercial kitchen to learn about food safety and meal planning for large groups.  The final project will be preparing a meal for the families residing in a local Ronald McDonald House through the Family Dinner Program.  Participants in this project will meet at least four times throughout the semester gaining hands-on experience in making a difficult situation brighter for families.



Coordinator: Aretha Hardrick & Jeff Vaske

In the St. Louis area, nearly 1 in 8 people live with hunger every day. Fighting Hunger While Feeding Hope is the slogan and mission of the St. Louis Area Foodbank. Through this project, students will make an impact in the fight against hunger.  Students will design and implement a canned food drive to be held on campus.  The items collected will be donated to the St. Louis Area Foodbank.  Students will experience firsthand the amazing work this organization does on a daily basis to help support St. Louis area families and will volunteer at the St. Louis Area Foodbank.


SERVE Ranken Jordan

Coordinators:  Miranda Knight and Rachel Birkman

Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital helps kids and families transition from the acute care hospital to home. Patients at Ranken Jordan value the interaction with volunteers and look forward to this escape from their current medical situation. Join Maryville students, as we strive to make a difference in the lives of children at Ranken Jordan. Through interactive hands on activities, we will assist the children in providing them support through their medical journey. We will visit Ranken Jordan up to four times throughout the semester and make a difference in the lives of these children.


SERVE Rescue Animals

Coordinator:  Brady Griffith

Have a soft spot in your heart for animals? Through this SERVE project, we will work with Stray Rescue to explore the issue of animal welfare.  As a group, we will develop a volunteer activity working directly with Stray Rescue and get hands-on experience with the animals.  As students, you will become educated and engaged citizens in the animal welfare/rescue community. The animals of St. Louis need you!


SERVE Shriner’s Kids

Coordinator:  Nathan Vorel

This project will serve Shriners Hospital for Children in St. Louis. Together, project members will create ‘make it take it craft bags’ for Shriner’s recreational therapy department and the patients. This project group will meet and brainstorm project ideas for the bags and develop a supply drive to donate to the hospital. After supplies are received, project members will gather for fun and creativity to assemble the bags. All kits and supplies will be donated to Shriners Hospital for Children.


SERVE Success

Coordinator:  Anna Kisting

Approximately 25% of St. Louis residents live below the poverty line. Make a difference in their lives by joining SERVE Success as we collaborate with Connections to Success, a non-profit agency working to break the cycle of poverty and to help people become economically independent.  Connections to Success offers a number of valuable programs to low-income residents.  The Dress for Success program provides interview-appropriate clothing to women in rural areas and prisons.  Successful Jewelry Designs teaches low-income participants valuable entrepreneurial and professional development skills. Connections to Success also participates in a transitional employment program in the food service industry, which assists people as they move out of poverty and into the workforce.  Join us in combating poverty by helping to prepare people for SUCCESS!







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