Scholars programs emphasize service
Binghamton University Scholars Program
The Binghamton University Scholars Program invites 50 high-achieving incoming freshmen to participate in specially designed courses and experiences during their undergraduate career. One of the courses they take during their sophomore year is a service-learning class called Leadership, Project Management and Service.
Students in the service learning course work on projects with community organizations, such as the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (CHOW). “We are currently assisting with the development of a school garden project with CHOW,” says Bridget Murphy ‘15, who served as a teaching assistant for the course last spring. Scholars helped CHOW develop and implement an experiential learning curriculum at Johnson City Middle School in which fifth grade students will learn about organic gardening and nutrition through hands-on lessons in a garden at their school.
PricewaterhouseCoopers Scholars Program
Each year, the top 10 percent of incoming School of Management (SOM) students are invited to participate in the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Scholars Program, where they have access to unique professional development, community service and networking opportunities.
The PwC Scholars organize a large-scale service project in the community each spring. The past two years have been devoted to revitalizing Recreation (Rec) Park in downtown Binghamton, through a collaboration known as OurSpace at Rec Park — a partnership between Life Is Washable, Inc., the City of Binghamton Parks and Recreation Department and the PwC Scholars Program. OurSpace is intended to encourage and engage the community in physical and social activity and to provide opportunities for individuals of all ages and abilities — with a focus on those with special needs — to engage, explore and socialize.
In two years, the PwC Scholars have raised over $32,000 to support OurSpace. So far, the Scholars have helped renovate the baseball fields and cleaned up the park, planting a garden and trees, installing a new scoreboard, painting a mural and more. The next phase of the project will include a soundgarden with outdoor instruments and a tree deck — both designed by students in the PwC Scholars program.
Emerging Leaders Program
The Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) offers incoming freshmen and transfer students a chance to develop leadership skills while working with peer mentors, faculty, staff and local community organizations. Students participate in one of six themed Knowledge Communities (KC), each of which is tasked with developing and implementing a service project aligned with its theme.
The fall 2014 Public Service KC worked with Rise, a local domestic violence services organization. Students held a resource drive, collecting nearly $700 worth of toiletries and supplies for the organization, and also spent a weekend sprucing up some of Rise’s facilities.