Americorps VISTAs aid civic engagement

July 30, 2010

For several years now, UM-Dearborn has participated in the AmeriCorps VISTA program, hosting yearly service members who assist the campus with its civic engagement efforts.

Evan Finley and Amal Hassan are wrapping up their year of service to UM-Dearborn this month. Finley worked with the Student Activities Office to enhance student involvement in civic engagement activities on campus and in the surrounding community. Hassan worked out of the Civic Engagement Project Office, helping faculty members incorporate service learning activities into educational experiences.

The campus will welcome a new Americorps VISTA, Nikka Landau, in the Student Activities Office at the beginning of August.

“Evan and Amal have been a tremendous asset to the UM-Dearborn community through their year-long commitment to service and dedication to serving the metropolitan Detroit community,” said Jonathan Larson, supervisor in the Student Activities Office. “Evan and Amal have left a lasting impression on countless students in regards to service, advocacy and making lasting change in the world.”

A 2009 Alma College alum, Finley was very involved in UM-Dearborn’s Alternative Spring Break program this past year, as well as the student organization, Volunteer Dearborn. He also assisted with the creation of the campus’s new volunteer center, which is scheduled to open this fall, and helped plan the university’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service event, among other activities.

Hassan, a 2009 UM-Dearborn alum who double majored in English and sociology, worked with some of the campus’s academic service learning faculty and student fellows, as well as helped to organized many civic engagement events on campus, like the Four Freedoms art exhibition and the annual Community Action Summit, which brings together student, faculty and community groups to discuss volunteer opportunities. She also coordinated the “Faces of Hunger” banquet, which raised awareness about poverty in the metropolitan Detroit area.

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