UST wins $20,000 in service-learning grant to address the issue of AIDS; seeks faculty involvement

UST seeks faculty involvement in service-learning program
The University of St. Thomas recently was awarded a grant from Minnesota Campus Compact in the amount of $20,000 to expand its Changing Faces of Minnesota service-learning program.

St. Thomas will establish a sustainable relationship with Open Arms-Minnesota, an organization that prepares meals for and delivers meals to people living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic diseases in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

The initiative, called The Changing Faces of Minnesota AIDS, envisions faculty and their students working in partnership with Open Arms over the next three semesters (fall 2006, spring 2007 and fall 2007) in order to enhance Open Arms operations.

Three courses already have participated with Open Arms. Kimberly Vrudny’s theology classes in Theology of Beauty and the Arts and IDSC class in Community Action and Social Change, as well as Tim Scully’s communication studies class enabled Open Arms to reduce the daily delivery load on volunteers, and to provide digital-style documentary witness to its Web site for volunteer recruitment and donation promotion.

Open Arms requests assistance in designing and analyzing nutritious meals, recording oral histories, surveying clients and volunteers, delivering meals, publicizing Open Arms activities and fund-raisers, and researching issues related to local, national and global HIV-infections.

If you would like to learn how you might include a service-learning partnership with Open Arms in one of your classes, please contact Vrudny, (651) 962-5337. A May 2006 workshop is being planned and stipends are available for a limited number of participants.