Hamilton students in Guatemala
Eight students participated in a service trip to Guatemala as a part of an independent study focused on community development. They joined Dr. Cecelia Campoverde and several students from Florida Atlantic University for two weeks in December 2006 to work with The Guatemalan Project
. Students lived with host families in El Triunfo and volunteered in social, cultural and environmental organizations.
models. Other speakers on topics of self-efficacy, sustainability, women's issues, and land use were given by Professors Nese Balkan, Erol Balkan, Economics; Tara McKee, Psychology; and William Pfitsch, Biology. Students participated in lectures given by Professors Guerrero and Gilbert in the Sociology Department prior to leaving. The students included a very successful fundraising effort, taking thousands of dollars to Guatemala that will build homes for families, and the culmination of their study was a dinner and public presentation that brought an audience of 60 people together, including a group of students who are interested in recreating a trip for next year. Dr. Campoverde was a featured speaker at the presentation, along with the students. Students who participated in the trip were: Meghan Stringer '07, Laura Hartz '07, Heather Michael '07, Miranda Raimondi '08, Annie Harleman '08, Emily Goughary '09, Melissa Young '09, and Jessie Stromwick '09. The group was also accompanied by Matt Stringer '03 and Anne Stringer P '03, '07, '08.
Utica Community Garden Project
The Levitt Center supports service learning projects that help to build and maintain a community garden at the site of Adrean Terrace/F.X. Matt/N.D. Peters Apartments, a public housing complex run by the Utica Municipal Housing Authority. The community garden is open to all residents of the apartments and have the goal of facilitating the consumption of locally grown produce as well as encourging community development. The 40 participating families each register for an individual raised-bed garden plot and are drawn from Utica's large immigrant community, including former refugees from Russia, Belarus, Somalia, Bosnia and Ukraine. Many of these residents are also served by Hamilton students via their involvement in the Levitt Center's service learning project SHINE
The project was initiated by Jenney Stringer '08, who was supported by a Levitt Center Summer Civic Engagement Fellowship ;Stringer enlisted support from Home Depot's Team Depot in building the gardens and the project received ongoing support from a grant provided by the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties. Both Home Deport and Walmart donated $250 towards the start-up costs for the garden. Stringer continued her work in establishing the gardens during the Fall 2007 semester as part of an independent study project . The Community Garden Project engaged students in other academic courses at Hamilton, including Bio/ES 150: Society and the Environment with Professor Bill Pfitsch in Spring 2008.