Plymouth State University Forms Community Partnership to Promote Service Learning Opportunities

January 29th, 2014 by blyndes

Left to right, PSU Vice Provost for Research and Engagement, Thad Guldbrandsen, and Jessica Dutille, '03, '04G, Academic Service Learning Coordinator. In Dutille’s new role, she will advance PSU’s goals for service learning and civic engagement; support service learning efforts among faculty, staff, and students at PSU; strengthen connections with off-campus partners; and help collect, assess, and report data on service learning and civic engagement at PSU.

PLYMOUTH, N.H.– Plymouth State University is pleased to announce a newly formed partnership with Granite United Way (GUW) and the Pemi Youth Center (PYC).  The priorities of this partnership are to develop more opportunities for PSU students to become involved in comprehensive service learning experiences; provide the non-profit community with support when working with and mentoring PSU students; and to help increase capacity for an important community resource, the PYC.

“Plymouth State University has a deep and abiding commitment to seek enduring partnerships with organizations that will enhance citizens’ engagement with students and make innovative, productive use of community and University resources, talents, and expertise,” explained Steve Barba, Executive Director of University Relations.

PSU alumna Jessica Dutille, ’03, ’04G, was appointed as the Academic Service Learning Coordinator in the Office of Research & Engagement.  This full-time position is jointly funded by GUW, the PYC, and PSU.  The purpose of this position is to advance PSU’s goals for service learning and civic engagement; support service learning efforts among faculty, staff, and students at PSU; strengthen connections with off-campus partners; and help collect, assess, and report data on service learning and civic engagement at PSU. As part of her duties, Jessica will continue to provide executive leadership for the PYC.

“I am excited about what this means for our community,” stated Dutille. “Service learning is a powerful tool that can be very transformative.  I have been witness to the incredible relationships that have been developed between our PSU student mentors and our youth participants at PYC. This partnership is about recognizing that there are no limits to what we can achieve when we all work together.”

Thad Guldbrandsen, PSU’s Vice Provost for Research and Engagement, said the collaboration is a big step forward for the University and the community.

“This partnership with Granite United Way, Pemi Youth Center, and Plymouth State University is a win for everyone involved, and it helps us collectively harness each of our unique capacities to better serve the region,” said Guldbrandsen. “PSU students will be better served by real-world experiences, becoming more effective community leaders for the next generation.  Our partnering agencies will have a better experience of collaborating with PSU and working with our students.  Together all of our agencies can think more creatively and ambitiously about what our community can become.”

Guldbrandsen also noted Dutille’s work experience is a great example of what the new partnership can contribute to the community.

“Jessica Dutille has successfully proven herself as a leader in the community and role model for our students through her work at the Pemi Youth Center,” said Guldbrandsen. “Now that she serves in a dual role as PSU Service Learning Coordinator and Pemi Youth Center Executive Director, we can build out Pemi Youth Center’s successful model for Academic Service Learning throughout the region.  Pemi Youth Center has been a successful model for service learning for years, and now we can scale up.”

“Plymouth State University’s service learning initiative excels at introducing students to our community.  This partnership gets the students invested in our community which ultimately creates an enriching experience for the student and greatly improves the quality of life for our community,” said Plymouth Chief of Police Stephen Lefebvre.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or blyndes@plymouth.edu

 

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