posted January 27, 2009

Wilma Hart to Receive Michigan Campus Compact Award

Wilma Hart, who is coordinator of volunteer services at Hope College, has been chosen to receive a Michigan Campus Compact (MCC) Faculty/Staff Community Service-Learning Award.

The award is the highest that MCC bestows on faculty and staff in the state of Michigan, and recognizes outstanding community service and service-learning by faculty and staff at the colleges and universities that are members of MCC.  Recipients are honored for engaging or influencing students to be involved in community service or service-learning through modeling, influence or instruction.  Each of MCC's member institutions has the opportunity to nominate one recipient annually for the award.

Hart will be honored on Thursday, Feb. 12, during an awards ceremony and dinner scheduled in conjunction with MCC's 13th annual Institute, "Service-Learning and Civic Engagement," which will be held in Grand Rapids.

Hart serves as assistant to the Office of Student Life in the college's Student Development Office in addition to her work with volunteer services.  She has been a member of the Hope staff since 1999.

Since it began in 2000, she has coordinated the college's "Time to Serve" program, which is a day-long service opportunity geared toward first-year students and held during the first full weekend of the academic year both to help introduce the students to the Holland community and to encourage them to become involved in service throughout their college career.  Each year, hundreds of students volunteer at some three dozen sites.

In 2006, Hart developed a volunteer council comprised of students who lead, plan, implement and evaluate service activities across the campus.  The college's volunteer services program both serves as a liaison between community organizations with service needs and students who are seeking volunteer opportunities, and originates or participates in projects developed at the college, such as the Monday, Jan. 19, assembly presented with the college's Black Student Union at Vanderbilt Charter Academy in conjunction with national Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Hart has also been instrumental in the planning and implementing of the college's Dance Marathon, a student-run organization that works year-round to raise money for Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids.  In addition, she is the advisor for the college's chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, the national service fraternity, and has also been a staff participant in Hope spring break mission trips to the Dominican Republic and Newark, N.J.

Prior to coming to Hope, Hart was the office manager at OAR Inc. (Ottagan Addictions Rehabilitation) for five years.  Prior to OAR Inc., she worked at Bethany Christian Services after moving to Michigan from Colorado Springs.  Hart also volunteers at her church, New Community Fourth Reformed.   She assists in the planning and implementing of the weekly meal for Living in Community and also the ministry to the community called Breakfast with Baby.

Michigan Campus Compact is a coalition of college and university presidents who are committed to fulfilling the public purpose of higher education.  The compact promotes the education and commitment of Michigan college students to be civically engaged citizens, through creating and expanding academic, co-curricular and campus-wide opportunities for community service, service-learning and civic engagement.  Some 41 Michigan colleges and universities are members of MCC.