Annual Community Service Talks Begin

The Spencer Center for Civic and Global Engagement at Mary Baldwin College presents the first installment of its annual Community Service Speaker Series today, welcoming representatives of two local outreach agencies: the United Way and Community Action Partnership of Staunton, Augusta, and Waynesboro.

Each year, the college hosts about 20 speakers from a diverse range of non-profit organizations and outreach agencies — from anti-hunger groups to mentoring services — as one way to promote positive town-gown relations and in support of service learning and community involvement.

Co-sponsored by the departments of philosophy, religion, and sociology and the Quest Program Sessions, the series is open to all students, faculty, and staff and are held from 1 to 1:50 p.m. each Wednesday in Miller Chapel.

Guest speakers describe the missions of their organizations, the programs offered, talk about their own “calling” for service, and provide information about possible volunteer opportunities at their agencies. Faculty serving as advisers to freshmen as well as colleagues in social science disciplines and professional areas are encouraged to pass along to students the schedule listed below.

Sept. 14: Getting Involved in the Community

Cynthia Pritchard: United Way, executive director
Anna Leavitt: Community Action Partnership of Staunton, Augusta, and Waynesboro, coordinator

Sept. 21: Living Locally

Meghan Williamson: Staunton Creative Community Fund, executive director
Julie Markowitz: Staunton Downtown Development Association, director

Sept. 28: Serving the Elderly

Alzheimer’s Association
Lori Pullin: Staunton Senior Center, program director

Oct. 5: Serving the Hungry

Robin Swecker: Blue Ridge Area Food Bank
Ralph Steger: Verona Community Food Pantry

Oct. 12: Activism

Sherry Stanley: Activist, organizer
Emily Riehl: Virginia Organizing, Shenandoah Valley organizer

Oct. 19: Animal Welfare

Renee Clark: Cat’s Cradle
Kathryn Dobbins: Mosby Foundation board member and doctor of veterinary medicine

Oct. 26: Tutoring and Post-Graduation Service

Tyrell McElroy: Boys and Girls Club of Waynesboro, Staunton & Augusta County, chief professional officer
AdaSue Myers: Historic Staunton Foundation and recent MBC graduate

Nov. 2: Community Development through Gardens

Lisa Klein: Staunton Police Department, public information officer
Ryan Blosser: Community Gardens

Nov. 9: International Service and Post-Graduation

Ben Burnes: Peace Corps, regional recruiter
Sylvia Woodworth: LEARN and VISTA

Nov. 16: Building Capacity to Address Hunger and Homelessness

Susie Miller: Valley Mission, director of development and public relations
Soula Pefkaros: Americorps VISTA and capacity building


Morgan Alberts Smith '99 is the web producer and social media manager for MBC's Office of Communication, Marketing, and Public Affairs.