(Photo by Yvonne Kemp)
by Taki S. Raton
An overflow of nearly 60 guests attended the First Annual Springfield College Community Outreach Reception Wednesday, June 29 held at noon in the third floor campus suite located at 744 North 4th Street.
Themed “Celebrating a Prideful Legacy of Human Services – Building Careers, Transforming Communities – Cultivating Future Leaders,” the purpose of the event was to establish a rich, meaningful and broader partnership with community based organizations and area human service leadership. The primary objective of the luncheon in the words of Assistant Dean and Campus Director Dr. Niaz Ahmed was to “expand awareness of our accessible high quality educational offerings for working adults in the field of human services here at Springfield College.”
Invited guests upon arrival were treated to light hors d’oeuvres as they were given an introduction to the college offerings and a tour of the facility to include present and past student presentations in assigned rooms from the class Group Project in Community Development and Change.
Sean Gray presented on his current team project, the design of the Washington Bouchet Saturday School Model. Carrie Volmer and Ambria Weathers shared their effort, “Peace Painting – Healing Through Art,” and Kevin Wendom, spoke to his creation of the Homeless Youth Emergency Closet (HYEC).
The Springfield College student driven Washington Bouchet Saturday School Model was additionally selected and included as part of the Saturday education presentation programming at the 28th Annual ASCAC (Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations) Conference at Washington, D.C.’s Howard University this past May 19. Group Project in Community Development and Change is designed for Springfield College students to identify a significant problem in their community or area of professional concern. They are then to research and structure a project that will address and lend a positive impacting solution to the noted challenge.
Following the tours, guests were then treated to a delectable full course buffet serving provided by Irene’s Catering Service, Inc in the main lecture hall of the campus. During her keynote luncheon address, Donna M. Bombenek, Senior Vice President for Philanthropy & Communication Strategy for the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee said that “I thoroughly enjoyed the event and was inspired by the opportunity to reflect on our relationship between the YMCA and Springfield College.”
She adds that, “Our connections are traced back over 100 years. We have similar missions and purpose. One of our shared goals is to strengthen the foundation of our communities through education.” Bombenek’s remarks referenced that the Milwaukee campus is one of 11 satellite locations around the country with the base in Springfield, Massachusetts. Established in 1885, Springfield College is an outgrowth of the International Young Men’s Christian Association Training School where in 1891, Professor James Naismith invented the sport of Basketball.
Towards the close of the luncheon schedule, human service stakeholders were asked to fill out a response information card indicating how respective organizations could collaborate and partner with Springfield College School of Human Service (SHS).
Selections included the offering of a SHS representative to host an Information Session at the host site; posting SHS informational flyers, brochures or posters at their center; extending an invitation to human service directorships or their designate to serve on the SHS Community Advisory Board; volunteer for SHS sponsored community service events; take advantage of SHS facilities for meetings, trainings, and work-shops, or serve as a guest speaker in SHS classes, and participate in SHS career fairs.
“This event was well attended and I am very excited about the positive feedback that we are receiving from our invitees,” said Roderick Rush, SHS Assistant Director for Recruitment and Admissions and oversight planner of the response information card. He adds that the entire event planning committee was “pleased with attendees eagerly seeking potential collaborative partnership with Springfield College.”
New Horizon Center, Inc. founder and CEO Saleem El Amin said that, “the luncheon was excellent and very well organized. I look forward to exploring avenues by which New Horizon can collaborate with the offerings of Springfield College.”
“It was a great program,” said Alphonzo Pettis, Family Involvement Specialist for Milwaukee’s Next Door Foundation. “I am working in the Fatherhood and Family Involvement Program and I do see ways in which we can benefit from a partnership with Springfield College,” he adds.
Wisconsin Black Historical Society and Museum founder and head Clayborn Benson said that he was “really thankful for the invitation to attend this wonderful event and for the opportunity to learn about Springfield College.” He adds that from a cultural and historical community perspective, he is inspired by prospects of serving as a guest speaker in select SHS classes on Wisconsin African American history and related offerings at the museum.
The fully accredited accelerated bachelor’s, master’s, and executive master’s program of Springfield College’s School of Human Services are designed to meet the needs of working adults who wish to earn a degree in Human Services in 16 to 24 months by attending weekend classes. Upwards of 72 credits may be transferred towards the bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. Credits in experiential learning and certifications may also be applied depending upon respective state regulations.
Graduate classes normally meet one weekend per month while undergraduate classes meet two weekends per month. This schedule makes it possible for working adults to attend college full-time and meet family needs while earning a human service degree. Training in this field according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has ranked human services as among the most rapidly growing occupations in the country.
Luncheon sub-committee chair Atty. Tearman Spencer shared that he was “very proud to have assisted in the success of our first community outreach reception.” The Springfield College adjunct faculty member added that “he is thankful for the great team that organized this event which will set a model foundation for similar occasions in the future.” For additional information and admission details, please contact the campus at (414) 276-2300.