Each year during National Volunteer Week, CCELL will spotlight faculty and staff, students and community partners who make the world beautiful around them through service and service-learning. This page will be updated to feature short profiles of faculty/staff, students, and community partners.
Dr. John White instructs an environmentally centered service-learning course, OCS 4242: Wetlands and Water Quality. In this course, students are partnered with Iberville Math, Science, and Arts Academy-East to educate high school students about the function and importance of Wetlands. In addition to fiercely leading his service-learning course, the 2016-2017 Community-Engaged Research Scholar studies the biogeochemical cycling of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus in aquatic systems including coastal and freshwater wetlands, estuaries, and lake sediments, treatment performance of constructed wetlands for nutrients and pharmaceuticals removal, dynamics of internal nutrient loading, microbial-mediated nutrient transformations, plant-nutrient-soil dynamics.
Fall 2022 Engaged Citizen Program candidate Seija Meaux has participated in various service opportunities through service-learning courses. She has worked as the student ambassador for Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL) in addition to many other service projects. As the student ambassador for CRCL, Meaux advocated for solutions to coastal challenges in Louisiana with other university students across the state and accomplished coastal restoration projects, aided in the policy process of the proposed Mid-Barataria Bay Sediment Diversion Project by working with the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, and collaborated in educational webinars and skill-building workshops regarding land loss in Louisiana.
From the Bottom to the Top is one of many gardens associated with the South Baton Rouge Community Garden Alliance. From the Bottom to the Top was started in 2009 with the help of LSU and the LSU Agricultural Center. This garden began as part of the McKinley High Summer Experience Program. The land for the garden was donated by the Islamic Complex at 740 East Washington. Garden advocates for this site include Happy Award winners Stephanie Elwood and Aldreamer Smith, alongside faithful community members Imam Fahmee Sabree and Marguerite Green.
Dr. Maud Walsh has taught environmental management courses that incorporate service-learning such as EMS 1011: Environment and Technology: Perspective on Environmental Problems, EMS 2011: Analysis of Environmental Issues, EMS 3040: Applied Environmental Management, and EMS 3050: Environmental Regulations and Compliance. Her community partners include the East Baton Rouge Recycling Office and LSU Sustainability; and, her students have participated in cleanup events such as Louisiana Earth Day, LSU Spring Greening Day, Game Day Recycling Challenge, and MLK Day of Service. Walsh, who was also 2003-2004 Service-Learning Faculty Scholar grant recipient, has led activities and workshops in STEM topic areas for K-12 students and for teachers over the last 20 years. CCELL selected Dr. Walsh as the faculty spotlight for this year’s MakeBeautiful campaign because of her enduring commitment to provide service-learning opportunities that promote sustainable living and environmental awareness to the LSU community.
Spring 2021 Engaged Citizens Program candidate Tyler Scott has completed approximately 32 service hours and nine credit hours of service-learning courses during his time as an Engaged Citizen. Tyler, a Geography and Sociology senior, is currently working with “From the Bottom to the Top” community garden as part of his ANTH 4074: Place and Culture, Black Geographies and the Meaning of Land Rights service-learning optional course. He has also volunteered previously with BREC’s Green Force. He has completed trail maintenance, lake clean-up projects, recycling mapping, and many more environmentally friendly volunteer tasks. Tyler was chosen as the student spotlight for #MakeBeautiful because his service experience and field of study choice reflect his passion for preserving the natural world in our community.
Baton Rouge Green is an organization dedicated to the planting and sustaining of the Baton Rouge community’s trees and greenspaces while also educating volunteers on the importance of maintaining these green spaces. Through the development of multiple programs, Baton Rouge Green maintains thousands of trees and helps underserved neighborhoods increase their community greenery. Baton Rouge Green is another excellent example of the #MakeBeautiful spirit; this organization helps preserve our Earth while also bringing natural resources to underserved parts of the Baton Rouge community. Through education and leadership, Baton Rouge Green makes our community more beautiful every day. More information on Baton Rouge Green and ways to get involved can be found here: https://batonrougegreen.com/get-involved/volunteer-with-us/
BREC is the agency that operates the parks and recreation areas around East Baton Rouge Parish. The organization is dedicated to managing and maintaining parks around Baton Rouge, and specifically, their “Green Force” initiative has kept our parks beautiful. BREC’s Green Force is an opportunity for local volunteers to band together and create healthier native natural areas around the parish. BREC’s Green Force perfectly captures the spirit of #MakeBeautiful by dedicating time to preserving our natural space while also empowering individuals to invest in their community’s resources. BREC’s volunteer opportunities can be found here: https://www.brec.org/index.cfm/subhome/Volunteer
Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL) is a nonprofit organization that works to restore and protect a sustainable coastal Louisiana. Founded in 1988, they are the oldest statewide nonprofit dedicated to coastal preservation. According to CRCL’s research, Louisiana’s rapid land loss makes up 80% of total coastal wetland loss in the United States. CRCL raises awareness and educates others on the importance of restoring coastal Louisiana on a local, state, and federal level. CRCL was chosen for a spotlight in this year’s #MakeBeautiful campaign because of its dedication to preserving coastal Louisiana and keeping it beautiful year-round. More information on this organization and how to get involved can be found on their website linked here: https://www.crcl.org/