CSCC students 'pay it forward'

Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Columbia State students collected tee shirts to send to Zambia. Shown, from left, are Lynae Farr, Brooke Fralix, Marci Collins, Neely Tracey, Kari Gauthier, Mary Hickerson, Sarah Smartt and Gayle Vore.

COLUMBIA -- During the 2007-'08 academic year, Columbia State Community College's reach and influence went far beyond traditional lectures, notes and tests.

The faculty and staff at the Lewisburg campus taught the students how to "pay it forward" and contributed as Columbia State participated in numerous charitable activities across its entire service area. The activities ranged from collecting Yoplait yogurt lids in support of breast cancer research, to raising more than $21,000 for the National Kidney Foundation.

History professor and faculty senate president Barry Gidcomb said, "By definition, the community college exists to serve its community. The wide range of projects in which faculty and staff have encouraged and supported student involvement is a testament to the fact that, in the 21st century, 'community' is not just local, but national and global as well."

In the spring 2008 semester, Daniel Johnson's argumentation and debate class participated in several Change the World class projects. "The reason I had the students participate in philanthropic projects was to help them understand that there is a world outside of their world," said Johnson, assistant professor of speech. "When we do things to help others or when we engage in projects for the common good of humanity, we are the ones who are changed."

Meanwhile, from July 2007 through May 2008, hundreds of Columbia State students were involved in additional philanthropic activities through their student organizations and various campuses. In Lewisburg, students held a t-shirt drive in December to send clothing to people in Zambia. This was done in conjunction with a local church mission project. More than 1,200 T-shirts were collected and delivered.

A "Go Green" Campaign also took place at the Lewisburg Campus. The mayor of Lewisburg attended and the director of the Solid Waste department helped the students learn more about recycling. Since the event, the Lewisburg Campus has made an effort to recycle full time.

One of the Columbia State Foundation's three successful golf tournaments was held at Saddle Creek Golf Club in Lewisburg and contributed to the raising of more than $50,000 for student scholarships.

Columbia State encourages folks in their nine county service area to "Pay It Forward" in their own way. Columbia State cares about the community and will continue to put forth efforts to support those in need.

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton.

As Tennessee's first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses.

Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the sixth largest higher education system in the nation.

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