Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Teddy Bear Den

The Teddy Bear Den held its Grand Opening Celebration this past week at the CEC.  Here you can view a video from the opening, as well as obtain more information about the Teddy Bear Den.

What is the Teddy Bear Den?
  • Teddy Bear Den is a Southern Utah University School of Business Professional Business Leadership and March of Dimes community-based, prenatal health promotion program for low-income pregnant women that is implemented in collaboration with community based organizations.  The program is designed to a promote prenatal care participation and healthy behaviors during pregnancy through two components- incentives and education.
Why is the program needed?
  • One out of every 9 babies in Utah is born too soon.  Women who receive early and consistent prenatal care enhance their likelihood of giving birth to a healthy child.  The Teddy Bear Den helps ease the burdens placed on low-income pregnant women by providing them with baby care items they could not otherwise afford.  The program encourages women to receive adequate prenatal care, further the March of Dimes mission to reduce and prevent premature birth, birth defects and infant mortality.
How does the Teddy Bear Den work?
  • Teddy Bear Den clients receive points that they can use towards incentives, such as maternity or baby care items, through a variety of positive, health-promoting activities: attending prenatal care appointments, participating in prenatal education classes, keeping appointments for well-baby visits, etc.  Teddy Bear Den also provides prenatal education information, education materials, and a variety of other resources and referrals that help clients take good care of themselves and their babies.
How you can help?
  • We depend on items donated by community groups to stock the Teddy Bear Den.  Interested groups can host a community baby shower to collect items for the Teddy Bear Den.  Spanish-speaking volunteers are also needed.
What supplies are needed?
  • Diapers and Wipes (Sizes 1-4 are always in highest demand)
  • Baby Hygiene Items: Shampoo, Baby Wash, Lotions, and Diaper Rash Cream
  • Baby Clothes (0-12 month sizes)
  • Coats, Jackets, Winter Hats, Gloves and Mittens
  • Socks, Hats, Shoes, and Sleepers
  • Baby Care Items: Combs, Brushes, Diaper Bags, Bottles and Nail Clippers
  • Soft Baby Carriers or Backpacks
  • Blankets (any size or material) and Crib-size Bedding
  • Cash Donations are always welcome!
  • Please note that the Teddy Bear Den cannot accept donations of formula, food, or used items.
Who can be referred to the Teddy Bear Den?
  • Low-income pregnant women or have a baby less than 3 months of age
  • On Medicaid, WIC or Baby Your Baby Program
Contact Information
  • SUU School of Business PBL Representative 
    • Randi Sorensen (435) 790-1851

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Service Leader Applications

Are you interested in being part of a team that focuses on service on campus and in the surrounding community? Do you want to gain valuable leadership experience that looks great on a resume or graduate school application? Apply to be a Service Leader for the 2012-13 academic school year! Service Leaders are the chairpeople over the sponsored programs offered by the Community Engagement Center. As a Service Leader, you are required to keep a minimum of two office hours per week, attend a weekly training/coordination meeting every Wednesday at 4:00 p.m., and maintain a 2.75 overall GPA and a 2.75 GPA each of the semesters that you serve.

Applications are now available in the Community Engagement Center and are due by Monday, April 9 at 5:00 p.m. If you have any questions about the available positions or the application process, you can come into the CEC or contact Pam at
You can click here to print an application or click on the link on the side of this page.

Some of our current Service Leaders comment on their experience:

Madisen Smith
“My experience as a service leader has been so rewarding. I have been able to make lasting connections, develop my leadership skills, and become a more involved and aware citizen. As much as my position is aimed towards helping and changing the lives of others, in doing so I have changed my life also.” --Madisen Smith

Gianna Lopresti
“For me the best part about being a service leader is that I’ve been able to develop lasting friendships with people who are just as passionate about serving the community as I am.” 
--Gianna Lopresti

Jackie Joseph
“The best part about being a service leader is seeing the difference in the lives of the children and their families by coming to story time. The kids learn to enjoy reading by doing different activities with the book that was read that night. Another thing I really enjoy is how much my life has been blessed by being a part of the program. I come from a stressful class to my service activity and find that life is about making a difference. Putting others first really makes a difference in my own life.” --Jackie Joseph

Harsh Kansagra

“Being a student leader is a great opportunity. It allows you to learn from the environment while you are teaching. It allows you to improve while simultaneously helping others improve and better themselves. I personally believe the leadership boat does not stay afloat by one person; it requires the collaborative effort of a group. To teach is something special but to learn from the ones that we teach is something completely different and very precious in itself.” --Harsh Kansagra

Heidi Vernon
“If you want to make a difference through service, the Community Engagement Center is the place to start. Not only was I able to serve others, but the CEC provided me with the support I needed to get my projects off the ground.” --Heidi Vernon

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

AmeriCorps and SUU

The Community Engagement Center’s resident AmeriCorps VISTA representative, Lucas Knowles has been in Utah since November.  A common question he has been asked in the past six months is “What is AmeriCorps?”  He has been answering this question since he was accepted to serve as a VISTA in the Utah Campus Compact at the SUU CEC.  This March 10-18 is AmeriCorps Week, which seeks to highlight AmeriCorps participants and their impact on their respective communities.

AmeriCorps members can serve in one of three programs, AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps VISTA, or AmeriCorps NCCC.  The largest of these categories is AmeriCorps State and National members serving in a variety of full-time and part-time positions to address community needs.  AmeriCorps VISTA is an acronym for Volunteers in Service to America.  VISTAs serve full-time for one year with community organizations and public agencies to build sustainable programs to fight poverty nationally.  AmeriCorps NCCC is the National Civilian Community Corps and focuses on projects relating to disaster response, the environment, housing, and youth.  Over 775,000 people have served a total of 1 billion hours as AmeriCorps members since 1994.

Students are eligible to receive a financial educational award or stipend upon completion of the term of service; students may also postpone student loan repayment for the duration of the term. Locally SUU students can contact the CEC to get involved in the program.  Currently the Center has 78 students serving as AmeriCorps members throughout the community, primarily working with youth and disadvantaged individuals.  The dedication and ambition of these students provides a valuable service to help others and improve our community as a whole. 

To learn more about AmeriCorps programs visit and to get involved locally stop by the SUU Community Engagement Center.

This guest post was written by Lucas Knowles, AmeriCorps VISTA.