19 Students Serve Minnesota Through Center for Small Towns
This spring 19 University of Minnesota Morris students are working on 14 community projects through the Center for Small Towns (CST). Acting as a doorway to the university, CST gives small towns access to UMN Morris talent and resources while providing students opportunities to apply the skills they're learning in the classroom, strengthen their bonds to greater Minnesota, and develop as professionals.
Spring 2020 Projects
Battle Lake Indivisible Group—Community Listening Forums: Climate Change
Partner: Battle Lake Indivisible Group
Student: Noelle Muzzy '23, Rochester, environmental science
The student working with Battle Lake Indivisible will plan and carry out a climate change community listening forum. The student will be involved in event logistics, outreach, and evaluation.
Center for Small Towns Communications
Partner: Center for Small Towns
Student: Griffen Northrop '21, Littleton, New Hampshire, environmental science/studies
Building on previous work, the student will prepare for CST's 25th anniversary by working with a team to develop outreach materials, contact alumni and community partners, expand the CST blog, and build CST's social media presence.
Center for Small Towns Program Development
Partner: Center for Small Towns
Students: Payton Sierra '22, Porcupine, South Dakota, elementary education; Adam Schneider '21, Shakopee, political science & environmental studies
The students will work with campus and community partners to explore how CST might most effectively expand its ability to collaborate with and address the needs of Native communities and Native-led organizations in Minnesota.
City of Morris Social Media and Communications
Partner: City of Morris
Student: Hope Guyer '23, McGregor, Iowa, history
Building on previous work, the student working with the City of Morris will collect interviews and develop videos showcasing the things that make Morris a great community in which to live and work.
Eighth District Drug Court
Partner: Eighth District Drug Court
Students: Denise Riffey '20, Morris, human services; Zachary Stahlman '20, Morris, psychology
The students will work with the Eighth District Drug Court and CST to evaluate how well the drug court is working in the district by entering and analyzing data collected from key stakeholders.
Grant County 4-H After School Program
Partner: Grant County 4-H
Students: Sarah Best '23, mathematics; Zoe DeBates '23, Luverne, communication, media, and rhetoric
The students will work with Grant County 4-H to create and implement an afterschool program layout for the future. The layout includes structured lessons that can be replicated or modified, a schedule for afterschool programming, and plans to build relationships with area schools and contacts.
HRA Housing and Senior Surveys
Partner: Stevens County HRA
Students: Sunanda Rajput '20, New Delhi, India, pre-med & biology; Jake George '20, Ramsey, political science
Building on previous work, the students will complete a survey on what factors influence workers' choices to live in Morris or elsewhere. From there, they will conduct a survey on current and future housing needs of seniors (55+) in Stevens County.
Morris Farmers Market
Partner: Morris Healthy Eating
Student: Desmond Homann '21, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, English
Building on previous work, this year's student will promote the market, welcome new vendors, and train and support continuing vendors.
Native American Boarding Schools Research
Partner: UMN Morris Archivist and Associate Professor of History Stephen Gross
Student: Lauren Solkowski '20, sociology & French, Manitowoc, Wisconsin
The student will assist in researching archival materials according to archival standards, shelve and retrieve materials, and work with library staff to develop and implement this research project, including image/document database development.
RUSC Kinship Data and Program Development
Partner: RUSC Kinship
Student: Tara Lindquist '22, Saint Paul
The student working with RUSC Kinship will improve evaluation tools for mentoring programs, collect and analyze data, create and implement an annual program survey, and continue to develop and grow the new Lunch Buddies program.
Someplace Safe Sex Trafficking Education
Partner: Someplace Safe
Students: Dylan Brunetti '20, Rogers, history & social science
The student working with Someplace Safe will develop a better understanding of how crimes like domestic and sexual violence, sex trafficking, stalking, and homicide are being addressed through the court system. The student will collect and analyze public data.
UMN Extension Data Entry and Analysis
Partner: UMN Extension
Students: Meghan Florip '21, Big Lake, political science & human services; Lindsey Roemeling '23, Luverne, political science & business
Students are continuing this long-term partnership with the Extension Center for Community Vitality by providing data entry and analysis support for multiple projects throughout the year.
Summer 2020 Bee Friendly Pollinator Advocacy Events and Honey Bee Festival
Partner: Oldenburg Arts and Cultural Community
Student: Felicia Galvan '21, Mounds View, anthropology
The student working with Oldenburg Arts and Cultural Community will develop media releases, assist with grant writing, develop social media, and help with promoting, documenting, and evaluating events.
Morris Public Library
Partner: Morris Public Library
Student: Hannah Fussy '20, education
The student working with the Morris Public Library will create a tool to help patrons find children's books showing diverse characters from different racial identities, cultural backgrounds, countries of origin, gender identities, and disabilities to expand positive views on difference.