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A semester's worth of service

August 19, 2011


Nearly 1,250 students will hit the Beloit College campus soon. But they won’t just be cramming for tests and going to classes for the next eight months. They'll also be reading to kids, building houses, boosting the business of local vendors, attending guest lectures by Nobel prize winners and much more.

Here’s a look at how Beloit College students will be spending their 2011-2012 school year, thinking on their feet, heads engaged, and getting their hands dirty, respectively:

  • As part of Habitat for Humanity, one of the college’s largest and most active clubs, over 100 students are expected to spend nearly 1,000 hours creating activities and events that promote awareness of the housing problems in Beloit and Rock County to the community at large.
  • Around 30 students are expected to spend over 800 hours reading to and with at-risk elementary school students as part of the Todd Reading Club
  • Dubbed "Kids Night Out," members of the women’s soccer and softball teams will offer parents and children a night of fun and games at the Beloit College Sports Center one Friday every month beginning Sept. 16.
  • Students – and community members – will listen to a number of distinguished lecturers including The Last King of Scotland author Giles Foden on Sept. 16 and Elinor Ostrom, the recipient of the 2009 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, on Oct. 28.   
  • Students and the public will see the opening of the newly refurbished Strong Stadium slated for the Sept. 17 football game. 
  • Students will display their talent in four plays, two choral concerts, five music performances and two dance performances.
  • Student-athletes will compete in a total of 95 regular season games this fall, 41 of them at home in Flood Arena or at Strong Stadium.
  • Nearly 150 students are expected to log over 6,000 service hours in the pre-college programs, Upward Bound and Help Yourself, which offer academic guidance, tutoring, workshops and college visits to area youth who would not otherwise have such resources. Seventy students in grades 9-12 will participate in Upward Bound, and 120 in grades 6-12 will partake in Help Yourself. These students come primarily from Beloit in addition to other cities including South Beloit, Clinton and Brodhead.
  •  About 17 students will complete 90 hours of individual service per semester and analyze that in a weekly seminar as part of the Duffy Community Partnerships. Students in the past have served at 25 different community sites from farms to non-profits to businesses in southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.
  •  Around 50 high school seniors from the Greater Beloit area will enroll in the fall semester as Porter Scholars where they will explore fields not available at their own schools and work closely with college faculty and current Beloit students while preparing to become college students themselves. Porter Scholars, who must rank in the Top 10 percent of their class, receive a full tuition scholarship for up to two courses.
  • Over 50 students will engage sixth-grade girls from a 50-mile radius in science. Taking place in the spring, Girls and Women in Science is a fun, hands-on academically based workshop that is entirely student run. Research shows that sixth grade is the point where girls often disengage from science, leading to the subsequent gender gap seen in college enrollment in the sciences and the low ratio of women to men in scientific professions.

Students will boost the business of downtown vendors all school year long. Beloit students are fixtures at downtown hotspots like Café Belwah, Suds O’Hanahan’s, Nikki’s Café and Bushel & Peck’s, among others