Cheryl Golden, Ph.D., professor of history and director of international studies at Newman University, connected with the Museum of World Treasures in Wichita for one of her Traditions and Transitions (T&T) class service projects.
Golden’s class signed up for various shifts Sept. 6 at the museum’s Homeschool Family Day event. The day’s theme was “travel the world” and stations representing different countries were set up throughout the museum, at which, the Newman volunteers helped the children with the hands-on activities. The children were given a passport to have stamped after visiting each of the stations.
“My learning community is both history and art — and where better to take that learning community than a museum?” said Golden. “My students also have a group project they are working on, in which they have to photograph artifacts and speak with museum professionals. So this is an opportunity to do some service, learn about history and do a little research while they’re here.”
Abbi Cortez, education specialist at the museum, said, “Having the Newman students here is awesome for us because we’re able to really interact with our school families that come through and we get to partner with Newman students in the process and show them how great it is to work at a museum.”
Newman alumna Kristin Martin ’14, programs director at the museum, said the event is a great way to connect with the Newman community again.
“My major was history and I had Cheryl as a professor. She is actually the one that set me up with my first internship experience here at the museum, so because she helped me with that, I ended up starting my career here.”
Martin has been at the museum for six years, including her years as a volunteer and intern. She said volunteers make a huge difference in what they can do for the community.
“The volunteers are a huge help. We wouldn’t be able to make this day what it is without them. We have about eight activity tables set up and we just don’t have the staff to fill all those tables. Being a Newman alum myself, I really love having Newman volunteers here to help out.”
Braxton Wells, a Newman business major from Medicine Lodge, Kansas, said she likes doing volunteer service work because it gives her a chance to give back to the community.
“I think it’s great for students to get to learn that there’s more stuff to do out in the community and to give back.”
Davide Panucci, a freshman from northern Italy, said working in the community helps him learn the language.
“Since I come from Italy, at the moment I don’t speak English very well, so this is an opportunity for me to learn and improve my English, and to speak with the people, and to approve my ability to do that.”
Golden said she plans on making this service project an annual occurrence.
“I hope they don’t just learn about history and art while they are here, but I want them to walk away with that satisfaction you get when you volunteer in the community and help others,” she said. “I hope they walk away with knowledge of a professional experience and how to interact with the children and how to make the most out of working with others.”