Several alumni and friends have established funds such as The Samuel L. Westerman Foundation’s Winter Term in Service Fund to help students afford an off-campus service-learning course.
“The Westerman Fund was established following my experience in Haiti through the Winter Term in Mission program started by DePauw chaplain Fred Lamar,” said Westerman Fund donor Kent G. LoPrete ’85.
Founded in 1973 and now known as Winter and May Term in Service, the program is one of DePauw’s longest continually running and most popular service-learning programs. During the winter and May terms, faculty and staff members and students partner with organizations that address community needs. Service-learning teams immerse themselves in host communities, living with host families, working in solidarity with community members on projects that often align with course themes such as restorative justice and post-conflict reconciliation; global health and access to care; community resource development; and environmental sustainability.
Past projects have included restoration projects; support at remote medical clinics and sports clinics with local children; and public health education.
Chemistry and global health major Gina Federighi ’21 was a student co-leader for the Timmy Global Health program in Ecuador in January 2020 led by Cristiana Theilmann, part-time Instructor of modern languages, and Mamunur Rashid, associate professor of mathematics.
“I am so grateful I had the opportunity to volunteer with Timmy Global Health,” Federighi said. “The organization’s commitment to sustainable health care has helped improve health in rural communities of the Amazon. DePauw has given me the opportunity of a lifetime to learn abroad and do service with Timmy Global Health.
“DePauw has aided this journey to Ecuador every step of the way; the Hubbard Center has been a great resource for myself and others as we sort through our experiences abroad and determine the best path for our individual journeys. I could not have attended the medical brigade without the help of generous donors and alumni. Their investment into DePauw students is so unique and inspiring. I am grateful that alumni continue to believe in DePauw and DePauw students long past their college years; this truly illustrates what it means to be a DePauw family.”
Student co-leader Brittany Davis ’20, a neuroscience and global health major, said, “The founder of Timmy Global Health, Dr. Chuck Dietzen, stated that ‘We were not all born to be doctors and nurses, but we were all born to be healers.’ Healing can be reciprocal. While we travelled to Ecuador to be of service to others, we actually gained a tremendous amount of knowledge, endearment and understanding. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such an incredible experience. I am thankful for all of the support and funding made available for our group to successfully complete our program. I am in awe of the growth we experienced as a group and as individuals, and am inspired to continue educating myself and engaging in purposeful practices that push me to better understand myself so that I can properly serve others."
Funding is always needed for student scholarships and also for faculty development funds to send faculty members on site visits and to develop courses and projects with communities before taking students. Those interested in learning more about contributing to such efforts can email Steve Trautman, executive director of development, at email@example.com or call 765-658-4085.