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MSU wraps up March for Service Initiative 

embedded-news-march-for-service-nursing1.webpIn March, Morehead State University students in all majors learned the importance and impact of civic engagement through MSU's March for Service Initiative.    

MSU faculty designed community and civic engagement volunteer projects throughout March to increase MSU students' civic engagement while incorporating skills developed within their respective majors. Students participated while reflecting on what they learned and the overall value of their experience.    

On Saturday and Sunday, March 25-26, MSU nursing students and music students developed leadership skills and engaged with the community of Morehead in discipline-related service. They participated in a community-wide baby shower and an instrument showcase, respectively. 

Over 60 families attended and were excited to learn how to best care for their children and the possibility of receiving one of several door prizes donated by various organizations in the area. Nursing students researched and presented topics including the Heimlich maneuver for babies and infants, gestational diabetes, maintaining parental identities, the value of exercise in pregnancy, and more.  

"This community-wide baby shower event first started through St. Claire in collaboration with AHEC (Area Health Education Center). It was developed in response to the needs of young families in the area requiring additional support by connecting them with educational and healthcare resources to aid with prenatal care and raising young children," said Dr. Lisa Wallace, assistant professor of nursing and coordinator of Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. "Restoring trust in healthcare is vital in a seemingly post-COVID world, especially in young families who deal with issues related to mental health, substance abuse, and vaccination status."  

Dr. Teresa Ellett, professor of nursing and coordinator of the Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) program, said, "This wouldn't have been a success without the work of our community partners and nursing students from both the associate's and bachelor's programs. Over 70 students presented on essential topics through evidence-based posters, developing the crucial career skills of communication, critical thinking, teamwork, and professionalism."  

Nursing students participating in the baby shower event also networked with community-based agencies, such as DOVES of Gateway, Kentucky's HANDS (Health Access Nurturing Development Services) program, Hope Pregnancy Center, St. Claire, UK Healthcare, Godspeed Maternity Home, and others for future employment opportunities.   

embedded-news-march-for-service-nursing2.webpAt the instrument showcase, nearly a dozen MSU orchestra students showed off a variety of instruments to children in attendance. They also visited a "hands-on" table where they could play drums, maracas, glockenspiels, and other percussion instruments. Afterward, they received free entry into the Cave Run Symphony Orchestra's concert, "Out of This World."  

"Exposing young children to orchestral instruments and musical literature is essential to creating life-long audiences of symphonic music," said Dr. Michele Paynter Paise, assistant professor of music education. "Our community is fortunate to have the Cave Run Symphony in Eastern Kentucky. Partnering with them at this event will have lasting effects on not only the children who attended but also their children's children. Sharing a love of music is one of the most important ways we can connect as human beings, a skill that will become increasingly more important as our world continues to become more technology driven."  

Coordinator of Service Learning Andrew Sexton said, "We are proud of events like these in which students can develop a love of serving others through their interests. Whether it be healthcare or music, MSU students can use their major to positively impact the needs of those around them."  

The March to Service Initiative stems from the Council on Postsecondary Education's Kentucky Graduate Profile. This endeavor ensures that students graduating from Kentucky colleges will develop 10 skills to prepare them for life, including communication, cultural competency and civic engagement.  

Community partners interested in working with Morehead State University for future service projects can complete the following survey:      

To learn more about MSU's Center for Career Development and Experiential Education, visit 

Photo, right (left to right): MSU nursing students Alex Sisco, Katheryn Wang and Allysia Lockard participated in a community-wide baby shower during MSU's March for Service Initiative.

Photo, left (left to right): During the March For Service Initiative, MSU orchestra students David Keeton and Laura Baker showed off a variety of instruments to children in attendance at an instrument showcase.

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