Feature Story, Student Life

Ohio Wesleyan Students Serve Others During Spring Break

April 7, 2017 – by Ohio Wesleyan University

Reflection leader Sashane Williams working on her Interfaith Service Program in Pittsburgh. Nearly 60 OWU students spent spring break volunteering on one of seven Interfaith Service teams. (Photo courtesy of OWU’s Office of University Chaplain)

University’s 2017 Interfaith Service Teams Volunteer at Seven Sites in U.S., Mexico

Nearly 60 Ohio Wesleyan University students spent spring break volunteering on one of OWU’s seven Interfaith Service teams.

Chad Johns, associate chaplain and director of the Interfaith Service program, says the student-created teams incorporate “intentional service and reflection with people of diverse faiths, philosophies, and perspectives [to] deepen our understanding of ourselves and each other, even as we work to improve the world around us.”

Each team also incorporates the “four essential pillars” of restorative justice, transformative reflection, substantive community, and conscientious leadership into their experiences, says Johns, a 2002 Ohio Wesleyan graduate.

“We seek to gain awareness of, show respect for, and build relationships with people and cultures with whom we interact,” he says. “We seek to stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in a way that honors and restores the human dignity and sacred worth of all involved. We seek to become agents for justice on our campus and in our world.”

The 2017 Interfaith Service teams, their locations of service, and their team members and advisers are:

LAKOTA NATION, SOUTH DAKOTAOWU Interfaith Lakota

Building and Rebuilding” team

  • Annie Spink, logistics leader
  • Cindy Huynh, reflection leader
  • Alyssa Clark
  • Julie Muhl
  • Izzy Taylor
  • Julia Anne Caple
  • Malory Wolfe
  • Karen Poremski, adviser
  • David Soliday, adviser

BUCERIAS, MEXICOOWU Interfaith Mexico

“Connecting with the Community” team

  • Shashank Sharma, logistics leader
  • Blake Andrews, reflection leader
  • Sydney Quinn
  • Jacquelynn Everetts
  • Sarah Rooney
  • Truman Haycock
  • Avianna Carmoega
  • Dana Behum, adviser
  • Bob Wood, adviser

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANAOWU Interfaith New Orleans

Re-New Orleans: Hurricane Katrina Recovery” team

  • Dominique Garrett, logistics leader
  • Wyatt Hall, reflection leader
  • Theresa Schluchter
  • Stephen McGrath
  • Emma Beale
  • Abigale Lyon
  • Claire O’Keeffe
  • Leslie Alton
  • Kathy Gruber, adviser
  • Chad Johns, adviser

COLUMBUS, OHIOOWU Interfaith Noor-Columbus

“Let There Be Light: OWU-Muslim Service Together” team (with the Noor Islamic Center)

  • Olivia Lease, logistics leader
  • Mollie Marshall, reflection leader
  • Dominic Mejia
  • Elizabeth Urbanski
  • Julianne Zala
  • Ainsley Metayer
  • Jennifer Bennett
  • Armando Polizzi
  • Charlotte Gross
  • Mark Shipps, adviser
  • Jon Powers, adviser

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIAOWU Interfaith Pittsburgh

Repair the World” team

  • Areena Arora, logistics leader
  • Sashane Williams, reflection leader
  • Sophia Bien
  • Trent Williams
  • Christine Pinder
  • Greg Margevicius
  • Hanna Cordes
  • Alexandria Niemeyer
  • Raissa Kanku
  • Meredith Dixon, adviser
  • Matt Kurk, adviser

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIAOWU Interfaith San Diego

Gender, Sexuality, and Immigration: Navigating Overlapping Realities” team

  • Lissette Gonzales, logistics leader
  • Dalia Lorenzo, reflection leader
  • Emma Nuiry
  • Quenton Stokes-Brown
  • Anderson Molina
  • Audrey Castaneda Walker
  • Ryan Bishop
  • James Murphy
  • Jen Owens, adviser
  • Jim Mendenhall, adviser

WASHINGTON, D.C.OWU Interfaith Washington DC

Crossroads of the Powerful and Powerless” team

  • Larynn Cutshaw, logistics leader
  • Jude Fahoum, reflection leader
  • Alexis Lease
  • Annapurna Pakrasi
  • Emma Wong
  • Jess Choate
  • Abigail Horvat
  • Anna Burkhart
  • Rosa Escobar
  • Sarah Watt
  • Susie Long, adviser
  • Chris Mickens, adviser

Learn more about Ohio Wesleyan’s Interfaith Service program at www.owu.edu/InterfaithService.