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Nicholls takes lead in service-learning

THIBODAUX – Nicholls State University welcomed the state’s first Louisiana Campus Compact-sponsored AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer on Thursday, Jan. 15.

Pictured from left are Karen Powell, program director of Louisiana Campus Compact; Dr. Morris Coats, professor of economics, chair of the Service-Learning Committee at Nicholls and on-site supervisor of the VISTA program; Charlene Moore, AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer; and Dr. Stephen T. Hulbert, university president.

Pictured from left are Karen Powell, program director of Louisiana Campus Compact; Dr. Morris Coats, professor of economics, chair of the Service-Learning Committee at Nicholls and on-site supervisor of the VISTA program; Charlene Moore, AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer; and Dr. Stephen T. Hulbert, university president.

Charlene Moore of Houma, a 36-year veteran of social service work, said she looks forward not only to working with the Bayou Region community, but inspiring Nicholls students to do the same.

“This is a great way for student volunteers to develop their skills before finding their callings,” Moore said.

Founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965 and incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993, AmeriCorps*VISTA is a national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. VISTA members commit to serve full-time for a year at a nonprofit organization or local government agency. Their mission is to help fight illiteracy, improve health services, create businesses and strengthen community groups.

“I am thrilled that Nicholls has a new VISTA volunteer,” said Dr. Morris Coats, professor of economics, chair of the Service-Learning Committee at Nicholls and on-site supervisor of the VISTA program. “We’re now able to establish the groundwork in making service-learning more a part of the Nicholls experience.”

Karen Powell, program director of Louisiana Campus Compact, said the initiative will “encourage faculty to seek partnerships with organizations to promote service-learning needs. To that end, we are quite fortunate to have Charlene. Her experience and insight into the needs of this community will prove most beneficial.”

For additional information on the VISTA program, go to www.americorps.org/about/programs/vista.asp.

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