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Armen Awards to honor GRCC service learning

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By Carla Villasana-Acosta

Grand Rapids Community College will host the 4th Annual Armen Awards. The Armen Awards encourage service learning activities on campus to help out in the community and enhance the students’ college experience.

In order to participate, GRCC faculty partner up with community groups to plan service learning projects focused on combining “course outcomes and institutional learning outcomes with community partner needs,” the Armen Awards website states.

The teams were required to submit their finalized project by Nov. 1 for approval, and they implemented the proposal during the 2014 winter semester. Their final report is evaluated by a committee, which will select three winners among the competitors.

These three teams will receive a financial reward, but all the participating groups will be recognized as well. The Awards have been sponsored by the GRCC Foundation donor Armen Oumedian for the past four years.

Any discipline can be used to design a service learning component, and this year’s competition features seven different programs including health, language, and automotive.

Michael Schavey, Associate Director of the Department of Experiential Learning, described the projects as “a volunteer experience, but it’s directly related to what (students) are learning in the class.”

Participating in service learning can be challenging, and the Department of Experiential Learning gives the participants “all the tools that they would need so that the experience is rewarding and successful for everybody,” Schavey said.

The event will be held at 3 p.m. April 25 at the Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University Woodbridge N. Ferris Building, located at 17 Pearl St. NW, Room 217 in Grand Rapids.

For more information about the event visit grcc.edu/thearmenawards.