University Relations

Community Engagement Scholars Program:

Integrative Community Engagement Project (ICEP)

Kari Eloranta

Graduated: May 2012
Major: English

Kari's Training Manual: As a coordinator and past tutor at the University YMCA (UY), Kari noticed that tutors often felt disengaged during the seminars meant to help them grow as tutors. For her ICEP, Kari tackled the issue by putting together a binder of new seminar formats. She created seminars that included more relaxed reflections and conversations as opposed to just lectures.

Past Experience: Having been a tutor for two years before becoming a coordinator, Kari felt that she could understand the needs of UY tutors. Her long term involvement with her community organization was what informed Kari's project.

Most Rewarding Part: The most rewarding part of the project for Kari was hearing her peers at the UY tell each other that they were enjoying seminars more than before. She saw the attitudes of the tutors change and it was exciting to see the tutors get to know one-another better.

Long Term Effect: Kari has found that her ICEP was sustainable even despite the fact that the Y-Tutors program doesn't exist anymore. The present coordinator is still using Kari's model for the new mentor programs. The strong relationship that Kari built with the current coordinator was what allowed her to keep her project to be sustainable for the future.

What She's Up to Now: Kari is in graduate school working on her teaching license. She knows that CESP has influenced where she is now: she got to work at lots of different schools because of CESP. The most meaningful course Kari took in college was Eric Daigre's service-learning course, Engl 3741. She now feels prepared to become a teacher.

Kari's words of wisdom for next year's ICEP students: "Make sure you do something you're passionate about! If you are passionate, you will likely use skills you learned working on your project in the future!"