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MLK Semester of Service Student Awards

Martin Luther King Jr. Semester of Service Student Awards

Since the 2010/2011 school year, the MLK Semester of Service Student Awards have funded community service projects initiated by students at UMass Chan. This program was developed as part of a five-campus UMass Learn and Serve grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service and has allowed our students to pursue innovative engaged work in local communities. Funding is now provided by the UMass Chan Diversity and Inclusion Office and the Office for Community and Government Relations.

Students are invited to submit proposals outlining community service projects they hope to undertake in the Spring semester.  The top ideas will receive funding awards of $500 with which to accomplish these projects.

Winners are announced on Martin Luther King Day on UMass Chan News, and recognized by the Dean at the medical school's MLK Day celebration in January. The judging panel is comprised of members of our Community Engagement Committee.

Priority will be given to projects that meet one or more of the following criteria:

• Enhance or strengthen existing relationships with the community 
• Address both community needs and student learning objectives
• Provide opportunities for a diverse range of UMass community members to work together
• Increase the number of students, staff and faculty engaged in the community
• Include opportunities for learners to reflect on their experience
• Contribute to the elimination of health disparities by addressing social determinants of health, including issues of racism, bias and discrimination

 

How do I apply?

Applicants must be current UMass Chan students in good academic and professional standing who wish to organize and run a community service project during the spring semester. Students are encouraged to partner with a local organization that is a non-profit with 501c3 or other tax-exempt status. For assistance connecting with a community partner, interested students should speak with Heather-Lyn Haley or any other member of the UMass Chan Community Engagement Committee.

Please submit an application containing all of the items specified below.

1. Student name(s), school, class, and contact information
2. Community-based organization name(s), contact name and information
3. Narrative (no more than three pages) that includes:
   • Project overview
   • Explanation of community needs/assets being addressed
   • Student learning objectives being met
   • Proposed activities and timeline
   • Description of target audience and participants
   • Plan for recruiting and training of participants
   • Plan for reflection and evaluation of results
   • Budget narrative

What is the deadline?

All proposals are due to Heather-Lyn Haley by the first Friday in January at midnight.

How do I submit my proposal?

Email completed proposals to the UMass Chan MLK Award Coordinator, Heather-Lyn Haley at Heather-Lyn.Haley@umassmed.edu 

What is expected of students who receive an MLK Student Award?

All students who receive an award are expected to plan and execute a community service project during the Spring semester. A brief final report documenting the use of funds, number of participants, outcomes of the project, and lessons to be shared with future awardees will be requested, preferably in the form of a powerpoint presentation that can be uploaded for archiving on the UMass Chan Medical School website. They will also be asked to document the numbers and types of participants involved both as volunteers and as recipients of service in the UMass Chan Collaboratory database.

History of the awards:

Building on the Promise: Learn and Serve UMass was a two-year grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service (2010-2012). The grant funded work on all UMass campuses to enhance service-learning opportunities and encourage student engagement in the communities where they live and learn. The MLK Award program was developed by the UMass Chan Learn and Serve team to support student-driven service projects in the communities that surround the UMass Chan campus.

MLK Award Winners over time:

2022

Improving Pediatric Oral Health in Worcester  - Fiona Splaine (T.H. Chan School of Medicine ‘24), Ekaterina Skaritanov (T.H. Chan School of Medicine ‘24), Marie McGourty (T.H. Chan School of Medicine ‘24), Jack Hanna (SOM ‘25) and Nadine Kridli (SOM ’25, and  Jillian Belgrad T.H. Chan School of Medicine /Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences) will partner with Marie's Mission to run six oral health education sessions providing increased awareness about the importance of oral health, actionable steps families can take to improve their oral health, and the resources to schedule a child’s first dentist appointment.   

Setting the Tone  - Christopher Fay (T.H. Chan School of Medicine ’23), Nichita Kulkarni (T.H. Chan School of Medicine ’22), Jeremiah Hyslip (T.H. Chan School of Medicine ’23), Christian Keenan (T.H. Chan School of Medicine ’24), Zahin Ahmed (T.H. Chan School of Medicine ’25), Sumayyah Akhtar (T.H. Chan School of Medicine ’25), and Webb Camille (T.H. Chan School of Medicine and GS1 of PhD) are partnering with Family Health Center Worcester  to develop and deliver a series of educational lectures on clinical signs and symptoms in black and brown skin, creating a lasting clinical teaching resource, as well as to purchase and distribute bandages in darker skin tones at Family Health Center Worcester.   

Moving the Walls: Enhancing interprofessional care and patient privacy in free medical clinics  Angela Patterson (GEP-DNP ‘24), David Runyan (GEP-DNP ‘24), Jillian Steacy (GEP-DNP ‘24), Kourtney Mantyla (GEP-DNP ‘24), Morgan Hill (GEP-DNP ‘24), Jacob Waldman (GEP-DNP ‘24), Casandra Gale (GEP-DNP ‘24), Emily Dillon (GEP-DNP ‘24), Joshan Niroula (GEP-DNP ‘24), Rachel Odillia (GEP-DNP ‘24) will partner with the Worcester Free Care Collaborative  to strengthen the Worcester Free Care Collaborative (WFCC) through incorporation of Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing students, which will expand the range and quality of free medical care provided.  Additionally, funds will be used to purchase adjustable walls, creating private space to provide medical consultation and/or learning discussions between volunteers, T.H. Chan School of Medicine and Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing students, and medical providers.   

Worcester CARES-Caring for Afghan Refugees through Educational Support - Sahar Peerzade (T.H. Chan School of Medicine ’24), Sumayyah Akhtar (T.H. Chan School of Medicine ’25), and Michael Mallouh (T.H. Chan School of Medicine ’25) will partner with Worcester Islamic Center Social Services to mitigate educational disparities during resettlement while continuing to support the endeavors of community partners, including a patient navigator program, a K-12 student tutoring program focused on school preparedness, as well as improving access to vaccines and other resources at the WICSS free clinic.   

STEM Start - Naomi Stuffers (T.H. Chan School of Medicine '24), Annie Ma (T.H. Chan School of Medicine '24) and Lyle Suh (T.H. Chan School of Medicine '24) will introduce a new healthcare career-oriented mentorship aspect to the STEMStart program at Worcester East Middle School, which will include a healthcare fair and mentor panel consisting of female professionals from various STEM careers.   

2021

Developing an Adult Program at WRAP Vanessa Avalone, Nathan Yingling, and Omar Taweh, T.H. Chan School of Medicine ‘24; with Melanie Kossuth Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing-GEP ‘23; Anushay Mistry, T.H. Chan School of Medicine ‘22; and Pooja Gupta, T.H. Chan School of Medicine ‘21 will work with leaders at the Worcester Refugee Assistance Project to create a space where adults can come together, find social support, and  practice their English-speaking skills in a safe environment, building confidence in their ability to communicate and express themselves.  

BRAIN: Building Relationships Among our Intergenerational Neighborhoods – Darya Herscovici, Muhammet Ozdemir, and Saurabh Kumar, all T.H. Chan School of Medicine ‘24, will work with Christine Giguere at Beaumont Rehab and Nursing Care to facilitate supportive, longitudinal, and one-on-one relationships between residents from the Tapestry Memory Unit at Beaumont Rehabilitation and UMass Chan students. Students will be paired to one of thirty residents within the unit and will be expected to participate in weekly, in-person, volunteer sessions at the nursing home. 

Worcester Stops the Bleed - This year’s Stop the Bleed team, including Emmanuel Budis, Sarah Uhranowsky, Carl Adams, Paramesh Karandikar, and Alex Richard from T.H. Chan School of Medicine24; Michael Wang and Sassicaia Schick from T.H. Chan School of Medicine23; Elizaveta Reznichenko T.H. Chan School of Medicine22; and Lucinda Chiu T.H. Chan School of Medicine21 will coordinate with Family Health Center of Worcester and Center for Health Impact to complete translation of the Stop The Bleed training materials into Spanish, and print copies to distribute at local partner sites.  They will work closely with Dr. Sabato and WCCA TV 194 to create informative videos that will air on the local Worcester channel to offer a remote hemorrhage control training. 

Establishing interpreter services at the Worcester Asylum Clinic - Grant Garcia, Sabine Shaughnessy and Aya Abou-Jaoude from T.H. Chan School of Medicine24; Kimberly Burke, Diana Sibai and Sabahat Rahman T.H. Chan School of Medicine23, Divya Bhatia T.H. Chan School of Medicine21, and MD/ PhD student Carly Herbert will work with the Worcester Asylum Clinic to address an identified need for a more robust internal interpreter network which would be coordinated directly through the clinic. 

2020

Cervical Cancer Screening: Understanding Barriers to Access and Implementing Free Screening at Organized Medical Programs - Students Katherine Cooper ST.H. Chan School of Medicine22, Rachel Anderson T.H. Chan School of Medicine22, and Grace Masters Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences21/T.H. Chan School of Medicine23 will work with Dr. Tiffany Moore-Simas and community partners at the Worcester Free Clinic Coalition (WFCC), using a multi-step approach that will evaluate the need for and barriers to cervical cancer screening; their findings will then be used to implement free pap testing at Worcester free medical programs.

 Worcester Stops the Bleed - Students Michael Wang T.H. Chan School of Medicine23; Lucinda Chiu T.H. Chan School of Medicine21; and Elya Reznichenko T.H. Chan School of Medicine22 will work with Dr. Stacey Valentine, Dr. George DeBusk and community partners, including the Recreation Worcester program run by the City, to train youth workers to save lives by raising awareness of basic actions to stop life threatening bleeding following everyday emergencies and man-made and natural disasters.

Bringing Electronic Medical Records to the Worcester Free Clinic Coalition - Student John Romano T.H. Chan School of Medicine22 will work with Dr. Jim Ledwith and the Worcester Evening Free Medical Service Program, hosted at the Epworth Church,  to pilot the implementation of an EMR that will improve continuity and quality of care by allowing outside providers to log in and access records of care.

TaMI: Tutoring and Mentoring Initiative - Students Cindy Le T.H. Chan School of Medicine23 and Thomas Kania T.H. Chan School of Medicine23 will work with Michael Cardin at North High School to build a program giving students at North High School a platform to receive tutoring in the fundamental subjects they will need, subjects including math and science courses as well as SAT exam preparation, while establishing relationships with people who have successfully navigated the journey already.

2019

  • STEM Start: Engaging Worcester Girls in Science and Technology: Maimuna Ahmad and Delia Sanders, T.H. Chan School of Medicine22
  • The Worcester Consent Initiative: Alice Kennedy and Shervin Rezaei, T.H. Chan School of Medicine22; Carly Herbert, MD PhD Candidate, Year 1; Abiola Ogunsola, MD PhD Candidate, Year 2
  • Making Worcester Home: Meme Tran, T.H. Chan School of Medicine19, Pooja Gupta, T.H. Chan School of Medicine21, and Anushay Mistry, T.H. Chan School of Medicine22

2018

  • Day of Service, Night of Fun: Jugert Bango , Jonathan Kassira, Elisabeth McGovern, Katherine Sadaniantz, all T.H. Chan School of Medicine ’21
  • STEM Start: Engaging Worcester Girls in Science and Technology: Brittany Dacier, Nadia Eshraghi, and Christine Hebert, all T.H. Chan School of Medicine ‘21
  • Young Men of Today: Medical Professionals of Tomorrow: Michael Buckner ‘18, Kayla Elliott ‘19, Marian Younge ‘19, Pawan Mathew ‘20, Fatoumata Bah ‘20, Kevin O’Connor ‘20, Anupama Singh ‘20, Krist Tase ‘20, Arielle Stopa ’20

2017

  • Bridging Language and Culture Towards a Healthier Tomorrow: Yan Emily Yuan T.H. Chan School of Medicine20
  • STEM Start: Engaging Worcester Girls in Science and Technology: Jacqueline Chipkin, Colleen Gabel, and Shruthi Srinivas, all T.H. Chan School of Medicine20
  • Implementing Wellness Initiatives in a Refugee Youth Program Expansion: Meme Tran T.H. Chan School of Medicine19, Courtney Temple T.H. Chan School of Medicine17, Mark Fusunyan T.H. Chan School of Medicine17 and Kevin Gao T.H. Chan School of Medicine20
  • Worcester Refugee Resource Collaboratory: Samia Ahmed Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing19, Steven Purcell Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing19, and Kaleigh Timmins T.H. Chan School of Medicine19

2016

  • Young Men of Today: Medical Professionals of Tomorrow.  Jessica R. Long, T.H. Chan School of Medicine, Class of 2017, Michael Buckner, T.H. Chan School of Medicine, Class of 2018, Kayla Elliot, T.H. Chan School of Medicine, Class of 2019, and Marian Younge, T.H. Chan School of Medicine, Class of 2019. 
  • Integrative Medicine Oncology Initiative: Hand Massage for Patients and Caregivers.  Jesse Moskowitz, T.H. Chan School of Medicine, Class of 2018 and Molly Cain, T.H. Chan School of Medicine, Class of 2018.
  • Civics and Citizenship Course for Worcester Refugee Youth. Courtney Temple, T.H. Chan School of Medicine, Class of 2017, Mark Fusunyan, T.H. Chan School of Medicine, Class of 2017, Conor Grogan, T.H. Chan School of Medicine, Class of 2018, and Meme Tran, T.H. Chan School of Medicine, Class of 2019. 
  • Adolescent Sexual Health in Barre, Ma. Rachel Meyer Bensen, Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing-GEP, Class of 2017, and Christina Janssens, Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing-GEP, Class of 2017.

2015

  • ACEing Autism Tennis Program: Nisarg Chhaya, T.H. Chan School of Medicine; Mary Pat Cavanaugh, T.H. Chan School of Medicine; Hannah Hoerner, T.H. Chan School of Medicine; Geneva DeGregorio, T.H. Chan School of Medicine; Socheata Ly, Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; and Joana Sun, Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing
  • Farm-to-Health Center Initiative: Community Cooking Project: Cassidy Mellin, T.H. Chan School of Medicine; Jessica Plager, T.H. Chan School of Medicine; and Blair Robinson, T.H. Chan School of Medicine
  • Florence House Workshop Series: Gianna Wilkie, T.H. Chan School of Medicine
  • STEM for WRAP: Health education and exploration of STEM careers for local refugee youth: Mark Fusunyan, T.H. Chan School of Medicine; Jennifer Perez, T.H. Chan School of Medicine; David Ramsden, T.H. Chan School of Medicine; Courtney Temple, T.H. Chan School of Medicine; and Alyse Wheelock, T.H. Chan School of Medicine
  • Young Men of Today: Medical Professionals of Tomorrow: Jessica R. Long, T.H. Chan School of Medicine, and Michael Buckner, T.H. Chan School of Medicine

2014

  • Farm-to-Health Center Initiative: Prescriptions for Food Insecurity: Kathryn Bailey MSII, Rachel Erdil MSII, Jeremy Malin RN Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing, Liz Rosen MSI
  • Worcester Free Clinic Tobacco Cessation Project: Lauren Veit, T.H. Chan School of Medicine, MSIII,  Wei-Sum Li, T.H. Chan School of Medicine, MSII
  • Mentoring Local Refugee Youth for Healthy Lifestyles: Courtney Temple, MSI, Alyse Wheelock, MSII, Alison Bialecki, MSII, Jennifer Perez, MSII, Michael Richardson MSIV
  • Increasing STEM Career Opportunities in the Worcester Latino Community: Glen Gallagher, PhD Candidate, Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Regino Mercado‚ÄźLubo, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

2013

  • Worcester Free Clinic Medical Interpreter Project: Miriam Madsen, Aurian Garcia-Gonzalez, Israel Molina and Wei Sum Li
  • Department of Youth Services Health Education Development and Delivery: Rahela Aziz-Bose and Julia Randall
  • Integrative Medicine Gynecological Oncology Initiative: James Doolin, Nicole Koulisis, Emily Levoy and Ye Li 
  • Mentoring Local Refugee Youth for Storytelling and Performance: Jennifer Perez, Sarah Tracy and Meredith

2012

  • Kelley Backpack Project: Heather Busick, T.H. Chan School of Medicine’12,  Anne Barnard, T.H. Chan School of Medicine’14 Alison Little, T.H. Chan School of Medicine’14 Scott Pascal, T.H. Chan School of Medicine’14 Anna Plourde, T.H. Chan School of Medicine’12 and Aubrey Samost, T.H. Chan School of Medicine’14 .
  • Complementary and Integrative Medicine Oncology Initiative: Megan E. Furnari, T.H. Chan School of Medicine’13. , Vincent J. Mitchell III, T.H. Chan School of Medicine’13 .
  • Free Clinic Laptop Project: Reza Hosseini Ghomi, T.H. Chan School of Medicine’14, Jennifer MacDonald, MD/PhD ’14 
  • Free Clinic Medication Project: Christopher Perrone, T.H. Chan School of Medicine’14 

2011

  • Reducing Trans Fat Through Outreach to Worcester’s Diverse Restaurant Owners: Matthew DeWolf, Mitch Li and Alan Chin, MS1
  • Reading Forward: Career Exploration and Personal Development Through Literature Discussions with North High School students: Micaela Bayard, MS3, and Matthew Zanghi, MS2
  • Obesity Prevention Curriculum for African Refugee Children: Toy Lim, GEP2
  • Family Health Night for Refugees from Burma: Sarah Tracy, MS1, Nang Maung, Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences student, Meredith Walsh, GEP2

 

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What is Learn and Serve UMass? 

Learn and Serve UMass was a UMass system-wide grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service, supporting student involvement taking place on all five UMass campuses from 2010-2012. The overarching goal of this UMass initiative was to expand service learning and community service opportunities for students, with specific focuses on youth work, economic development, and community partnerships. At UMass Chan, it was managed by the department of Family Medicine and Community Health: Suzanne Cashman, PI, Heather-Lyn Haley, project manager.

Carnegie Recipient 2015