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Marylhurst jumps into service mode

by:  Pam Leibrant

Pam Leibrant wants to engage everyone in sight as Marylhurst University enters Spring Into Service this month.

As AmeriCorps' VISTA representative on campus, Leibrant wants to involve Marylhurst students as well as Lake Oswego and West Linn community members. Not only so the program will be successful this year but in the years ahead.

Leibrant has filled up April with an impressive number of activities.

One of the most notable will be 'Health Interactive: Access, Advocacy, Action,' which will be moderated by radio and television journalist Emily Harris, a former NPR correspondent and OPB host, on April 19 at Clark Commons from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Another key event will be 'How Do Underserved People Access Health Care in Portland?' a panel discussion moderated by Sister Carol Higgins, director of Marylhurst's campus ministry program. It will be held on April 25 at Flavia Salon from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Students and the community can become involved with the Urban Education Center Clinic Cleanup Project on April 14. Volunteers will be helping to turn a Portland daycare center into a clinic.

While Leibrant will be applying much energy and ingenuity this month, she has some natural advantages working for her.

'Marylhurst University has had a unique philosophy about service from its very beginning,' said Signe Bishop, program coordinator of Oregon Campus Compact, the organization that hired Leibrant and oversees similar programs at other Oregon colleges.

'Our Service Advisors Task Group has faculty and staff who will involve the whole campus,' Leibrant said. 'We'll see service provided by each department.'

Leibrant has seen amazing results from previous service projects initiated at Marylhurst, such as the Tom Ruhl Memorial Book Drive last fall. It collected 400 books for young children at Title 1 schools.

'I went with the principal at Lent School into the school library,' Leibrant said. 'He pulled out their latest book about jets, and it came out in 1967. I was shocked. The principal was so grateful for the books donated to his school.'

Leibrant will be leaving and the VISTA program at Marylhurst will be ending at the end of this year. But Bishop said Marylhurst's service program will go on.

'Service is part of Marylhurst's long-time strategic goal,' Bishop said. 'Now this great service program has been instilled, where it wasn't three years ago. It has been hugely successful.'

Leibrant said, 'Because of the university ministry this program will continue to live on.'

Spring Into Service will feature a personal care items drive throughout April. Those wanting to help can leave items - body lotion, combs, brushes, deodorant, first aid supplies, razors, shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, towels etc. - on the Marylhurst campus at various drop boxes.

People can also donate items via Amazon.com, where a wish list can be viewed.

For more information about Marylhurst University's Spring Into Service, email Leibrant at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .




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