PACT: Partners Acting in Community Today
Samford students coordinate weekly service opportunities with our community partners through Partners Acting in the Community Today (PACT). PACT’s service liaisons serve as a crucial link between Samford University and the greater Birmingham community by connecting students with ongoing service opportunities. Community partners include East Lake United Methodist Church, the Exceptional Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, NorthStar Youth Ministries and Restoration Academy.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions regarding getting involved in PACT.
Character Enrichment Institute
In partnership with the Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education, the Mann Center hosted Samford’s inaugural Character Education Workshop in 2015 bringing together 60 educators from 22 schools across Alabama to learn about the benefits of character education and development in schools. Through focused, intentional partnerships with Alabama schools, the Character Enrichment Program provides assistance to local schools to help develop and implement customized character enrichment programs in each school. Current partner institutions include Cornerstone Academy, Restoration Academy, Tarrant Intermediate School and W. E. Putnam Middle School.
Mann Center Service Immersion Trips
Mann Center Service Immersion Trips provide students with hands on service opportunities and built in reflection time to encourage students to put their faith into practice. This spring break, we are offering two service immersion trips – one to Give Kids the World in Orlando, Florida, and another to Heifer International in Perryville, Arkansas. Students can submit applications for these trips through Orgsync.
Give Kids the World | Orlando, Florida
Samford University has sent a team of students to Give Kids the World (GKTW) for four consecutive years. GKTW is a nonprofit storybook resort that offers cost-free fantasy vacations for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. For these children, a typical week is filled with doctor's visits, treatments, pain, and medication, but at GKTW, they are treated to a magical, memorable vacation where they can experience a week of fun as a normal kid. Volunteers play a crucial role in making GKTW a place that inspires hope in children.
Samford student volunteers at GKTW will assist in multiple areas of the park including serving ice cream for, operating pony rides, painting faces, helping put on plays, and landscaping.
Heifer International | Perryville, Arkansas
For the last two years Samford students have traveled to Perryville, Arkansas, to volunteer with Heifer International during spring break. At Heifer Ranch students learn about global poverty through service learning. Students participate in a variety of experiential activities such as team-building development, educational sessions, overnight village experience and hands-on service projects. Sample responsibilities include harvesting crops, milking a goat, landscaping/maintenance, and more.
Hodges Lecture in Ethics and Leadership
The Mann Center sponsors the annual Andrew Gerow Hodges Lecture in Ethics and Leadership, which provides a forum for the Samford community to hear nationally and internationally known thought leaders from business, the professions and academia. These campus-wide programs address current ethical issues facing society, focusing especially on the role of leadership in meeting these challenges.
Previous Hodges Lecturers include George Marsden, professor emeritus of history at the University of Notre Dame, Stanley Hauerwas, professor of theological ethics at Duke Divinity School, Richard Carwardine, president of Corpus Cristi College at the University of Oxford, Michael Lindsay, president of Gordon College, and Pieter Faling, executive director of the national electricity supply company of South Africa.
Samford Gives Back
Samford Gives Back offers an opportunity for Samford students to meet an expressed community need off-campus. Samford Gives Back provides an entry point for Samford students to be exposed to the greater Birmingham community, meet a specific need of a community agency or entity and initiate relationships beyond Samford’s campus. A student-led Leadership Team organizes and plans the event with supervision from the Director of Community Engagement. Please email email@example.com to volunteer with Samford Gives Back, either as an individual or a group.
The Frances Marlin Mann Awards for Leadership and Character are annually awarded to eleven students from each of the university’s 10 academic schools and athletics program. Students are nominated by deans and other university executives and selected based upon their consistent leadership and strong character, including humility, courage, self-control and justice.
Additionally, one student is awarded the Joe McDade Scholarship, which honors a 1961 alumnus. Nominees must demonstrate a life and character lived in the spirit of Christ, a contribution to the overall betterment and well-being of the University, participation in a wide range of campus life, leadership ability, an embodiment of the overall goals, mission, and spirit of the university, and a commitment to the long-range development and well-being of the university.
Joe McDade Scholarship
One student is awarded the Joe McDade Scholarship, which honors a 1961 alumnus. Nominees must demonstrate a life and character lived in the spirit of Christ, a contribution to the overall betterment and well-being of the University, participation in a wide range of campus life, leadership ability, an embodiment of the overall goals, mission, and spirit of the university, and a commitment to the long-range development and well-being of the university.
Research & Professional Development
Community Based Research Grants
The Mann Center also facilitates community-based research courses that involve students exploring a critical question posed and guided by a community organization; the results of their study are intended to assist the organization.
Community-based research can also take the form of a collaborative effort between academic researchers and non-academic community members that aims to generate social action and positive social change through the use of multiple knowledge sources and research methods. Ideally, the research questions originate from off-campus communities and the process involves meaningful participation by all partners in every stage of the research. Both undergraduate and graduate students can be involved in this research through curricular or co-curricular approaches.
Community Based Learning Institute
Taking Education Beyond the Walls of the Classroom
The Mann Center offers the Community Based Learning Institute for all who want to explore or deepen their knowledge, skills, and passion for community-based teaching and research. The agenda for this two-day Community Engagement Faculty Institute is imbued with engaged learning, mixing lectures by faculty and community experts on the theory and practice of community engagement with travel into the local community to learn with community partners. We address a range of social concerns, such as poverty, healthcare, immigration, incarceration, and education.
Community partner connections and workshop curriculum are tailored to the learning objectives and interests expressed by the emergent cohort.
Space is limited. Applications will be reviewed by faculty and affiliated fellows on a rolling basis; those admitted will be notified of acceptance as quickly as possible.
Participants selected will be recognized … and will receive, upon completion of the full Faculty Workshop, $250 deposited to their research account to be applied toward community-based research and teaching. Breakfast and lunch are provided each day. Past participants testify to the power and inspiration of this unique faculty learning experience.
Other Service Opportunities
Samford students are engaged with a variety of organizations in the greater Birmingham community. Below are a list of organizations seeking Samford student volunteers. Feel free to contact them directly.
Big Brother Big Sisters
Mary Jacque Carroll
Birmingham Airport Authority
Birmingham Ed Foundation
Camp Fire Alabama
Dogs on Deployment
Girls on the Run
Kid One Transport
Norwood Resource Center
Oak Tree Ministries