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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

ODU's Fifth-Annual Public Service Week Includes a Diverse Program

"Help others and give something back. I guarantee you will discover that while public service improves the lives and the world around you, its greatest reward is the enrichment and new meaning it will bring your own life."

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger

Old Dominion University has embraced the notion that public service improves lives and the world around us. To celebrate the opportunity to learn, serve and pursue a career in government, nonprofits or the charitable center, ODU will host its fifth annual Public Service Week from Oct. 25-31.

The week of events, hosted by the School of Urban Studies and Public Administration of the Strome College of Business, is designed connect the opportunities in volunteerism, academia and the pursuit of careers to public service.

"Our students are passionate and eager to change the world," said Emily Eddins, assistant director for service learning at Old Dominion University. "ODU's diverse student population allows for diverse perspectives and approaches to the work accomplished in our surrounding community and beyond."

Public Service Week at ODU was launched as a response to President Barack Obama's 2009 "call to service," which he issued when taking office. The week touches departments and student clubs across the university, with the over-arching goal of shining a spotlight on the need for community engagement and the opportunities that exist to help improve our communities.

The week kicks off Saturday, Oct. 25 with ODU Make a Difference Day. Led by Old Dominion's Office of Leadership and Student Involvement (LSI) the day is an opportunity for students, staff and faculty to volunteer their time cleaning up local green space, or working with 25 different nonprofits.

After registration on Kaufman Mall starting at 9 a.m., volunteers will be shuttled to work projects across south Hampton Roads. A crowd of more than 350 volunteers is expected for ODU Make a Difference Day, which is coordinated with national Make a Difference Day. "If we have 500 people show up that day, I have places to send them," said Lacy Jaudon, coordinator for engagement with LSI.

Transportation will be available if needed, but organizers are urging prospective volunteers to contact LSI at volunteer@odu.edu or 683-6948 by Thursday, Sept. 23, so that arrangements can be made.

After the volunteer effort, participants are invited to attend a lunch and viewing party for the ODU Monarchs football team. The Monarchs are playing at Western Kentucky, but volunteers are invited to attend an event on the mezzanine level of the Game Day Building of S.B Ballard Stadium at Foreman Field.

The events of Public Service Week get into full swing on Monday, Oct. 27. Academic speaker John Steven Ott, director of the Institute of Public and International Affairs at the University of Utah, will speak from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Hampton/Newport News Rooms of Webb University Center.

On Tuesday, Oct. 28, the Public Service Festival will be hosted on Kaufman Mall (the North Mall of Webb Center is the rain location).

Faculty, staff and students are invited to join organizers for a picnic to learn about ODU's Minor in Public Service, which is available to undergraduate students in any college. Attendees can register to win an iPad, and the first 100 attendees will receive a t-shirt. Contact program manager Meg Jones, at mmjones@odu.edu for more information.

On Thursday, Oct. 30, the Public Service Week-themed Landmark Executive-in-Residence address will be delivered by Jim Oliver, Emeritus Chairman of the Board for the Hampton Roads Center for Civic Engagement.

A reporter early in his career for newspaper, radio and television companies, Oliver went on to a long career in civic administration for communities around Hampton Roads. He was a mediator for the Virginia Commission of Local Government, and a consultant for the National Academy of Public Administration.

Oliver received a BA in Communication Arts from the University of Notre Dame, a Master's Degree in Urban Services from Old Dominion University and attended Columbia University on a CBS Fellowship in Government.

On Friday, Oct. 31, volunteers will get in the Halloween spirit for the Public Service Week "reverse trick-or-treating" event Haul for Hunger. Instead of loading up on loot, volunteers will gather between 12-2 p.m. on Kaufman Mall, to help package up several tons of sweet potatoes, that will be redistributed to local food pantries in Hampton Roads.

A light lunch will be provided for volunteers. The first 100 students to arrive will receive a Minor in Public Service drawstring bag.

Finally, on Saturday, Nov. 1, Power Up Your Nonprofit, an event to guide public service organization officials, will be hosted in the Constant Hall lobby from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

For a complete schedule and more information, please visit the Department of Urban Studies and Public Administration in the Strome College of Business HERE.

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