Spectrum Services named Campus Compact Community Partner of the Year

Indiana Campus Compact has recognized a Wabash Valley rehabilitation organization for its partnership with Indiana State University. (watch video)

Spectrum Services, the rehabilitation division of Hamilton Center, utilizes Indiana State students from a variety of departments to service its clients. Students from ISU and other area campuses are also involved through AmeriCorps, administered in the Wabash Valley by ISU’s Center for Public Service and Community engagement.

Spectrum provides services to adults with physical and social disabilities with the ultimate goal of maximizing independent living.

Students majoring in nursing, athletic training, recreation and sport management, psychology, family and consumer sciences and social work regularly work with Spectrum clients and ISU faculty members are frequent visitors to Spectrum’s Wabash Ave. facility.

Campus Compact, which consists of college and university leaders dedicated to service-learning, chose Spectrum Services for its 2010 Outstanding Community Partner Award, which recognizes long-term relationships that provide meaningful solutions to community problems.

“The selection committee was very impressed with the work that you and others are doing with the ISU students to benefit your local community,” said Maggie Stevens, Indiana Campus Compact executive director.

Students and faculty who offer their assistance at Spectrum Services might find themselves participating in a round of bowling, providing friendly conversation during an outdoor walk, explaining ways to remain physically fit, or even prepping old newspapers for use by an animal shelter. The activities are designed to meet Spectrum’s mission to train and support those who want to become more independent in their homes and in the community.

“The partnership with ISU that brings students in spices things up for us,” said Mary Ann Clark, director of Spectrum Services.

The award was presented Wednesday in Indianapolis during a meeting of college and university presidents and chancellors. Spectrum’s partnership with Indiana State will also be recognized in October at the Governor’s Conference on Community Service and Volunteerism.

But it’s a partnership that benefits ISU as much as it does Spectrum.

“I come in the morning and it kind of sets my whole day. I always get welcomed by everyone - and they remember my name. I get handshakes; I get high fives; I get shouts from across the room,” said Lyndsey Atwood, a senior from Danville, Ill. who is majoring in social work and minoring in psychology. “This gives me a feel for what I’m going to be doing and for the population that I’ll be working with and the challenges that I’ll see.”

ISU senior Carrielle Baumgarte, a recreation management and youth leadership major, leads Spectrum clients in activities such as “back hall bowling,” which uses a foam ball and pins.

“It’s really exciting seeing them be able to interact with each other and with the community and I really enjoy it; I really love it,” Baumgarte, a senior from Wheatland, said. “It’s very rewarding because we see the different abilities that they have that you don’t have. They can connect with each other like you wouldn’t understand. Working one on one with them is a very good thing because you can learn their abilities.”

The partnership has also made Spectrum more visible, said JoBeth Haviland, day services program manager.

“We’ve attended some events at ISU that we would have never done had it not been for our students. We’ve also become very involved with recycling thanks to the ISU Recycle Center,” Haviland said.

As ISU seniors prepare to graduate, Baumgarte said partnerships such as the one with Spectrum have complemented her class work at Indiana State and provided contacts that will serve her well in her career.

“It’s really important to be involved in the community because you get to know people and opportunities open up for you,” she said.

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