Westminster College Drinko Center Names New PACC-VISTA

Thursday, September 5, 2013

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Westminster College's Drinko Center for Experiential Learning named recent Westminster graduate Marah Alouise `13 as its newest Pennsylvania Campus Compact-Volunteer in Service to America (PACC-VISTA).

This staff position is focused on developing and supporting community service, service-learning, and civic engagement programs; and is funded by a three-year grant from PACC.  This marks the sixth time Westminster has received the award.

A large part of Alouise's role focuses on the implementation of a collaborative effort between Westminster College and community partners -West Middlesex School District, Cray Challenges and Origins- to provide an after-school robotics program, titled "Transformers." It is designed to develop science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills.

"In a dynamic and supportive learning environment, enhanced by the use of robots, students work with Westminster College student mentors to develop skills necessary to be successful in the classroom and in the future," said Patrick Krantz, director of the Drinko Center.

Krantz added, "We are very excited to welcome Marah into our office.  She is a bright, creative, and dynamic young lady.  Her experience working with children in a variety of settings is certainly an asset to our Transformers program."

Alouise said, "I am looking forward to continuing this program and giving Westminster students the opportunity to mentor middle-school students in the community in a fun and interactive way."

Alouise graduated in May with a degree in early childhood and special education. She is a daughter of the late John and Debbie Alouise and a graduate of Burgettstown Area High School.   She was involved in many campus organizations and service-learning projects throughout her four years at Westminster.

The Drinko Center for Experiential Learning was created to enrich undergraduate education at Westminster through advancing world-class teaching as well as by participating in collaborations that address community and regional needs including strengthening K-12 education.  Visit www.westminster.edu/drinko for more information about the Drinko Center and its programs.

Westminster has been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll every year since the program was launched in 2006.  More than 1,200 Westminster students volunteered nearly 32,000 hours in the 2011-2012 academic year.

PACC is a membership consortium of 67 college and university presidents from across the commonwealth.  PACC schools serve to enrich communities' quality of life with a commitment to deepen learning through civic engagement for the development of socially responsible citizens.

VISTA, founded in 1965, is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty.  VISTA joined AmeriCorps in 1993 and is now the national leader in the battle to reduce and eliminate poverty in America.

Contact Krantz at 724-946-6097 or email for additional information.

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster is a top-tier liberal arts college and a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 378 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.


Click image to enlarge.
Marah Alouise `13, PACC-VISTA