On Wednesday April 17 at 12 p.m., our Chapter Advisors and two executive officers of the Alpha Upsilon Phi Sigma Tau Delta chapter at the University of North Georgia, Gainesville (UNG) delivered bags filled with brand new books to the Military Resource Center (MRC) Lending Library. As the Military College of Georgia, UNG has a proud military history. The MRC equips and empowers student veterans throughout their academic career by providing necessary resources and specialized support. Through the Sigma Tau Delta Chapter Project Grant, Alpha Upsilon Phi was able to purchase 28 new books for the MRC Lending Library. We worked with a professor in our department, Dr. Kristin Kelly, to select memoirs and novels that would be relevant and impactful. Because of her experiences working with returning veterans, Kelly believes strongly in the power of both community and literature to support their post-war lives. By bringing literature into this space of respite and connection for student veterans, the restocking of the MRC Lending Library reflected both of these goals. Christy Orr, the Assistant Director of The Veteran and Adult Learner Program, remarked that the department and the veterans were “humbled that [Sigma Tau Delta] thought of us and worked so hard to get the grant proposal approved.” She also commented that “the number of books that were donated was an astonishing surprise!”
Reflecting on the successes and challenges of this project, we unanimously agreed the highlight of the day was the opportunity to meet beneficiaries of the MRC Lending Library. They offered a warm welcome and sincere gratitude for our support and, in turn, we had the opportunity to hear their stories. Through this project, we established a relationship with our veterans that we hope to continue for years to come. While this project was a success, we did face a few challenges. Attendance at these smaller events throughout the year can be a struggle. However, the smaller group functioned better in the limited space and demonstrated the noted support from the MRC and the faculty and staff in the English Department. Additionally, finding available copies of some books proved challenging. In the future, we would recruit more volunteers from our chapter to be involved throughout the process to increase interest. These additional volunteers could help order, sort, and label books. We also would like to pursue purchasing books through a locally owned bookstore.
If your chapter is considering options for a Project Grant, look in the community immediately surrounding you. What demographics does your university uniquely serve? What interests do professors in your department have? Are they serving any underserved populations? Consider the departments or programs already established and serving these populations, like the MRC. By partnering with these groups, projects become much more manageable and effective. We asked these questions at the beginning of the semester and discovered a department that is serving this incredibly important and often overlooked population. The opportunity to partner with Christy Orr and the MRC to offer support to our student veterans has been incredibly impactful. Alpha Upsilon Phi anticipates continuing this new relationship in the future.
Sigma Tau Delta Project Grant Resources
More Chapter Project Grant Reports
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