Bottles and cans and diapers, oh my! These are just a few of the many items Globe University-Wausau faculty and staff removed from an area of roadway as they took part in Globe University’s annual Community Service Day.
Over 1,500 employees participated throughout multiple cities and states within Globe University’s family of campuses, and the Wausau location was no exception. This year, the Adopt-a-Highway program was the organization through which the Wausau Campus chose to help out the community.
The group of faculty and staff were up bright and early that morning and made the trek out to a stretch of terrain along highway 107 and Alpine road. Myra Bahan, instructor and service learning coordinator, was instrumental in facilitating the event. “My husband has a degree from UWSP in natural resources, and we have been very environmentally conscious for a long as I can remember. I walked in the first Earth Day Walk in Milwaukee in 1970,” she says.
“She was there and ready with the garbage bags, cones, road crews signs and even provided the ‘shuttle service’ as we worked,” said Julie Krizan, health care management program chair.
Upon first arrival, the task at hand didn’t seem like it was going to be too challenging. “I commented to everyone that this was one of the cleanest stretches I had ever seen, and we had an easy job ahead of us,” Myra said. “That was very deceiving! After starting to walk the ditches you realize how much garbage is disguised by grass,” she said.
Cheng Hue, director of financial aid, was also lending a helping hand that day. “The road looked cleaner than it was. After picking up two garbage bags full of trash, it really made me revisit the effects of littering,” he said.
The group collected everything from the smallest cigarette butts to big cardboard boxes. Stephanie Daniels, the veterinary technology program chair, actually pulled an entire car bumper out from underneath some weeds.
Some of the staff also experienced local wildlife interactions while tidying up the highway. The stories even made their way back to campus. “I heard about how a snake ran across someone’s foot,” said student ambassador and massage therapy program student Nicole Kassien. “I also heard about a similar encounter another staff member had with a mouse,” she said. “They braved the wildlife for a great cause.”
Not only was Community Service day productive, it also allowed faculty and staff to spend time together outside of the “office.” “It was great to get out with colleagues that I normally might not get to spend time with and just joke around and have fun all while helping out the community,” Cheng said.
The event proved what great things we can accomplish as a team. “I loved watching us come together as one for the cause,” Myra said. “Everyone gave it 110 percent with enthusiasm and a job well done!”