Kiosk links students to community

Jennifer Lauber

Students visiting the Mabee library this semester will not only experience the new look, but find a new way to connect with the community.

Micaela Sands, High Impact intern with the LinC office, is excited about the new kiosk located on the wall right before the stairway leading to the third floor of Mabee library.

According to their website, Learning in the Community (LinC) is the central unit of the Center for Community and Civic Engagement at Washburn University, responsible for developing, organizing, supporting, integrating, and assessing all community service and civic engagement activities.

Sands explains the kiosk, a 42 inch touch screen, is available for anyone at Washburn to access but is especially valuable to students. A student can look to volunteer in the community by just walking up to the kiosk, touching the screen to access the ‘Washburn Engage’ website and typing in an interest or major. Opportunities appear on the screen that match those interests.

“And then if they click one of those it will bring up opportunities in the community that they can volunteer with,” Sands said. “They can do internships, volunteer positions, leadership positions within the non-profits we have.”

Sands said the LINC office has always had a good relationship with their community partners and students. But this is a step to make it more campus wide.

“Mainly this is for service learning so we can connect our community partners with the Washburn campus,” Sands said.

The system is looking to eventually include a counter software so that the number of students which visit the site can be evaluated. Communication with community partners will also determine if volunteers were acquired from ‘Washburn Engage.’ Student faculty will be among those to help work on this aspect of the new system one it progresses.

This system can also be used for service learning aspects in the classroom. For example, last semester the First Year Experience class participated in community service; a food packaging event in the union which was a great success.  

Sands explains if a professor chooses to incorporate service learning at Washburn they may go to the Kiosk at Mabee or simply access ‘‘Washburn Engage’ on their computer. ‘Washburn Engage’ is an independent website connected to the Kiosk so can be accessed elsewhere. It is expected to eventually be available through ‘My Washburn’ as well.

This has the potential of being a resource for anyone at Washburn desiring to link to the community.

“For professors, for students, for faculty, or everything at Washburn,” Sands said.

Check out the new kiosk at Mabee Library or access ‘Washburn Engage’ at: