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The Student News Site of Buena Vista University

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BVU student among 218 in the nation to receive service award


Madeleine McCormick | News Editor

BVU senior Nichole Wiese is one of four individuals in Iowa, and 218 in the country to be honored for serving and volunteering with the Newman Civic Fellows Award.

An elementary education major from Dike, Iowa, Nichole began pursuing service after transferring from Hawkeye Community College to Buena Vista University her sophomore year.

“I joined a club there, and I liked it. Then, when I transferred here [BVU], at the plunge I went to the BV Buddies booth and that’s when I really started,” Wiese said.

Once Wiese began her service work at BVU, Director of Civic Engagement at BVU, Dr. Ashley Farmer-Hanson took notice of her passion for service, particularly in education.

Dr. Farmer-Hanson says since Nichole began her service work in the BV Buddies program, and has made an impact on the students she serves, as well as the community.

“Nichole is an incredible leader and has worked hard to ensure our mentoring program [BV Buddies] is the best it can be, and is serving the youth of Storm Lake. She lives her passion for teaching kids and making their lives better. Her impact on Storm Lake and beyond will be long standing. She is going to make an wonderful educator someday,” Farmer-Hanson said.

Dr. Farmer-Hanson was not the only one to take notice of Wiese’s dedication to service.

BVU President Fred Moore nominated Wiese for the award, and according to Dr. Farmer-Hanson, the nomination by the University President is imperative for consideration to receive it.

Wiese has been able to immerse herself in service and volunteer work throughout her time at BVU.

She has been involved in BV Buddies serving as a coordinator for two years, Vice President of Student MOVE,participating in St. Mary’s after school program, and took an interim trip to teach English in the Dominican Republic.

Receiving the Newman Civic Fellows Award is a huge honor, and Wiese could not have done it without Dr. Farmer-Hanson.

“When I started BV Buddies, she noticed that I was passionate about it, so she offered multiple opportunities for me to get more involved. I joined Student MOVE and over the years I’ve grown into leadership positions within the clubs,” Wiese said. “I’ve just been able to grow because Ashley pushes me to take it to the next level.”

Wiese will attend a dinner on May 31 for the winners of the Newman Civic Fellows Award in Iowa City, along with the remaining three recipients. Here she will receive a certificate and have the opportunity to network with others influencing service in Iowa.

“There’s no financial benefit to it, but you are added to a closed Facebook group with all of the other winners of the award from this year, and previous years. So, they consider it a community where you can collaborate,” Wiese said.

Wiese plans to attend BVU for another year, giving her the ability to live on campus and student teach with Alta and Sioux Central schools. After next semester, she will move home and substitute teach in her hometown until she finds a position elsewhere.

From her experience at BVU, Wiese will continue to encourage and engage in volunteer work and service activities. Wiese will incorporate service within her classroom once she is able to pursue her dream to become an early education teacher.

“It means being a part of something bigger than yourself,” Wiese said. “I think its a really important aspect to teach children as they grow up. I’m excited to have that as an element in my classroom.”

Photo courtesy of University Marketing & Communications

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