By Alexandra Wiesmann
The Post Foundations curriculum has gotten a little bit of an upgrade. Along with the new text “The Pursuit of Happiness,” The 101 course is teaching students to give back to their community through several service projects both on and off campus.
Two of the Post 101 classes have a determined focus that helped with their selections of community service. The class taught by Shawn Welnak, assistant professor of philosophy, has a theme of “Man’s Relation to Nature.” He has chosen to stay close to home and beautify the gardens next to Winnick House
On his class’ theme, Welnak said, “With modernity, man has come to see nature as something to be conquered, whereas with the ancients, she was something within which man lived harmoniously.” He hopes that the project can assist his students in finding a stronger connection and appreciation for nature.
Jon Fraser, professor of theatre, and his class of theatre majors decided to go into the city and volunteer at the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Flea Market at Times Square on Sept. 25. The students set up tables and spent the day surrounded by the community that they soon hope to be joining as performers.
“As hopeful future members of the Broadway community, they became acquainted with one of the most important charities that theatre professionals support” Fraser said.
Similarly, Adam Grohman’s class is doing a clothing drive for professional wear, and Katherine Ahern’s class will be hosting a wonted clothing drive. Ahern hopes that this “encourages our students to think of each other as part of the Post community and to think about [ways] to support each other.”
Two of the other classes are choosing to give back to veterans, and those still on active duty. Albert Devivo’s class is giving greeting cards to active military and veterans, thanking them for all that they do to protect the U.S. And Janessa Barrett’s class is raising awareness and funds for veterans. “Being that we are a yellow ribbon school, the event seemed like a great way to connect students to the university” Barrett said.
Margaret Hallissy has her students going to the Jones Beach Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk on Saturday, Oct. 15. In the meantime, the students are gathering donations, so far reaching $525 for the cause. The students will be participating with Hallissy, who has a personal connection to the disease; her students’ enthusiasm and potential have her excited for the result.
Nancy Frye and Glynis Pereyra, as well as some others, have chosen to focus on raising money for suicide prevention, as their overarching theme of the service projects is ‘community.’ To bring a community together to help others is the ultimate community service. That being said, the professors of the Post 101 courses are hoping that the members of the class of 2020 will continue through their four years to serve the community and each other as Pioneers.