K-State Salina students participate in community service projects

K-State Salina students participated in community service projects during the 2022-2023...
K-State Salina students participated in community service projects during the 2022-2023 academic year.(Kansas State University Salina)
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 12:36 PM CDT
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SALINA, Kan. (WIBW) - Students at Kansas State University Salina Aerospace and Technology Campus were dedicated to participating in community service projects during the 2022-2023 academic year.

K-State Salina announced students were encouraged to become more involved and push themselves to find community service projects to give back to the Salina community. Many students took the challenge to heart, and led or participated in more than 20 community service projects during the academic year. While some projects were small, others took significant time to organize and find student volunteers to complete their community service projects.

K-State Salina’s Student Governing Association, or SGA, Charlie Kiehlbauch, sophomore in professional pilot, from Fort Worth, Texas, serves in the community service cabinet position on SGA. Kiehlbauch helped organize many of the community service projects. He organized opportunities for students to volunteer by becoming a liaison to the community.

Keihlbauch shared a comment about organizing community service efforts.

“I talked with SGA leadership, and we decided to create a position within the organization to spearhead our campus-led volunteer efforts,” said Kiehlbauch. “If someone in the community needed volunteers, they could reach out to me, and I helped organize the student body to give back and participate. I also wanted to focus on planning big events to make them even more impactful.”

K-State indicated his efforts revolved around the K-State Salina campus and helping fellow students. A few of the community service efforts included assisting students at Sunset Elementary School and the Giving Tree volunteer project, where students, faculty and staff at K-State Salina donated gifts to elementary students and their families.

According to K-State Salina, another community service effort included STEM Night at Sunset Elementary School, where several student clubs visited the school to share more about K-State Salina with the students. Flight Team, Women’s Air Race Classic, Women in Aviation, the Uncrewed Aircraft Systems Club and the campus’s Upward Bound program participated in STEM Night.

Keihlbauch said the February event was a success.

“Students came out and cooked some hot dogs and served popcorn with lemonade. We also had hands-on booths where students and their families could see and use some of our flight simulators, UAS equipment and more,” said Kiehlbauch. “The Sunset students got to go to the booths and learn about STEM education. Seeing all the cool things that our students get to use every day, I think, really excited and motivated the younger elementary students.”

Additionally, students from Alpha Eta Rho, an international co-ed aviation fraternity with more than 40 members on campus, participated in six different projects during the academic year. The projects ranged from helping first-year students move into residence halls on campus in August to giving back to Salina businesses and organizations. Their tasks included volunteering at the Garage Automotive Museum and the Smoky Hill Museum street fair and parade.

Senior in professional pilot, Jack Valdez, from Olathe, commented on the community service efforts.

“This year, our fraternity members sat down and decided that we wanted to be a fixture in the Salina community more than ever,” said Valdez. “It was rewarding to get involved in the community this year and be a part of an organization that truly cares.”

K-State Salina said in addition to giving back to the Salina community, the volunteer efforts reinforce time management skills for K-State Salina students. Kiehlbach said he recalls having to focus on these skills during the school year. On top of organizing volunteer efforts, he is also a full-time student taking flight blocks and courses to become a pilot.

According to K-State Salina, the campus is expecting the list of projects to continue to grow into the next academic year.

Assistant Dean of Student Life Kyle Chamberlin shared a comment about the organization efforts for community service projects.

“We have found success in fostering a culture of giving back to our community,” said Chamberlin. “We want our students to feel a sense of ownership in finding and helping with these community service projects. With the sense of pride that has grown from this past year, we expect the number of hours and projects to continue to grow in the future.”