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Office of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement

Civic & Community Engagement

The Office of Inclusion and Multicultural (IME) serves the USM community through 3 focus areas. One of the major focus areas is Community and Civic Engagement.  
Through this lens, IME coordinates mutually beneficial community engagement experiences to address university and community needs, affect positive social change, and cultivate active citizen leaders. 


IME is the hub for volunteer opportunities for USM students, faculty and staff. We:  
Host celebrations of service (I.e., Big Event, MLK Day of Service, Homecoming Day of Service, and various campus-wide service-oriented events) 

  • Coordinate campus wide collection drive Eagle’s Nest food pantry and other local non-profits and community partners  
  • Provide innovative service experiences for USM students (i.e. Alternative Service Break and the IMPACT Community Work-Study Program)
  • Recognize volunteers for their major impacts within the Pinebelt community  
  • Expose students to non-profit organizations and community partners in the greater Hattiesburg area through Volunteer Fairs hosted in the Fall and Spring semesters 
  • Pair students to current community needs/ partners that match their interests so that they continue to build relationships within the community 

READY TO GET ENGAGED IN THE COMMUNITY BUT DON'T KNOW HOW? Schedule a Get Connected Service Consultation with our IME Eagles Service Ambassadors. 

 

 

Impact Community Work-Study Program 

The IMPACT Community Work-Study Program provides opportunities for USM students to connect with the Pinebelt community, increase their civic engagement, and career readiness. Work-study eligible students are placed at Non-Profit and Community sites as part of their work-study job. IMPACT employees work up to 20 hours per week, with jobs ranging from teaching assistant to service ambassador.  

Alternative Service Break Program/ ASB Social Convos 

The Alternative Service Break (ASB) program is a unique learning experience in which students travel to different region, perform meaningful service, and explore an area’s culture and history. During the trips, team members participate in a variety of cultural, educational, recreational and reflective activities to enhance their service experience. Teams focus on hunger, poverty, public health awareness, youth education and empowerment, LGBTQIA+, and civil rights and environmental issues.  

Service activities are combined with reflection and education that challenge student to develop the leadership, teamwork and problems solving skills necessary to become real advocates of change.

Civic Engagement Programming  


Changemakers is a series of programs and workshops that assist students in finding their voice civically. Includes panel discussions (i.e. State of Activism, Local & State Elections, Fraud & Election), workshops (i.e. Advocacy in the Legislature) and Civic Action Days—a 10 campus wide voter registration effort. 

Celebrations of Service & Days of Service

IME offers four large-scale celebrations of service each year. These volunteer opportunities available to USM students, faculty, and staff and occur at various times during the year.  

The first event is our Golden Eagle Welcome Week (GEWW) Day of Service during our new Eagles first week on campus in late August. The second major celebration of service is during the week of Homecoming, during our Homecoming Service Events.

In January, we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with the MLK Day of Service as part of the campus wide MLK Celebration and Big Event takes place in March.

The Big Event is collaborative effort between our office and a committee of campus partners to create a weeklong celebration of service for the Pinebelt. Days of Service/ Celebrations of Service (weeklong activities are an opportunity for the campus to come together and build upon the great service performed throughout the year by the USM community. 

Service Nights  

Service Nights are monthly on-campus service events provided by the Office of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement. Coordinated by our Eagle Service Ambassadors, these activities provide an opportunity for students to engage in service together without the need to leave campus. It removes barriers to student service created by lack of transportation.   

Service Projects include Dog toys for Southern Pines Animal Shelter, Blankets for the Homeless, Stuff Bears for Child Patients, creating little free libraries, making hygiene kits for the homeless, etc. 

Volunteer Fair   

The IME Volunteer fair is a Non-Profit and Community partners fair that brings the community to campus for students to see the various volunteer opportunities that they can participate in and for them to learn about the ways that they can make an impact in their community.

Hunger Banquet

This interactive teaching demonstration creates awareness of poverty and food distribution. A meal is provided during which everyone eats in proportion to the way food is distributed throughout the world. By experiencing world conditions, participants gain a better understanding of the disparity of food and wealth distribution. 

DO YOU WANT TO SERVE IN THE HATTIESBURG COMMUNITY, BUT NEED A LITTLE HELP FIGURING OUT WHERE YOU FIT? DON'T FRET, OUR EAGLE SERVICE AMBASSADORS CAN TAKE CARE OF THAT.

IME Eagle Service Ambassador are peer ambassadors and student leaders that assist all USM students seeking opportunities for community service and engagement. They provide 1:1 consultations with students, classroom presentations, and facilitate Get Connected workshops for student groups. Eagle Service Ambassadors also offer direction in the areas of service programming, PRISM LGBTQIA+ resources, and Multicultural Student Initiatives (MSI). 

You can request a one-on-one service consultation to find opportunities and/or information best suited to your specific interests, needs and/or schedule. 

READY TO TAKE THE PLUNGE INTO SERVICE? Schedule your service consultation here.

All USM students have the ability to engage with their community through our volunteer platform, GET CONNECTED. Here, students can track their volunteer hours, see local volunteer opportunities and check out all of the various non-profits and agency partners in the area.

Service Hour Reporting Guidelines

  1. All USM Students must report their volunteer hours through the Get Connected portal.
    • If you are a current student, you should already have an account. Simply visit Get Connected (volunteer.usm.edu), enter your usm email (NAME@usm.edu) and select "Forgot Password". 
    • If your are still unable to gain access to your account, email GetConnectedFREEMississippi
  2. Volunteer hours for each semester should be completed the Friday before Finals. All submitted service hours will be approved after Finals for review for the following semester. This process is put in place to reduce duplicate service hour submissions. 
  3. Throughout the semester, hours that do not meet University guidelines as Approved Community Service will be declined. 
  4. Students can utilize user groups to track group and individual service hours.
    • Benefits of User Groups: 
      • Can enable volunteer sign-up and check-in by requesting to list your volunteer opportunity on Get Connected as a USM Service Opportunity
      • Provides a quick way for your service event attendees to gain credit for the service that they complete with your organization 
      • Allows organizations to better track their hours and impact in the community 
    • Request a user group:
      1. Request a Get Connected User Group here. 
      2. Submit your organizational roster. 
  5. Service Hour Verification- Do you need to get your service hours verified? 
    • Students who need verification of service hours should have volunteer supervisors sign a Volunteer Service Log. We "approve" hours that adhere to certain guidelines but we cannot provide proof of service without a volunteer service log. 

Center for Community Engagement

Christy Kayser, Director

601.266.6467 

Christy.ArrazatteeFREEMississippi

Luckyday Citizenship Scholars Program

Jason Quigley, Coordinator

601.266.5981

Jason.QuigleyFREEMississippi 

TRIAD AmeriCorps 

Scott N. Mullins

601.266.6129

Scott.MullinsFREEMississippi 

COMMUNITY PARTNERS & NON-PROFITS

Non-Profits and Community Partners can utilize Volunteer Southeast MS (VSEMS) to connect people with their needs. Click here for the VSEMS Volunteer Manager Resources.  

For more information about the VSEMS Volunteer Hub Portal, Community Partners, can contact:

Volunteersems@unitedwaysems.org

(601)475-0217