Sociology professor Sarah Goodrum’s law and policy class awarded Pay it Forward grant

 

Sociology professor Sarah Goodrum’s law and policy class awarded Pay it Forward grant

Posted by Student Worker in News Archive 06 Oct 2011

Sociology professor Sarah Goodrum’s law and policy senior seminar class was recently awarded a $2,000 Pay it Forward grant from Kentucky Compact, an organization committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education.

Pay It Forward grants aim to “strengthen communities through student-led philanthropy” and fund service projects that students believe will benefit their schools, neighborhoods or local communities.

“We don’t yet know what the grant will go toward,” Goodrum says. “Students are doing their service work now — with Young Achievers at Danville High School, Wilderness Trace Childcare Center, the Fairness Alliance in Louisville, and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) — and at the end of the semester, we will decide which one or two non-profit organizations in the community will receive the $2,000 grant.”

The law and policy seminar class is one example of many of Centre’s commitment to service. Dallas Selvy ’12, who is doing service with CASA, knows that this grant would be meaningful for any of the non-profits.

“Many of us are working with foundations that would greatly appreciate any size donation and could really benefit from the grant,” says Dallas Selvy ’12.

As part of her work with CASA, Selvy is incorporating what she’s learning in the law and policy seminar class.

“I’ll be interviewing CASA employees and volunteers, as well as local attorneys for the service component,” Selvy says. “The goal is to find out how often these legal participants feel confined by the rigidity of law and the effects this has on decisions they make for children. Hopefully, by answering these questions, we will better understand how laws can be improved upon for the betterment of child welfare.”

Goodrum is no stranger to Pay it Forward grants — her microsociological theory course was awarded a $4,500 grant earlier this year.

“We’re very excited that the grant gives us an opportunity to connect our academic work with non-profit agencies’ missions and to potentially help support those agencies financially,” Goodrum says.

For Selvy, the best part of the law and policy class is the chance to put her knowledge to work at CASA.

“What I enjoy most about this seminar class is the opportunity to learn about the functions, as well as dysfunctions, of law, and how these affect society,” Selvy says. “By interviewing CASA employees and volunteers, I am able to see firsthand how various functions of law truly do affect society, including our most vulnerable populations.”

The Pay it Forward grant will not only benefit non-profit agencies in Danville — it will benefit Goodrum’s students as well.

“The grant is an opportunity for students to apply their law and policy knowledge to their service work in a non-profit setting, to gain hands-on experience in a career of interest after graduation, and to experience the challenges of distributing a limited number of grant funds to worthy non-profits in our community,” she says.