18 April 2010

Students rock recycling at the SL Marathon!

Every program in the Thayne Center - from Alternative Spring Break to Service Council, service-learning to Civically Engaged Scholars - has a set of learning outcomes that guide the strategy, curriculum, and activities of that program. Our learning outcomes then align directly with SLCC's college-wide learning outcomes. I'm telling you all of this because I had an experience this week that validated to me, in a profound way, that our programs work. And our work matters.

Two of our amazing Service Council student leaders, Desa-Rae Robertson (left) and Whitney Rose (right), volunteered for the Salt Lake City Marathon...and they were soon shaking things up and making long-term plans to make the event more sustainable.

When I read an email from Desa-Rae it struck me: The Thayne Center truly does teach and train students to be social aware and lead the way toward a more sustainable, just, engaged world. We're able to achieve the success we do because we're working with rock stars. Seriously. These are sudents who have busy lives and still make it a priority to make a difference.

All of our students are incredible and the work they're doing is not to be underestimated. You need to read for yourself what Desa-Rae and Whitney did...and you can say you knew them when...

From Desa-Rae:

"Today Rose and I volunteered for the Salt Lake City Marathon. Our job was to hand out bottles of water. Both of us did not hesitate to ask if there was going to be recycling for the bottles. For the race they ordered 15,000 bottles of just water, there were also little bottles of chocolate milk that were handed out - but NO recycling!

There was no way that we were going to just let them throw away the bottles, so we grabbed some boxes and started our own recycling while we handed out water. We also started dumpster diving to rescue the bottles that were already thrown away. We were making sure that everyone knew we were recycling by yelling it out to everyone that passed. Some racers came back just to throw away their bottles with us so they could be recycled.

After we grabbed what we could of the bottles, we stuffed Rose's jeep with the recyclables and drove to the Salt Lake Valley Landfill Disposal and Recycling Facilities. They have bins for cardboard, paper, glass, plastic, and aluminum. One of the paper bins was 100% empty, but when Rose and I got done...that baby was full!

NOW WHAT? Rose and I are going to make sure that next year there WILL be recycling at the Salt Lake City Marathon."


Want to know what the assessment outcome of lifelong learning and civic engagement looks like? Right here:


  1. You two are an inspiration! How many years has this marathon been going on without recycling available! Thank you for your example.

  2. Linnie Said, You two are amazing! It has been so much fun being your advisor. Keep up the good work

  3. Lynne McCue-HamiltonFriday, April 23, 2010

    Desi-Rae and Rose, thanks for being the amazing women you are !! I will not be a bit surprised when you are President of the US, or start some unique business or are the future directors of the Thayne Center! Desi-Rae I hardly reconize you from the quiet shy young woman that I met when you started on the Service Council-oh except for that beautiful smile. Now I see both of you; dynamic, activists that speak out and do not walk away from a problem but create a solution.

  4. What a great way to show you community support by teaching so many about recycling. I am so impressed by your ability to create a solution that needed to be addressed. I applaud you both!