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Employees provide leadership and service during Inauguration Week

The University of Detroit Mercy’s new president, Gerard L. Stockhausen, S.J., Ph.D., has designated “Leadership and Service in Our Community” as the theme of his Inaugural Year. Many University employees took that to heart during Inauguration Week by volunteering at non-profit agencies throughout the Detroit area.

The Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit got helping hands from Sharon Malinowski, College of Health Professions clinical placement coordinator; Marty Kuechle, College of Health Professions senior academic affairs coordinator; and Claudia Rowland, Health Services Administration coordinator and academic advisor. The women sorted donated clothes for distribution and later served meals to the needy.

“I was surprised by how many people, adults and children, were there for food. We served hundreds and hundreds of meals,” says Rowland. “They were there for all kinds of reasons. Some were homeless, some were drug addicts, and some had just lost their jobs. You realize that but for the grace of God that could be you on the other side of the counter.”

Several UDM employees helped out at the McAuley Nurse Managed Care Center, including Margaret Auer, dean of libraries; Sally Young, library administrative assistant; Linda Hopkins, head of acquisitions and receiving, McNichols Campus Library; and Cheryl Walker, College of Health Professions administrative assistant. The crew greeted patients, filed patient charts and pitched in where needed.

“Margaret, as you can imagine, is very good at systems and she helped us organize our records system,” notes Barbara Harrison, the Center’s program director.

Visiting the Center, which provides primary health care to underserved patients in Detroit, was an eye opener for Young.

“I wasn’t aware before of the extent of the good works they’re doing,” she says.

To help support employees’ volunteer efforts, the University is providing all full-time and full-time modified employees the opportunity to use up to four hours of paid release time this fiscal year to volunteer at non-profit organizations.

The McAuley Nurse Managed Center welcomes alumni volunteers. For more information, contact Barbara Harrison at (313) 993-1935 or barrisbe@udmercy.edu.