As a student nominator stated, Kathy Nordyke can be characterized as “a walking Public Affairs Mission!” As Director of Citizenship and Service Learning since 2012, she has increased experiential learning opportunities and served more than 6,000 students in the past 3 years.
She creates new community partnerships and projects that will have sustainable effects in addressing community problems and social justice issues for years to come. Such new projects include Walkable Springfield, where 400 MSU students assessed and evaluated street conditions and accessibility in 12 neighborhoods, the Safe and Sanitary Homes project, Youth and Seniors: An American Partnership, the programs of the American Democracy Project, and this past fall, initiated Focus First, a program in partnership with the University of Alabama to provide free vision care screening, using specialized equipment, to children from birth to age 5 in low-income daycare centers by MSU nursing students. Ms. Nordyke serves as adjunct faculty integrating public affairs into GEP 101 and the UHC 110 iLEAD: Leadership, Engagement and Democracy honors course.
A mentor and inspiration not only to our MSU students, she is extending our public affairs footprint through various programs to students at the Robberson Community School, New Covenant Academy, Greenwood Laboratory School and Kickapoo, Parkview and Dixon High Schools. Recently, she created a partnership with IDES University in Rio Tercero, Argentina to create the first online, international service-learning project where this fall students will work reciprocally to identify and solve community issues and in spring 2015 will travel to respective countries to implement their solutions.
Through her many efforts, Ms. Nordyke touches the lives of the community and students in a way that helps shape and direct others to follow her example of how active and ethical citizenship can make a difference.