Indiana State University Newsroom

Spectrum Services named statewide Community Partner of the Year

April 21, 2010

When Indiana State University students turn a hallway into a bowling alley at Spectrum Services, they help clients at the rehabilitation agency build up their self esteem and take a step closer to independent living.

"It's really exciting seeing them be able to interact with each other and with the community and I really enjoy it; I really love it," said Carrielle Baumgarte, a senior from Wheatland who led the clients in "back hall bowling," which uses a foam ball and pins.

Spectrum, the rehabilitation services division of Hamilton Center, provides services to adults with physical and social disabilities with the ultimate goal of maximizing independent living.

Students majoring in nursing, athletic training, recreation and sport management, psychology, family and consumer sciences and social work regularly work with Spectrum clients and ISU faculty members are frequent visitors to Spectrum's Wabash Avenue facility. Students from ISU and other area campuses are also involved through AmeriCorps, administered in the Wabash Valley by ISU's Center for Public Service and Community engagement.

Students not only enjoy their time spent at Spectrum, they gain valuable experience that will pay off for them following graduation.

"I come in the morning and it kind of sets my whole day. I always get welcomed by everyone - and they remember my name. I get handshakes; I get high fives; I get shouts from across the room," said Lyndsey Atwood, a senior from Danville, Ill., who is majoring in social work. "This gives me a feel for what I'm going to be doing and for the population that I'll be working with and the challenges that I'll see."

That connection extends to Indiana State students and to Spectrum staff members and has lead to statewide recognition.

Campus Compact, a coalition of college and university leaders dedicated to service-learning, chose Spectrum Services for its 2010 Outstanding Community Partner Award, which recognizes long-term relationships that provide meaningful solutions to community problems.

"The selection committee was very impressed with the work that you and others are doing with the ISU students to benefit your local community," said Maggie Stevens, Indiana Campus Compact executive director.

The partnership allows Spectrum to provide services that would otherwise not be possible, said Mary Ann Clark, Spectrum director.

"The partnership with ISU that brings students in spices things up for us," she said..

The award was presented Wednesday (April 21) in Indianapolis during a meeting of college and university presidents and chancellors. Spectrum's partnership with Indiana State will also be recognized in October at the Governor's Conference on Community Service and Volunteerism.

"Spectrum staff are great to work with. They are committed to the professional development of our students and have always gone the extra mile to ensure their success," Debbie Miller, AmeriCorps Program manager at ISU, said in nominating Spectrum Services for the award.

In addition to back hall bowling, students and faculty find themselves providing friendly conversation during an outdoor walk, explaining ways to remain physically fit, or even prepping old newspapers for use by an animal shelter. The activities are designed to meet Spectrum's mission to train and support those who want to become more independent in their homes and in the community.
The partnership has also made Spectrum more visible, said JoBeth Haviland, day services program manager.

"We've attended some events at ISU that we would have never done had it not been for our students. We've also become very involved with recycling thanks to the ISU Recycle Center," Haviland said.

As ISU seniors prepare to graduate, Baumgarte, a recreation and sport management major, said partnerships such as the one with Spectrum have complemented her class work at Indiana State and provided contacts that will serve her well in her career.

"It's very rewarding because we see the different abilities that they have that you don't have. They can connect with each other like you wouldn't understand. Working one on one with them is a very good thing because you can learn their abilities," she said. "It's really important to be involved in the community because you get to know people and opportunities open up for you."

Photos: - Carrielle Baumgarte, a recreation management and youth leadership major at Indiana State University, oversees "back hall bowling" with clients at Spectrum Services in Terre Haute. (ISU/Tony Campbell) - Indiana State University student Lyndsey Atwood of Danville, Ill., a senior social work major who is minoring in psychology, works with Spectrum Services clients to prepare old newspapers for reuse by an animal shelter. (ISU/Tony Campbell) - Indiana State University student Whitney Harvey, a senior nursing major from Hillsboro, helps Spectrum Services clients make birdfeeders. (ISU/Tony Campbell)

Media contact and writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or