community service - College of Engineering & Natural Sciences

community service

Maria Paszkowiak honored with 2021 Marcy Lawless Service Award

This spring, The University of Tulsa was proud to honor Maria “Misia” Paszkowiak as the 2021 recipient of the Marcy Lawless Service Award. Paszkowiak graduated in May with a bachelor of science in biological sciences, with minors in chemistry, anthropology and psychology. Pazkowiak has always had a passion for academics, but it is her desire for community improvement and development that drives her.

“Reaching out to my community and helping those in need are traits that I was instilled with by my family and have tried to implement them to the best of my ability in my life,” Paszkowiak reflected.

young woman seated in a large golden chair while wearing a white open-collar shirtPaszkowiak’s introduction to community service began as young as age 12, when she and her father used to volunteer at free clinics together. She continued with volunteer work and once she began her freshman year at TU, she joined Alpha Phi Omega (APO), a community service-focused fraternity. Through APO, she was able to branch out and form relationships with various service organizations located in Tulsa.

In addition to APO, Paszkowiak also volunteered with True Blue Neighbors, the goal of which is to connect the TU community to organizations through service opportunities. Paszkowiak worked closely with Melissa Abdo, True Blue Neighbors’ program coordinator. “Maria has proved her commitment and heart for service throughout her time at TU,” Abdo said. “Whether it’s community outreach in the Kendall-Whittier neighborhood, registering new voters or volunteering in the True Blue Neighbors office, she is always eager to assist in helping people on campus and in the Tulsa community.”

Paszkowiak also joined the university’s Student Association (SA), for which she is currently the chief of operations. Being a member of SA has allowed her to assist students in using and understanding the resources available to them, aiding them in furthering their organizations and providing more opportunities on campus. In addition, Paszkowiak represents the university as a University Ambassador, where she works with prospective students to show all TU has to offer.

Outside of her work with TU, Paszkowiak has volunteered hundreds of hours with hospital emergency and pharmacy departments. Since her junior year, she has been volunteering with the Take Control Initiative, a Tulsa-based non-profit organization that works to make sure the community has access to sexual health resources.  She currently serves as a peer educator for TCI and she intends to continue her work with them after graduation.

“I am incredibly honored and thankful to be receiving the Marcy Lawless Service Award,” Paszkowiak said. “Volunteering with my campus and community is a passion of mine and I have learned so much through it.”

In fall 2021, Paszkowiak will begin studying at the OU-TU School of Community Medicine with the aim of becoming a family practitioner. She hopes to continue assisting her campus and her community through the experience and resources she has gained throughout her time at TU.


If you are a student interested in serving the campus and community through True Blue Neighbors, visit their website for more information and to learn how to get involved.

MADE at TU builds device for special needs children at Kendall-Whittier Elementary

special needs childrenAs participants in the TU organization Make a Difference Engineering (MADE at TU), a group of mechanical engineering seniors built and designed a device for special needs children at Tulsa’s Kendall-Whittier Elementary. Nicknamed the “steamroller,” the three-piece set of children’s play equipment was developed as the students’ senior capstone project in the TU mechanical engineering program.

special needs children

 

 

TU students began meeting with teachers and staff in the fall of 2018 to determine the greatest needs for children with physical and emotional challenges at Kendall-Whittier. Once a concept was approved, students spent months designing a prototype and building the final project for delivery. The steamroller is a device that applies deep-pressure therapy useful for children on the autism spectrum, among others. The project is combined with a climbing wall and slide and engineered to fit the limited space available in Kendall-Whittier’s special needs facilities.

 

special needs childrenThe group of mechanical engineering seniors included team leader Rizka Aprilia along with Ahmed Al-Alawi, Almuqdam Al-Mawali, Ahmad Amsalam, Zach Freistadt, Hafsa Khan, Jacob Waller and Cong Xie.