Missouri State University

Foundation Award for Service

Carmen Boyd

Dr. Carmen Boyd

College of Health and Human Services
Biomedical Sciences

I.  Philosophy of Service

I feel very privileged to work in a program, department and college where community service is valued and encouraged and where our university mission in public affairs and the three themes - ethical leadership, cultural competence, and community engagement – is strongly supported.  In particular, the university theme of community engagement has resonated most with me.  Through this, I am able to enjoy serving others while assisting our dietetics students and others in learning to value community service while obtaining real world experiences.  In particular, I have a passion for activities where one can alleviate hunger and malnutrition.  This has allowed me to also include international opportunities for the students to work with world hunger, as well as local hunger issues.  It is very satisfying to be able to bring a personal interest into my work and know that through this, students are gaining valuable experience that will help them develop skills that will help them in their future career and personal life.  I am deeply honored, humbled, and grateful to receive the Foundation Award for Service.

II.  Examples of service including service to University, discipline and community

I am very fortunate to be able to assist students in becoming involved with a number of projects with Convoy of Hope, a local international relief agency, in providing services to their feeding programs worldwide.  This will assist in developing dietitians who are more aware of and engaged in hunger issues at home and abroad.  We began working with Convoy in 2007 with their feeding program in El Salvador.  Through this, we created the first international service learning course on campus and each year since 2008, have taken students to El Salvador to assist Convoy in obtaining measurements of rural, impoverished school children and to learn about malnutrition in developing countries.  In addition, visiting USAID and the World Food Program allows students to become more aware of other opportunities – both paid and volunteer - in nutrition and dietetic related careers.  We have been able to expand this work to assisting the Philippines, Nicaragua, and Honduras from home in support services such as volunteer training of staff, equipment, use of equipment, analysis of data, and nutrition consultation.  Through Convoy’s support I have been able to take students with me to work also in Haiti and Tanzania, and by myself in Kenya with their feeding initiatives.

In addition to our work with Convoy, I have enjoyed developing and leading several short term faculty led programs for students who are interested in traveling and learning about other cultures.  This meets our public affairs mission for developing cultural competence and prepares our students to become global citizens.  Our initial program was with the Department of Agriculture and involved two programs to Belize to study “Food Production in the Less Developed Tropical World.”  Our current program is held each May after graduation and has involved trips to Greece, the Greek Isles, and Italy.  This year we will visit Ireland.  Each year we study the “Seven Species” within the Mediterranean Diet and how it appears in each culture. 

On a personal level, I have participated in a number of international mission trips working in a variety of service activities.  These include Nome, Alaska to teach summer Bible school; Beqa, Fiji to provide school supplies; Mussoorie, India to build greenhouses in the Himalayas and as a medical mission; and Campo Grande, Brazil on a building mission.

At the university level, I have been a member of a number of committees including the University Hearings Committee, General Studies Committee, and as a member of faculty senate.  Participating in the First Year Programs (FYP), teaching IDS 110 previously and currently the BMS GEP 101 Learning Community, serving on the First Year Programs committee, and serving summers as a SOAR advisor have also been rewarding experiences.  As an instructor for Citizenship and Service Learning (CASL) I was recognized last May for 10 years work with them and 15 years of service to the University.

Service in the community, especially projects and activities involving historic preservation and preserving American History, are among my favorite things to do outside of work.  As a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, I serve currently as Chapter Registrar and enjoy working as a Trained Volunteer Genealogist and Volunteer Information Specialist.  This allows me to help others trace their genealogy and honor our ancestors in many different ways.  Working as a member of their Genealogical Preservation Committee, preserving old records has been a particularly enjoyable pastime for me with this group.  As a member and appointed officer of the Daughter of Union Veterans I am able to work with local history, participate in local events, and honor our veterans and current servicemen along with other members of these groups.  I am an active member in my church and have sat on our Board of Parish Education and Health Care Committees and am currently an Altar Guild member.

III.  Future Commitment to Service

Service is a long established part of my home and work life.  My future plans include continuing to participate heavily in the Study Away and Citizenship and Service Learning programs at the university.  I see myself only more involved in my church and my community groups.  As the recipient of the CASL Research Stipend I have a commitment to them in the work with Convoy and Tanzania, which I hope to expand further.  I am working with Convoy now to expand our services to them in other areas and look forward to accomplishing that.  As program director in dietetics we have great plans for the future which includes expanding community services that our students can provide.  I hope to provide many more years of service to the university and to the community!

IV.  Topics related to service for which you are available for presentations and/or consultations (e.g., public affairs, relationship of service to teaching, and relationship of service to research).

I feel my strength lies in curriculum and I believe I could effectively present on ways we have included our public affairs mission and the three themes into our curriculum through Study Away and CASL, which in our case has revolved around service.  I am always available for consultation in anything to do with nutrition and dietetics and services we can provide.