Hire Heroes Act will help change perceptions of veterans entering tough job market

Veterans are returning home to an abysmal economy and a tough job market. “After World War II, employers used to snap up veterans because of their tremendous skills sets gained in the service — whether that be technical, leadership, or other job specific aptitudes,” says Monica Matthieu, PhD, research assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis and an expert on veteran mental health. “But now, veterans are facing higher unemployment rates than civilians as employers may be concerned about veterans’ struggle with the mental and physical health aftereffects of military service,” she says.

Disabled veterans’ lives improved through participation in civic service program, study finds

Post-9/11 disabled veterans furthered their education, improved employment prospects and continued to serve their community through participating in The Mission Continues’ Fellowship Program finds a new study by the Center for Social Development (CSD) at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. The Mission Continues is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to enable every returning veteran to serve again as a citizen leader. This study is one of the first to focus on the health and psychosocial outcomes of disabled veterans after providing civic service, defined as formal volunteering in a structured program, to nonprofits all across the country.

Graying world population sparks need for policies and programs that support productive aging

Worldwide, people aged 60 and above will comprise 13.6 percent of the population by 2020, and 22.1 percent of the population by 2050. China is the most rapidly aging country with older adults making up 13 percent of their population. “All countries will need to develop policies and programs that support productive engagement during later life,” says Nancy Morrow-Howell, PhD, the Ralph and Muriel Pumphrey Professor of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. “There is evidence that productive engagement in later life benefits both older adults and society at large. Expanding opportunities for productive engagement may increase the health and well-being of the older population. At the same time, older adults can be a valuable resource for growth in volunteering, civic service, caregiving, employment, and social entrepreneurship.”

International Service and Higher Education symposium at WUSTL March 30-April 1

Leaders in higher education and international service will come together on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis March 30-April 1 for the International Service and Higher Education Symposium. “International service is not new to higher education, but it is at the threshold of a new era,” says Amanda Moore McBride, PhD, director of the Gephardt Institute for Public Service and research director for the Center for Social Development at Washington University.

Peace Corps at 50: Connections can benefit both volunteer and community

“Since the founding of the Peace Corps 50 years ago, international service programs have grown dramatically across the public, private and nonprofit sectors,” says Amanda Moore McBride, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School and expert on civic service as Research Director at the School’s Center for Social Development (CSD). To date, most research on the field of international service has focused solely on the volunteers themselves. While impacts on volunteers are important, CSD researches not only the impacts on volunteers but also the impacts on the host communities and organizations that they serve. In their most recent study, McBride and colleagues looked at the impact of international service on the development of volunteers’ international contacts and how those contacts, in turn, are used to further host community development around the world.  

Researchers Find Sustained Improvement in Health in Experience Corps Tutors Over 55

Tutors over 55 who help young students on a regular basis experience positive physical and mental health outcomes, according to studies released by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The tutors studied were members of Experience Corps, an award-winning organization that trains thousands of people over 55 to tutor children in urban public schools across the country. Researchers at Washington University’s Center for Social Development assessed the impact of the Experience Corps program on the lives of its members and found that, compared with adults of similar age, demographics and volunteer history, Experience Corps tutors reported improvements in mental health and physical functioning (including mobility, stamina and flexibility) and maintained overall health longer. Video Available

St. Louis Public Schools to benefit from annual volunteer activity​

Fresh off a summer of pool parties and video games, the Washington University Class of 2009 will get to work as soon as they step onto campus. More than 1,000 University students, mainly newly arrived freshmen, will volunteer their time from 1-4 p.m. Sept. 3 to paint, landscape, clean and beautify 11 St. Louis public schools to make the new school year more enjoyable for students and their teachers. It’s all part of the seventh annual Service First, an initiative that introduces first-year University students to community service in the St. Louis area.

U.S. government should help ‘make volunteering a natural part of later life,’ says productive aging expert

With the first wave of baby boomers preparing for retirement, the 2005 White House Conference on Aging to be held this fall in Washington, D.C., will be an important opportunity to assess aging in America and improve the lives of older Americans. “The demographic revolution is upon us, and there is widespread agreement that we need to do something differently regarding older adults,” says Nancy Morrow-Howell, Ph.D., productive aging expert and the Ralph and Muriel Pumphrey Professor of Social Work in the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. “The U.S. government and other service agencies need to expand and create institutions that make volunteering a natural part of later life,” she says.

Richard A. Gephardt Institute for Public Service established

Richard A. GephardtEncouraging people to become involved in public service will be the goal of the newly established Richard A. Gephardt Institute for Public Service at Washington University in St. Louis. Named in honor of the two-time presidential candidate and longtime Missouri congressman, the non-partisan, university-wide institute be directed by James W. Davis, WUSTL professor of political science.
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