Sharing Higher Education Insights: GivePulse Showcase Reflection

This summer marked the first ever GivePulse Showcase and Impact Awards. The event celebrated change-makers in higher education and showcased how institutions are transforming lives across their campuses and communities. It was inspiring to learn from members of the GivePulse community who have distinguished themselves and their institutions through their passion, dedication, and innovation. 

We kicked the event off with a welcome by our co-founder, George Luc. Through the event, we invited each institution to discuss their unique approach to tackling community challenges during the pandemic, and how they leveraged the GivePulse platform to support their virtual and in-person efforts. Below, we’ve highlighted these institutions and their inspiring work in community engagement. 


University of Alabama – Birmingham 

Running a Good Pantry Amidst COVID-19

Washington State University

Supporting Student & Community Partner Engagement during Covid-19 & Beyond

John Carroll University

Innovation in Community Engagement In Response to the Pandemic

University of Georgia

Innovating Strategies for Engaging Community & Capturing Impact During Covid-19

University of Arkansas

A Pivot to Virtual Service & the Role of GivePulse in Accessible Service

University of Tennessee Health Science Center

Community Engaged Care: Using GivePulse to Manage Clinical Sites

To learn more, watch the GivePulse Showcase and Impact Awards Event.

Showcase 1

University of Alabama at Birmingham: Running a Food Pantry amidst Covid-19

Presented By: Kaydian Jordan

Blazer Kitchen, the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s (UAB) on-campus food pantry, is run entirely by volunteers. Blazer Kitchen increases food security by providing healthy food from their community garden and household necessities to UAB employees, students, patients, and their families for free. Blazer Kitchen leverages the GivePulse platform so shoppers can reserve the items they need online, schedule volunteers, record distribution, and track inventory. Because of their ability to report their efforts and outcomes, they secured more funding for their program.  

Watch their presentation here

Washington State University: Supporting Student and Community Partner Engagement During COVID and Beyond

Presented By: Jessica Perone & Ryan Lazo

In response to greater needs in their community during the pandemic, Washington State University (WSU) deepened its commitment to service-learning. Through these courses, students and faculty actively addressed critical needs in their community and, even as courses were going online, students participated in high-impact learning that strengthened their critical thinking. WSU’s Center for Civic Engagement has over 500 community partners in GivePulse, and supports up to 80 service-learning courses each semester. 

Watch their presentation here

John Carroll University: Innovation in Community Engagement in Response to the Pandemic

Presented By: Sister Katherine Feely & John Jackson

When the pandemic began, John Carroll University (JCU) had to pause 100 weekly service-learning activities in their community. They shifted gears and focused their energy on supporting student workers and creating opportunities for virtual community engagement. During this shift, they leveraged the GivePulse platform to provide students and community members educational resources, including a virtual workshop series called Lobo Labs. Lobo Labs, a free resource open to the public, hosted workshops on topics ranging from Elementary Math Tutoring to Virtual Field Trips. 

Watch their presentation here

Showcase 2

University of Georgia: Innovative Strategies for Engaging Community & Capturing Impact During Covid-19

Presented By: Josh Podvin & Olivia Rothstein

To meet the needs of their campus and local community, the University of Georgia (UGA) implemented several programs and service-learning courses. One of these programs is UGA’s student-powered Campus Kitchen, which reduces food insecurity among older adults in Athens. So far, this program has recovered 19,574 lbs of food and donated an additional 9,801 lbs of food all to serve 45 senior-led families and 13 hunger relief agencies. The Office of Service-Learning leverages GivePulse to provide safe, engaging service opportunities for the Athens community to support the initiative. 

Watch their presentation here

University of Arkansas: A Pivot to Virtual Service and the Role of GivePulse in Accessible Service

Presented By: Angela Oxford & Creighton France

Pivoting to virtual service was essential for the University of Arkansas(UArk) to effectively engage students – especially incoming freshmen. UArk worked with their community to provide virtual service opportunities such as letter-writing campaigns, information sessions, and donation drives for community food pantries. During the transition to virtual service, they relied heavily on the GivePulse platform and learned new lessons about reshaping what the future of accessibility looks like. 

Watch their presentation here

University of Tennessee Health & Science Center: Community Engaged Care: Using GivePulse to Manage Clinical Sites

Presented By: Alison Brown

The Community Engaged Care program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) is a model for how GivePulse can be used to coordinate many organizations and individuals to address a health crisis. UTHSC students, faculty, and staff worked together with other local colleges and the general public to administer COVID-19 tests and vaccinations throughout surrounding counties. Their team leveraged the GivePulse platform to provide logistical support to organize over 5,000 clinical and non-clinical volunteers to lead the effort. This experience established standards for future clinical volunteer events for students in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, health professions, and research going forward. 

Watch their presentation here

We are honored and proud to work with such innovative and supportive institutions that embrace challenges and uplift their communities. Thank you to everyone who participated and attended. To learn more about how GivePulse can support your institution’s community and campus efforts, connect with a team member.