WILLISTON, N.D. - WSC students, athletes and international students with few ways to celebrate the holiday season can thank two WSC employees for starting a new tradition: WSC's annual Thanksgiving meal.
Crystal Hotchkiss, WSC's Registrar, Research Analyst, and Kim Weismann, WSC's Arts and Human Sciences Chair, tested the idea this year after seeing several athletic programs host Thanksgivings. Why not have international students also experience this American tradition?
"While the forty that attended seemed like a low number compared to our record breaking enrollment of 1,039, we were extremely pleased we could provide those students a home away from home," explained Weismann.
Most of the 864 students from North Dakota go home for Thanksgiving, but students who remained on campus over the Thanksgiving break due to athletic schedules or time commitments didn't really have a way to celebrate.
"We of course always want our students to be able to be with their families during the holidays," explained Weismann. "Hosting an event like this takes a lot of time. We were lucky to have so much help from faculty and staff. It was a great way to lead by example and show our students what volunteering can provide."
Giving back to the community has been a goal of WSC in the past year.
In its first year, the Tetons Lead Program requires students to complete 40 service hours during the school year. Once the recommended amount of hours are completed, students are recognized in the graduation program, get a certificate from the school, and receive a letter of recommendation from Acting President Dr. John Miller for their service to the community.
"We created the Tetons Lead Program to promote our students to be great leaders," Weismann stated. "Students have the option to participate. It's a great way for students to start giving back to their communities and see the good that can come from volunteering."
This year, students created an oral history of Williston Veterans, and participated in the partnership between the Salvation Army and WSC with Teton Ring Week (December 5-9) and they will be working with the Salvation Army's Giving Tree over the holiday season. Future projects include an Easter egg hunt, and cleaning up the community in the spring.
If you are your company has a volunteering opportunity for the Tetons Lead Program, please contact Kim Weismann at 701.774.4503 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on WSC, please visit www.willistonstate.edu, call 1.888.863.9455, or stop by 1410 University Avenue, Williston, ND.