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President Robert Rindler has announced that senior Illustration major Sam Bergstrom has been awarded the 2006 Service Learning Scholarship based on his leadership in the classroom and his outstanding service to Saint Benedict’s Community Meal Program in spring 2005.

For the past five years, since the inception of MIAD’s service learning graduation requirement, MIAD has awarded this scholarship with the generous support of the Northwest Mutual Foundation.

Liberal Studies Professor David H. Martin, who teaches the service learning course at MIAD, said, “Bergstrom received the award because in sharing challenging stories and observations from his experience, he served as a powerful motivator to his classmates and energized them to share their own experiences in a more engaging dialogue.”

In his reflections for his final course project, Bergstrom wrote of the practice at St. Benedict’s to have every volunteer eat a meal with the guests: “There but for the grace of God go I… and I realize that these people are homemakers, fathers, mothers, friends, family … good, hardworking men and women who have fallen on difficult times…. They stand in a position of extreme vulnerability. Sitting beside them, eating with them … ‘them’ is no longer appropriate. ‘We’ eat together, in peace, and the vulnerability is laid aside in the acceptance that it will be faced, and overcome.”

Since the service learning requirement began almost five years ago, MIAD college students have contributed more than 30,000 hours and a half million dollars in volunteer support to Southeastern Wisconsin.