Project Pericles

Elon community continues hurricane relief with return trip to Gulf Coast

descriptionMemorial Day weekend 2006 was especially meaningful for a group of 30 Elon faculty, staff and students who continued Elon’s commitment to the hurricane ravaged town of Bay St. Louis, Miss. The group was led by JJ Scott and four student leaders from the Kernodle Center for Service Learning.

In three days, the group performed more than 900 hours of relief work to help the Bay St. Louis community, one of the towns hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. During mass on Sunday, May 28, Father Tracey of our Lady of the Gulf Catholic Church in Bay St. Louis recognized Elon as the first group of people who came to aid their community after the hurricane hit. He thanked Elon for its significant and ongoing effort to help rebuild their community.

description“As a university, we wanted to give faculty and staff the opportunity to experience first-hand the profound growth and learning from service which our students gained over the course of four trips to Bay St. Louis during this past year,” said Dr. Smith Jackson, vice president for student life and chair of the Elon Hurricane Katrina Relief Steering Committee.

Students participating in a Fall Break service trip were the first group of Elon volunteers to visit Bay St. Louis, thus beginning the ongoing efforts to help the small, gulf side town rebuild. Trips were also made to the area during Winter Term, the break between Winter and Spring terms, and over Spring Break.

descriptionDuring the winter term trip, a service-learning class taught by Ocek Eke, assistant professor of communications, and Alexa Darby, assistant professor of psychology, established a relationship with the family of Mary and Terry Dow and pledged to rebuilt their house. During the Memorial Day weekend trip, Prof. Darby, along with Prof. Jessica Gisclair, associate professor of communications, headed a specialized work crew within the Elon group which spent over 220 hours insulating and sheet rocking the walls of the Dow House, as well as framing a new room and cleaning the debris from the property. Prior to the trip, donations to rebuild the house were collected from faculty and staff across the university, and electrical supplies were donated by the family of Elon student Jaime Snyder.

descriptionThe following faculty, staff, students and guests volunteered for the Memorial Day trip. Staff members applied and were granted Service Sabbaticals through Project Pericles so they didn't have to take vacation for the days they spent in Mississippi.

Angie Passarelli, staff
Mary Wise, staff
Meghan Dillon, staff
JJ Scott, staff
Brian O'Shea, staff
John Barnhill, staff
Smith Jackson, staff
Kelly Reimer, staff
Troy Martin, staff
Richard McBride, staff
Jeff Gazda, Aramark staff
Randall Bowman, faculty
Barbara Rhoades faculty
Alexa Darby, faculty
Jessica Gisclair, faculty
Lynn Heinrichs, faculty
Marianne Janssen, faculty
Mr. Passarelli, guest
Carol Anderson, guest
Rene Jackson, guest
Tonya Albert, student
Ariel White, student
Canden Schwantes, student
Carolyn Byrne, student
Ryan Boyd, student
Ellen McCully, student
Jaime Snyder, student