Katie McGlasson supports construction of database of EPIC projects
Memorial Union Terrace: It’s a great outdoor space to enjoy one of Madison’s three lakes, watch live music and events, and enjoy a pitcher with friends.
What was your first interaction with a school-community partnership project?
I don’t remember the first time I saw a partnership between an academic institution and their community, however throughout high school I saw how schools can work to allocate volunteer labor and donated resources. The school connected me with a variety of opportunities to volunteer, from the town’s food pantry and animal shelter, working events for the local events for the Special Olympics, and even connecting students to voting locations which lacked poll workers in surrounding communities. While not direct service projects, I’ve always viewed schools as a great way to connect with and help fulfill community needs.
How did you first learn about EPIC-N?
I was asked through COWS if I would be interested in doing some remote data work for a off-site nonprofit organization (EPIC-N). I was lucky enough that in the 1st or 2nd meeting, Marshall (EPIC-N Program Manager) provided an on board training with a full crash course about EPIC-N, the EPIC Model, and the EPIC programs.
What are some of the top priorities you are working on this year?
My primary focus has been helping EPIC-N build and fill-in a database tracking individual projects done by EPIC programs. You can see my work presented in the EPIC-N Member Common‘s Project Library as it uses outputs from this database.
I also work with EPIC-N to help prepare future courses that will be published to support EPIC-N programs in adoption of various aspects of the project tracking database as a usable tool within the Member Commons. This ranges from revising tools to increase usability and accessibility, to drafting courses on how to use the tool as a staffer at an individual program.
In what ways are you looking to engage, or work with others, either from within the EPIC-Network, or in general?
My research interests focus on the relationship between individuals and government. Specifically, on individuals’ response to inadequacies or failures in governing. This includes direct rejections of existing government via autonomous and protest movements, and more distanced responses such as community organizing, extremist radicalization, and nationalist movements. I am interested in how universities, community groups, and other NGO’s fill in the ‘gaps’ of governing and why those gaps exist.
Directly relating to EPIC-N, I am concerned with how programs identify community needs and select projects and why those community needs exist to begin with.
Why do you think the EPIC-Network is important?
As a university student EPIC-N opened my eyes to the full potential and benefit of universities. It shifted my perspective to consider what immediate good students and schools can be doing for a community, and the effectiveness of using those resources to help communities.
What is your favorite part of the EPIC-Network?
I love seeing what programs are working on! It’s always interesting to see the variety of projects and courses involved in the Network.
Katie McGlasson is a senior at UW-Madison pursuing a Bachelors in Political Science, with plans to continue to graduate school in that field. She currently works as a Database and Outreach Assistant at COWS.