Apply for Service Plunge and meet 2020’s Service Plunge Facilitators
Salve Regina’s calling to embrace the Mercy mission through service and solidarity is never more apparent than during the University’s annual Service Plunge, which is held each September at the beginning of the academic year. Service Plunge is an amazing opportunity for 30 incoming freshmen to spend a week together participating in both direct and indirect service at community partners across Aquidneck Island and Rhode Island.
For five days, Service Plunge participants will become well acquainted with the 5 Critical Concerns of Mercy: Earth, Immigration, Non-violence, Anti-Racism and Women. During this time, the “plungees” learn the importance of service, social justice and civic engagement.
The Service Plunge is a unique experience that gives incoming freshman the real tour of Newport, a tour that is not just about mansions and beautiful ocean views. Students will learn about the struggles of our local communities and grow in ways they themselves could’ve never expected along the way. Plungees often continue service throughout their time at Salve Regina, creating strong friendships and encountering life-changing, eye-opening experiences.
The Center for Community Engagement and Service is already planning ahead for the Service Plunge in September 2020 and getting excited for the relationships that will be built by students during this meaningful time. Members of the Class of 2024 are invited to apply for this year’s Service Plunge, which will be held Sept 2-6, 2020. Applications are available online and should be submitted by June 25.
Service Plunge Community Partners
During the five-day Service Plunge opportunity, participants will work with some of the following community partners:
- Child & Family Services, the largest and most comprehensive social service provider in Newport County. Volunteers will assist in the Sandpipers Early Learning Center, an early care and education program.
- God’s Community Garden, which grows thousands of pounds of fresh vegetables and herbs for local soup kitchens, senior centers, shelters and food pantries. Volunteers will dig, pick and care for the plants and work the farm stand.
- Rhode Island Food Bank, which distributes food to people in need through a statewide network of 160 member agencies, including food pantries, meal sites, shelters, youth programs and senior centers.
- Gifts to Give, through which kids donate their gently used clothes, toys and books and then volunteer to process, organize and package the donations, transforming them into individual gift packages.
Fall 2020 Service Plunge Facilitators
This year’s Service Plunge will be led by eight Salve Regina students. The Service Plunge leaders submitted applications and interviewed for this opportunity. They were chosen because of their passion for service and ability to serve as leaders. These are students that will likely follow in the footsteps of previous alumni, continuing to live the University’s Mercy mission long after they graduate from Salve Regina.
Find out more about them below.
Marisa Cipitelli ’21, administration of justice major
Cipitelli is already working on her master’s degree in Homeland Security through Salve Regina’s 5-year combined degree program. She attended Service Plunge as a freshman and loved it so much that she has returned each year since then to be a facilitator. In the Center for Community Engagement and Service, she has been a service advocate at Child & Family Services for the Fund Development Office, and she also did a semester in service at Child & Family Services in their infant daycare room.
On campus, she is a dispatcher at the Office of Safety and Security and a 2019/2020 Nuala Pell Leadership Fellow. Outside of Salve Regina, Cipitelli is a Transportation Security Officer for the Department of Homeland Security, as she hopes to continue working for that department and one day become a criminal investigator. She also enjoys going to the beach, hiking, skiing, cooking and just being with friends.
Greg Brissette ’22, psychology major with a minor in sports management and neuroscience
Brissette took part in Service Plunge Freshman year and then became a facilitator for his sophomore year. Service has always been an integral part of Brissette’s life, and continuing serving the wonderful community of Newport has been a blessing for him while attending Salve Regina.
While not in class, Brissette is a Service Advocate at the Salvation Army soup kitchen and runs an after-school program at Salve Regina for Thompson Middle School students. His advice to freshman is to get yourself out there on campus and in the community. The more you are involved with other Salve Regina students, the more fun you’ll have. Everyone is in the same boat with not knowing others, so take advantage of making as many connections as possible!
Emily Gibson ’23, special and elementary education major
Gibson is a rising sophomore who is studying special and elementary education. Gibson took part in the service plunge last year as a freshman and then spent the rest of the school year as a service advocate volunteering at Child and Family in the Yearling rooms.
Gibson is also a member of the Best Buddies Club, Campus Activities Board, and Swim Club at Salve Regina. She is so excited for the Service Plunge this year and can’t wait to meet you.
She wants freshmen to know that it’s completely normal to feel anxious about starting college and that she and the other facilitators are here for you. The members of Service Plunge will all be a little family by the end of the Service Plunge and will always have each other’s backs. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone at Salve Regina, talk to new people, try new things, and above all, have fun!
Chloe Gillerlane ’22, early childhood education major
This is Gillerlane’s first year being on the Service Plunge. This past year she was a service advocate at Child and Family in the Preschool room and will be a service advocate there in the fall.
When she’s not in class or studying, you can find Gillerlane in the Center for Community Engagement and Service, hanging out with friends or going to Ocean Drive with her roommates. Gillerlane’s advice to freshman at Salve Regina is to get involved and to branch out!
Olivia Iula ’22, nursing major, Spanish minor
This is Iula’s third time going on the Service Plunge. She went on the Service Plunge as a freshman and thoroughly enjoyed her experience so much that she wanted to facilitate.
In addition to facilitating the Service Plunge, Iula has been a service advocate at Child & Family Services since her freshman year, and she is the leader for the Florida Immersion to Give Kids the World in Orlando. Iula also dances with SRU Dance Club and belongs to the Student Nurses’ Organization. Her advice to freshman is to explore all opportunities presented to you and do not settle because you will grow so much throughout college, your interests will change and you just might surprise yourself; don’t be afraid to dive into something new
Emily Ames ’23, nursing major
Ames participated in the Service Plunge as a freshman and loved every second of it and could not be more excited to lead it in the fall! Ames feels that the community service opportunities at Salve Regina has been wonderful and a great way to stay involved.
Outside of the classroom, Ames enjoys being a part of SRU dance, the Student Nurses Organization and overall enjoying the beautiful location and scenery of Newport! Her advice to freshman would be to find your true passion in college and run with it. By taking advantage of all that Salve Regina and the wonderful people have to offer, you will find yourself having the best of time!
Caitlyn Guerrera ’23, nursing major
Caitlyn Guerrera is a rising sophomore nursing major with a minor in healthcare administration and management. Guerrera participated in the Service Plunge as a freshman and volunteered as a service advocate at the Edward King House in Newport. Outside of class, Guerrera enjoys being a part of SRU dance, Student Nurses Organization and A Better Tomorrow Club.
For more information on this year’s Service Plunge, contact the Center for Community Engagement and Service at (401) 341-2440 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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