The MOOSE is back - MC's MOOSE program takes 12 students across the country for volunteer work

June 20, 2002

On June 24 twelve Maryville College students will make their way across the country to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks to participate in a Maryville College community service and volunteer work program in conjunction with the National Park Service.

Meredith Elliott of Knoxville, Tenn.; Justin Ellis of Oneida, Tenn.; Christie Latimer of Hickory, N.C.; Nate Lee of Sevierville, Tenn.; Carrie Lloyd of Vineland, N.J.; David McNeil of Louisville, Tenn.; Mikey Rickman of Knoxville, Tenn.; Aja Rodriquez of San Benito, Texas; Chandler Schumutzer of Sevierville, Tenn.; and Sheena Settlemires of Ramer, Tenn., will be part of a group of 12 students participating in Maryville College's MOOSE program. Maggie Crawley of the University of Richmond and Melissa Day of Union College will be joining the MC students as visiting Bonner scholars (community service scholarship recipients).

Founded in 1998, MOOSE, which stands for Maryville Outdoor Outreach Service Experience, is a service-learning study-tour conducted through Volunteer Services at Maryville College. The purpose of the trip is two-fold: To provide students with an opportunity to learn through travel and visits to National Parks; and to provide students with an opportunity to be involved in community service by working as volunteers for the National Park Service.

The varied learning experiences and areas of study encountered during this study-tour include history of the American West, geology of the areas visited, flora and fauna of the areas, unique features of the region such as geothermal features, mountain development, volcanization, and glacierization, economic development, wildlife and range management, and the development, maintenance and operation of the national parks.

The volunteer work consists of two weeklong projects identified by the national parks visited and requires physical labor, as well as possible contact with the public.

"I've never been west of Memphis," student Nate Lee explains about the upcoming trip. "So when I heard that the MOOSE trip would allow me to tour national parks that I've only read about, and when I heard that I would be able to help make those national parks more beautiful through volunteer work, I signed up as soon as I could."

Lee continues, "It was like a young boy's dream come true. To think I might be able to help build a trail that might outlive me, that my children and future generations might enjoy after I'm gone, gives me an amazingly wonderful feeling."

Student Christie Latimer of Hickory, N.C., says, "The MOOSE trip is a wonderful addition to the liberal arts education that I am receiving at Maryville College. It is one thing to learn about the building of the Crazy Horse Monument or see pictures of Mt. Rushmore in a history book, but it is completely different when you get to experience these places up close and personal."

Sheena Settlemires is this year's student leader. This position is given to a returning MOOSE participant. This is Settlemires' second trip.

"I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a MOOSE participant last year," Settlemires says. "The MOOSE trip allows students to come together to learn more about the inhabitants and environments of the national parks. Serving the parks is a great experience - one that lasts for a lifetime."

This year's MOOSE trip will take the students across 10 states, with sightseeing and learning opportunities along the way, such as the Touch of Nature Environmental Center in Illinois, the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (St. Louis Arch) in Missouri, the Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center in South Dakota and Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Montana. The group will spend 24 days together, traveling by van. They will return to campus July 17.

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2016 semester is 1,198.