“The purpose of human life is to serve and show compassion and the will to help others,” Albert Schweitzer once said. Carleen Roy Butler, assistant director of Community Services and Experiential Learning, is here at Quinnipiac to ensure that the students are not only aware of this but have the opportunity to practice it.
The St. Michael’s College graduate was unsure of what to do after she completed her post-secondary education with a sociology degree. However, she knew that she wanted to help others and became part of a yearlong volunteer program.
During that time, she provided tutoring to those who wanted to work towards their GED, General Educational Development, which is an equivalent of a high school diploma. She also ran an after-school program and instantly “knew that this is what I wanted to do.”
Prior to coming to Quinnipiac, she has worked with college students and social services. She eventually went back to school and earned a Masters degree in College Student Personnel at the University of Rhode Island “to work with the students.”
Quinnipiac is the first university that she has been employed at since earning her Masters degree. She said that in addition to the job description, she looked forward to working with students.
“I wanted to help students explore and learn outside of campus,” Roy-Butler said.
Her two proudest moments so far since coming to Quinnipiac, two years ago, include participating with “America Reads,” a program that sends students to different schools to tutor.
While the program enables students to work on their own, they have monthly training sessions and are connected. She is proud to say that she has developed relationships with most of the approximately 100 Quinnipiac students involved.
Roy-Butler’s second proudest achievement while at Quinnipiac has been her work with the “alternative spring break program,” which is going into its fourth year here at Quinnipiac. Last year, 20 students went to Georgia to help with Habitat for Humanity “and had a fantastic time,” she said.
Roy-Butler describes her work so far at Quinnipiac as an “inspiring challenge.”
“This challenge is not difficult. It gives me energy. There are always ways to make my job better because there are always ways to make the community better,” she said.
Her position entails coordinating “America Reads,” coordinating other work-study students who work off-campus; works with CICS grant recipients; coordinating and planning the “Alternative Spring Break.” She is also “always available to help any student, or student group, get involved in service. People do not have to be involved in any of my programs to work with me,” she said.
This spring break, students involved with that “Alternative Spring Break” will travel to South Carolina, Washington D.C. and New Orleans for one week.