No Tricks, Just the Treats of Service

Last semester, on Oct. 23, 2015, the Honors Council Service Committee participated in two incredible Halloween-themed events.

Students act out the children’s book The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything.

The first service event that day was the Annual Westgate Spooky Trail. Honors students coordinated games, told stories, and performed music for the students at Westgate Elementary and other children with learning disabilities in Escambia County. It was a very rewarding

Group picture of all the volunteers at the event.

event and it was apparent that both the Honors and Westgate students  were        enjoying the activities.


Haliegh Castonguay & Vivian Lopez helps children make paper flowers.

That same afternoon, Honors students helped run booths and coordinate events at the Cordova Elementary Fall Festival. This too was both beneficial to the Honors students and the students of Cordova Elementary.  The elementary students had a lot of fun with the activities provided. Honors students also learned a thing or two about handling younger kids, as well as their parents.

Seth Forehand & Philip Billings help run inflatables to ensure the safety of children.
By: Nate McManus, Freshman & Music Performance major

Discovering Coastal Learning

Sdownload (2)even years ago, the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station opened its doors to Santa Rosa County as a classroom by the sea. Over the years, the station has grown into a hub of Marine Science outreach and education for the Florida Panhandle. In 2014, the director, Charlene Mauro, received the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators for the program. The station has much to offer, but limited space. Therefore, the station and its supporting non-profit, northwest Florida Marine EDGE (Education and Discovery of Gulf Ecosystems) is currently in the beginning stages of expansion.

The expansion will be known as the Gulf Coast Discovery Center (GCDC). The GCDC will play host to 5,000 square feet of exhibit space. The exhibits were designed by a SeaWorld exhibit designer. The different exhibits will show off the Deep Sea habitat, an artificial reef exhibit similar to the one off Navarre Beach, marine debris and a 1000 gallodownload (1)n touch tank. The Discovery Center will also have a classroom area, office area, and conference room and on-site water testing for college students to come and use for research purposes.

After the completion of the Discovery Center, the “Gateway to the Gulf” pavilion will be built. The pavilion will serve as an outdoor classroom, with a 5,000 gallon touch tank and a live feed screen from the reef camera that will be installed on the Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary.

Currently, the Discovery Center is in the funding stage. It was one of the top three projects in Santa Rosa County to receive money from the RESTORE Act, a result of the BP oil spill of 2010. Northwest Florida Marine EDGE and the Station are both actively fundraising, but can use as much help as possible.

Adam Morris, a junior and first year Honors student, has only been volunteering with the station for little over a year, but is already deeply rooted in the organization. Whether he is educating elementary students about the marine environment, rubbing elbows with celebrities like Dr. Guy Harvey, or working on outreach programs with the Northwest Florida community, Adam is always looking out for the stations’ interests.

If you have any questions about the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station, the Gulf Coast Discovery Center, internship/employment opportunities, and/ or community service projects, please email Adam Morris at 

Written by: Adam Morris, first year Honors student

Welcome Back to Giving Back

This week marks the end of both the first week of classes for the school year and first week of events for the Service Committee. On Friday August 28th and Saturday August 29th, the Service Committee volunteered their time cleaning up the UWF Nature Trails and sorting food at the Bay Area Food Bank, respectively.


At the Nature Trails, honors students picked up trash pieces on the ground and sorted them into two categories: recyclable and non-recyclable. Of the recyclable materials, the volunteers were very proud to have picked up many pieces of glass which could have injured animals living in the nature trail’s forests. To those who plan on exploring the nature trails, remember to leave no trace and take only pictures when in natural environments.

10984153_941209082602287_7081513721686463209_nThe service committee also felt the gratification of helping out the hungry in the seven bay area counties by sorting food at the Bay Area Food Bank. Volunteers were split into two groups: The Feeding American Backpack Program and food sorting. Those in charge of sorting foods unpacked food donations from pallets, checked for any damages on the packages, and ensured that the food donations were not expired by the food bank’s guidelines. They then resorted the food into categories for the food bank to redistribute the food to smaller, local food pantries with the low cost of 2-9 cents shipping and handling. The group that was in the food sorting room sorted through 5,435 pounds of food! This will make around 4,180 meals for those who are struggling with hunger in our local area.Those who worked on the backpack project filled plastic bags with 2 snacks and 4 meals for free-lunch students in the bay area counties to take home on the weekends. By the end of the morning, 1000 bags were filled and ready to be delivered to schools where the plastic bags will be discreetly inserted into the students’ backpacks on Friday.


The Service Committee hopes to see this great work continue at the next planned event: The Ft.Pickens Cleanup on September 12th!

By: Léonie Dupuis, Freshman