Helping others

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KENNESAW, Ga. (April 9, 2015) - Thousands of Georgians receive millions of dollars in benefits…

Georgia (Apr 14, 2015)

KENNESAW, Ga. (April 9, 2015) - Thousands of Georgians receive millions of dollars in benefits through services provided by student interns in the WellStar College of Health and Human Services at Kennesaw State University.

“The WellStar College cannot exist without community partnerships,” Interim Dean Monica Nandan said, “because 90 percent of our students have to develop skills and become competent in those skills before graduation; many of them have to take licensing exams.”

Between fall 2013 and fall 2014, students across the WellStar College provided 340,000 hours of community service through internships and related experiential learning opportunities at places like WellStar Health System, the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office and the Division of Family and Children Services. When multiplied by the federal volunteer wage of $22.14, those services were worth more than $7.5 million.

The WellStar College consists of the WellStar School of Nursing, and the Departments of Social Work and Human Services, Health Promotion and Physical Education, Exercise Science and Sport Management, and Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality. It is also home to the Academy for Inclusive Learning and Social Growth.

“Our students and faculty are touching the lives of Georgians easily in a 10-county area densely,” Nandan said. “The services we provide to the community are truly worth millions of dollars, and what this really speaks to is each one of our disciplines is very hands on; we graduate professionals who are competent in their respective fields of practice.”  

Recent internship locations for the college include more than 400 addresses, including locations as far flung as Troup County in west Georgia, Clarke County in east Georgia, Towns, Union and Fannin counties in north Georgia and Floyd, Polk and Whitfield counties in northwest Georgia.

In one of the longest running interdisciplinary endeavors, the Department of Social Work and Human Services, along with the Wellstar School of Nursing, partners with the Rainbow Housing organization to host a community health fair twice a year at local apartment complexes where patients are screened for blood sugar, blood pressure, HIV and mental health issues. The partnership was established in 2005.

“We are in the community, providing needed health services and also building relationships with community organizations that will benefit everyone,” said Vanessa Robinson-Dooley, Assistant Professor of Social Work. “For our students, this provides an optimal opportunity for learning. They are able to observe, assess and treat the needs of real people. This is taking the classroom to the field, and this is the greatest education we can provide any student.”

--By Jennifer Hafer

--Photo by David Caselli


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit