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Russell Martin

Major/Area of Study:

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Hometown, State:

West Branch, IA

What is your role within Leadership & Service Programs?

Hawkeye Service Teams Leader

Describe what you do for this program:

As an HST leader, I am responsible for planning and leading a service trip over spring break for a group of 15 students. Moreover, I also facilitate “service learning” with a focus on social justice, so that the participants on my team gain a new appreciation for the importance of volunteerism.

What has been your favorite memory with this program?

My freshman year, my service team traveled to Biloxi, Mississippi, which is right on the gulf coast. Every day after we finished serving, we would go to the beach and play sand volleyball or just go for a walk. It was some of the most wholesome, positive, and fun things I’ve ever done. 

How did you get involved with HST?

I applied to be a participant on a whim my freshman year, and I’ve had such a positive experience on my first two trips I decided to lead a trip this year!

How has/will this program impact you in your future goals?

This program has exposed me to the possibility of working in a volunteer program following graduation with a group like Fulbright or Peace Corps. 

Why should others get involved with this program?

Outside of my major-specific coursework, this course is the most meaningful thing I’ve done for credit as a student at Iowa. The conversations I’ve had and the perspectives I’ve gained have changed the trajectory of my life, and have instilled in me a new sense of purpose as I work toward my degree.