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School of Professional Studies

Psychology class makes blankets for Fort Wayne Sexual Assault and Treatment Center


Patricia Luckey stepped out of her professional discipline of nursing and utilized her additional degree of psychology by teaching Human Growth and Development for the Psychology department this past fall. Students from the class completed a service learning project that proved to be beneficial to both child assault victims and USF students. Professor Luckey was looking for a project that would tie in this academic year's Franciscan value statement, "Serve one another, society and the church." 

A hallway conversation with faculty member Kristen Morris inspired the project idea. Kristen, faculty member and pediatric nurse practitioner, is involved with The Fort Wayne Sexual Assault and Treatment Center. Professor Morris suggested that the students make much needed no-sew blankets. Victims of assault are provided a blanket during their visit at the center. More than forty hand-tied blankets were made and donated by students. Prior to hearing the guest speaker Angie House, RN, MS, USF alumnus in nursing and psychology, many students might have assumed that a nice warm blanket would have an external affect on the body. Student Kevin Hershberger may have stated it best when he said "A blanket bought from the store is just a blanket, it helps keep us warm, but there is no thought really put into the crafting of it. The fact that we created a tie blanket incorporates a greater meaning within itself. Each edge was personally hand tied and I like to think of each tie as a little piece of myself going into the final piece."


What came as a surprise to many USF students was the internal journey they would personally experience. When the assignment was first presented several students voiced that they were uncertain where the blankets were going and why. Student Shea Rager stated, "I honestly thought to myself it would just be another thing I have to spend money on for school and have to find time to get the fabric and make the blanket. I did not even think about what a simple gift like the blanket would mean to the people who would be receiving them."

For some students in the class this was their first experience with giving back to the community. Several students commented on how they regretted being selfish about making the blanket and after hearing the speaker they wanted to do even more for this worthwhile local organization.