Palm Beach Atlantic's past leaders discuss impact of service

The chapel event is one part of the university’s yearlong celebration of over 3 million hours.
The chapel event is one part of the university’s yearlong celebration of over 3 million hours. | File photo

Dr. Hope Haslam Straughan began to work at Palm Beach Atlantic University during the 1990s, when she became part of the Workship community service program that had just recently started.

When she studied at Samford University, Straughan finished an internship with a social worker, where she volunteered as a probation officer. Her case load included 15 teenage boys, transforming her life forever.

Today, Straughan is Palm Beach Atlantic's associate dean for leadership, social work and policy. She is also an associate professor of social work based at Wheelock College in Boston.

“That commitment to justice and human rights is a thread that has really stayed with me,” Straughan said.

Straughan discussed her life-changing experiences at a Founders Day Chapel. She and Dr. Laine Scales, another previous Workship director, visited the university to discuss how the program molded them into the leaders they are today.

This chapel event is one part of the university’s yearlong celebration of over 3 million hours that Palm Beach Atlantic students have spent serving their local community. The university leaders first began recording the hours in 1968.

The Workship program is a significant part of the service hours that have accumulated. Straughan and Scales both previously directed the program, and spoke highly of the program, emphasizing that it encouraged them to live more service-oriented lives.

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