Wallace State Agriculture/Horticulture Technician Jason Bynum, on left, instructs horticulture student Avion Woods during the Horticulture Department's community service project at the Hanceville Post Office.

Students at Wallace State Community College got a crash-course in how to be successful in their time at school as well as their careers this week during the school’s first ever student development conference.

The PULSE, or Pathways United for Learning, Service, and Excellence, experience was a two-day conference-style event that students attended in place of their regularly scheduled classes on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

In addition to a keynote address by comedian Mike Goodwin who gave a lesson on leadership and laughter, PULSE provided workshop opportunities for gaining insights into students’ meta-majors as well as other kinds of soft and specialized skills that contribute to personal and professional development — all with an emphasis on service, success, and excellence.

The event’s workshops ranged from topics like adjusting to college life and becoming a better student, informational sessions about STEM education and careers to learning more about common tools and techniques used in the school’s applied technology courses.

PULSE also offered service opportunities for students, which enabled them to spend some time on projects to help the people in Cullman and Blount Counties.

Community service projects included sending students out to interact with the residents of Woodland Haus Assisted Living by spending time with them or listening to their life stories and painting the restrooms at Hanceville Elementary School. 

The Wallace State Horticulture Department’s chose landscaping work at the Hanceville Post Office and at Hanceville Nursing and Rehab for its service project, said Horticulture instructor Anthony Hilliard.

He said the students had the option of attending a workshop or doing a service project, and chose to do the work around the community because it gave them the opportunity to get some experience in their field while helping improve the appearance of some of Hanceville’s buildings.

“It’s hands-on experience, it goes right along with what we’re studying in class and it’s a community service,” he said.

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