As seen on WCBD – Count on 2, by Sofia Arazoza
Learning by serving – it’s the cornerstone of Dr. Conway Saylor’s work. “We need wave upon wave of citizens to keep stepping and saying how can I help?”
This year, the child psychologist and researcher is celebrating 30 years as a professor at The Citadel. But her impact spans far beyond the classroom.
“Get outside of yourself and get out of the classroom and get outside of books to go with an open heart and mind to work with someone in the community. This is what jazzes me.”
She serves as the Director of Service Learning at the military college, meaning she is responsible for the thousands of cadets and the work they do for others.
As sophomores, cadets at The Citadel take a required service course. But Dr. Saylor says what happens next always leaves her in awe.
“From there the really fun part starts. The people who… really get excited about it go on to do service in a variety of ways… Exactly 10 years ago we were thrilled that we documented 1,500 hours of service. Last year we documented 35,000 hours of service…same size corps.”
35,000 hours of service that know no boundaries- homelessness, disabilities, food insecurity- you name it she does it. She says it’s those chronic struggles that make up the root of her mission: shaping her students and other children.
“Children don’t get educated in a vacuum. They grow up in a community that has to support their families.”
It’s one of those students that nominated Dr. Saylor as a Remarkable Woman ahead of her retirement this spring. Now a medical student, he says 6 years later, he still thinks of Dr. Saylor and her commitment to putting service above self.
“To have a student like Tyler, who was just a tremendous human being, credit his growth and all to his experience with us. There’s no greater honor than that.”
Dr. Saylor encourages everyone to go out and volunteer in their community. She says that during her retirement, she looks forward to continuing to promote service, this time, off The Citadel’s campus.