Students in field

Sawadogo joins Copper Country Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors

February 16, 2022

Annette SawadogoFinlandia University is pleased to announce Annette Sawadogo’s recent election to the Copper Country Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors. Sawadogo, Finlandia’s Assistant Dean of Students for Residence Life & Campus Safety, started her six-year term in January.

“I am looking forward to working with a great group of people with a common goal to serve others in our community,” Sawadogo said. “I am happy that I will be able to be a part of something that gives people in the community the ability and the tools to live their best life.”

Preceding Sawadogo’s election to the Copper Country HFH Board of Directors are former board members and current FinnU colleagues Dr. René Johnson, Dr. Richard Gee and Dr. Juan Marin. Johnson, Finlandia’s Director of Vocation and Servant Leadership, finished her second six-year term on the board in January.

“I really saw Copper Country Habitat for Humanity expand its outreach with the establishment of not just one, but two ReStores, along with the critical repair program and most recently a ramp building program for those who need to make their home handicap accessible. All of this is in addition to their traditional habitat home building program,” Johnson said. “It was a great way to interact with the wider community through the volunteers, and a great way to meet the habitat homeowners.”

Rooted in mission, Finlandia’s support for its local community is not exclusive to its faculty and staff. Institutional programming created with compassion and enthusiasm for service allows students the opportunity to give back while learning skills they may never have experienced otherwise. Finlandia Lions Varsity Hockey Head Coach Joe Burcar and his teams have been volunteering with HFH for years.

“Habitat for Humanity is great volunteer work for our boys,” Burcar said. “The last three years in the fall we have worked in the new store in Atlantic Mine, pounded nails on a new home in Houghton and hung drywall on a new home in South Range. It is important for us to give back to the community and each person learns a valuable trade that some may never experience. We plan to help every year in the fall.”

Support for Copper Country Habitat for Humanity is seemingly infectious at Finlandia. New hire Alex Hilterbrand, Director of Student Engagement with FinnU Student Affairs, recently jumped at the opportunity to volunteer by lending a paintbrush for precious moments with University colleagues.

“Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity has been a fulfilling and meaningful experience,” Hilterbrand said. “I feel that one of the greatest gifts you can give is your personal time, and there is so much value to be had in being of service to others.”

Habitat for Humanity

Finlandia staff members working together on a Copper Country HFH home-building project in the summer of 2021.

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