White House recognizes Wright State for community service for third straight year

For the third consecutive year, Wright State University has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for its support of volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

Wright State is listed on the Honor Roll with Distinction for its strong institutional commitment to service and campus-community partnerships that produce measurable results for the region. Only 110 institutions across the country received such an honor.

“For the last three years we’ve been recognized for our commitment to excellence in this area,” said Wright State President David R. Hopkins. “Our students, faculty and staff work tirelessly to contribute to changing the lives of others throughout Raider Country.”

A total of 12,414 Wright State students, faculty and staff were involved in academic service-learning during the 2010-‘11 school year, resulting in 417,938 service hours that touched the lives of 997,720 community members.

“Service-learning and community engagement are deeply embedded in faculty, staff and student life at Wright State. They are an integral part of campus culture and identity,” said Cathy Sayer, director of service-learning.

Examples of service-learning that helped earn the recognition include:

  • Wright State’s Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Center partnered with Westwood PreK–8 School to support students’ academic achievement.
  • The Wright State Friendship Food Pantry is providing emergency food and referral services to students in need, helping them to stay in school and meet their educational goals.
  • The Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Association (NLASA) is supporting the professional development of students in the NLASA certificate program.
  • Wright STEPP is enhancing the development of at-risk youth in grades 7–10 underrepresented in the STEM disciplines to improve their preparation for post-secondary education.
  • For 32 summers through Horizons in Medicine, Wright State’s Boonshoft School of Medicine has offered local high school students, primarily from disadvantaged/minority backgrounds,  the chance to experience the science and delivery of health care that forms the foundation of a career in medicine.

“Service-learning opportunities at Wright State will continue to increase as we transition from quarters to semesters. More faculty are developing service-learning courses than ever before,” said Sayer.

“This winter, two courses included spring break alternative trips, one to New Orleans and another to Appalachia, and this summer we will have three service-learning study abroad trips to four countries in Africa.”

Service-learning is not limited to student activities. Staff members instituted a “We Serve U” program and have incorporated service projects into their staff development days.

The Corporation for National and Community Service oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.

Honorees are chosen based on a series of factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships and measurable community outcomes as a result of the service.

For more information on the Honor Roll, visit http://www.nationalservice.gov.

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