GENESEO, N.Y. - The State University of New York at Geneseo has been named to President Obama's 2010 Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which administers the annual Honor Roll Award, recognized 641 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth. The college is among 114 colleges across the nation named this year to the Honor Roll with Distinction - four are SUNY schools -- and it's the second year that Geneseo has received the distinction designation. The college has been on the honor roll every year since the program was launched in 2006.
"I commend our students for receiving the distinction honor this year," said Christopher C. Dahl, president of SUNY Geneseo. "Active community engagement is an important element of a strong liberal arts education and Geneseo students and faculty are engaged every day in the lives of others through service projects at the local, national and international levels."
The organization chooses honorees based on scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in 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.
In 2010, 4,155 Geneseo students engaged in general community service and academic service-learning for 78,933 total hours.
The organization recognized Geneseo specifically for five community service projects in 2009 -10:
- The college's ongoing commitment to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts through the Livingston CARES Program. During the 2009-10 academic year, 111 students, faculty and community volunteers participated in four trips to Mississippi during winter, spring and summer breaks.
- The South Wedge Revitalization project in Rochester, N.Y. The project is an example of ongoing service-learning programs between the Department of Communication's public relations program and Rochester's South Wedge Planning Committee and Business Association. The program started in 2005 when students and faculty conducted market research and communication audits to launch a campaign to raise the visibility of the declining urban neighborhood in the city.
- El Sauce Service-Learning Project. Geneseo has operated a service-learning program in El Sauce, Nicaragua since 2006. Since that time, more than 60 students have traveled to El Sauce, an impoverished farming community, to work on a number of initiatives focused on business development, teaching English, personal finance and health education.
- Xerox Center for Multicultural Teacher Education Saturday School Project. The Xerox Center for Multicultural Education is a partnership between the SUNY Geneseo School of Education and Xerox Corp. The Saturday School Program in downtown Rochester provides academic follow-up for the Rochester City Schools cohort of students with culturally diverse backgrounds who enroll in a two-week residential summer camp called Rochester Young Scholars Academy at Geneseo.
- Xerox Center for Multicultural Teach Education Summer Peace Camp. The Geneseo School of Education engaged 53 disadvantaged youth from the Rochester City School District in a two-week residential Peace Camp. The camp exposed the students to college-level instruction and environment, encouraged interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers and trained them in peaceful conflict resolution.
- L.I.V.E.S. Program (Learning Independence, Vocation and Education Skills). The program is a four-year post-secondary experience for students with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Students aren't admitted to Geneseo but to the Geneseo L.I.V.E.S. Program where they learn skills to be productive members of their communities.
"This honor recognizes that we have students and faculty very engaged in community service," said Tom Matthews, director of leadership education, development and training at Geneseo. "And the engagement is not isolated. It is widespread throughout the entire campus and that is very gratifying."
CNCS oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the Dept. of Education, the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.
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