GENESEO, N.Y. - - The State University of New York at Geneseo has been named to President Obama's 2013 Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, a national recognition of a college or university for their achievements in general community service or in a special focus area aligned with the president's education and innovation priorities. Geneseo has been on the honor roll every year since its inception in 2006.
"Geneseo's consistent placement on the honor roll illustrates the serious commitment our students, faculty and staff have to community service and service-learning," said Christopher C. Dahl, president of SUNY Geneseo. "Such work is integral to a meaningful liberal arts education, and our campus is engaged every day in the lives of others through service at the local, national and international levels. I commend everyone at Geneseo responsible for this achievement."
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 2011-12, 4,172 Geneseo students engaged in general community service and academic service-learning for 247,301 total hours.
"Communities are strengthened when we all come together, and we are encouraged that these institutions and their students have made service a priority," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "Civic engagement should be a key component of every student's education experience. Through reaching out to meet the needs of their neighbors, these students are deepening their impact, strengthening our democracy and ultimately preparing themselves to be successful citizens."
The organization recognized Geneseo specifically for five community service or service-learning projects in 2010-11:
• The college's ongoing commitment to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts through the Livingston CARES Program. During the 2011-12 academic year, 84 students, faculty and community volunteers participated in three trips to Mississippi during winter, spring and summer breaks to assist in the reconstruction of homes in Mississippi. In addition, 14 volunteers worked at Give Kids the World in Orlando with the Make a Wish Foundation.
• Urban and rural public relations projects. During the year, 76 students in the Department of Communication's Public Relations Program collaborated with key stakeholders and government officials in two declining urban and rural neighborhoods in western New York to help spur economic growth.
• The El Sauce, Nicaragua, Service Learning Project. SUNY Geneseo has run a service-learning program in El Sauce, Nicaragua, since 2006. Students conduct service projects in El Sauce during the summer, the January inter-session, or spring break. El Sauce is a small community of 10,000 people north of Managua in the remote countryside. More than 90 students have traveled to El Sauce and worked in partnership with the residents on a number of service projects focused on sustainable business development, teaching English, personal finance and computer skills, as well as health education, recreation programs and building homes.
• Rochester Young Scholars Academy at Geneseo. The college partnered with the Greater Rochester Summer Learning Association's associated summer programs in the Rochester area to increase college readiness of students in the Rochester School District. The 2011 program provided a two-week residential camp for 54 students in grades 6 through 11 from the City of Rochester. The camp involved the students in archeology projects at a real dig site on the edge of the Geneso campus.Twenty Geneseo college students -- many teacher candidates -- and several faculty and staff helped to make the camp successful.
• Tutoring and mentoring for the Rochester Young Scholars Academy. During the school year, Geneseo offered its fifth continuous year of weekly Saturday school tutoring and enrichment programming at the downtown Rochester Public Library. Seventeen Geneseo students provided tutoring and enrichment each week for 25-30 Rochester high school students with culturally diverse backgrounds as well as mentoring and working on service-learning projects.
• 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 come to campus to learn skills to be productive members of their communities.
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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