The State University of New York at Geneseo has been named to President Obama's 2014 Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction in the Interfaith Community Service category, a national recognition of a college or university for a clear commitment to community service and service learning. Geneseo also is on the honor roll in three other categories: General Community Service, Economic Opportunity, and Education.
This is the fourth 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.
“As a public liberal arts college, Geneseo has made a serious and consistent commitment to community service over the years in accord with our mission to develop socially responsible citizens," said SUNY Geneseo Interim President Carol S. Long. "Community engagement and service are integral to a Geneseo education. I heartily commend everyone at the college responsible for this achievement.”
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which administers the annual Honor Roll Awards, recognized 770 colleges and universities this year that support exemplary community service programs and raise the visibility of effective practices in campus community partnerships.
“I receive tremendous professional and personal satisfaction working on a college campus seriously committed to service with dedicated students, faculty and staff eager to make a difference,” said Tom Matthews, associate dean of leadership and service. “This kind of ongoing recognition serves as a catalyst to continue our responsibility to serve at both the local, state and national level.”
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 2014 at Geneseo, an estimated 3,678 students engaged in 262,706 hours of community service and academic service-learning.
“Participating in community service is an important part of any college experience and a hallmark of our strategic plan,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Each of our SUNY campuses has an astounding array of options for students as well as faculty and staff to give back to their local communities and to have a greater impact on communities across the country and abroad.”
Among Geneseo service programs examined for the award were the Rochester Young Scholars Academy; The LIVES Program (Learning Independence, Vocation, and Education Skills) for students with intellectual and/or other developmental disabilities; the Soaring Stars learning program for school children living in rural areas; the Geneseo Small Business Development Center; the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program; the Student Ambassador Program for students to design projects that impact the community; the Geneseo Interfaith Service Project to promote interfaith discussion; the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Leadership and Service; Livingston CARES public charity to help with the reconstruction of homes in hurricane-ravaged areas of the country; Town/Gown Partnerships to Enhance Community Well-Being; and Geneseo’s Global Service Learning in Ghana, Haiti and Nicaragua.
CNCS oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the U.S. Dept. of Education and U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development as well as the American Council on Education, Campus Compact and the Interfaith Youth Core.