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CU named to national 'President's Honor Roll' for community service

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For second consecutive year

 

Samantha Stevenson

Campbellsville University

Campbellsville University has been named to the 2013 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the second year in a row, from the Corporation for National and Community Service, as a leader among institutions of higher education for support of volunteering, service learning and civic engagement.

CU was admitted to the President's Honor Roll for engaging students, faculty and staff in meaningful service that achieves measurable results in the community.

"We are very pleased to be named to the 2013 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service," Dr. Michael V. Carter, CU president, said. "Campbellsville University has a long history of encouraging the development of Christian servant leaders - the giving of one's self in service to others.

"This recognition is further acknowledgment of the positive and rich educational experience that Campbellsville University students are receiving and exemplifies an ethic of servant leadership on the part of the faculty, staff, coaches and students of CU."

Jon Hansford, director of the First Year Experience at CU, said 2,236 CU students participated in community service activities with each reporting student averaging 21.73 hours.

A total of 48,584 hours of community service was engaged in by CU students, with 351 students completing at least 20 hours of service per semester. More than 70 percent of CU employees engaged in service activities with 51 faculty members facilitating service learning. CU employees contributed 8,702 hours with each CU employee averaging 68.52 hours.

"Being recognized from the highest levels of the federal government two times reminds us of our solid commitment to our community but also our mission to prepare servant leaders," Jon Hansford said.

"It is an honor to be a part of the rich service history of CU. Being recognized in this way continues to speak of our heritage as a Christian higher education institution and compliments the genuine heart of our faculty, staff and students."

Among the activities reported were Repair Affair, which involved the entire freshman class of 462 students, along with 24 faculty and staff members, who benefited 17 low-income homeowners with badly needed home repairs. The group worked with Kentucky Heartland Outreach on the program.

In addition to the Repair Affair, CU's Green Minds members have made a lasting impact on the community. The student organization has completed a series of projects that involved 80 students and ten faculty and staff members who contributed 560 hours of service to benefit 500 individuals.

Projects include building seven community vegetable gardens, tutoring more than 100 elementary students in environmental education and sustainability practices, creek trash clean ups, planting 150 trees, shrubs, grasses and wildflowers and providing habitat improvement for the local ecosystem.

The Servant Leadership Project consisted of 414 students and 40 faculty and staff members completing 1,950 hours of service to serve 20,800 members of the community.

Services included tutoring students in area schools, raising money and awareness about homelessness and human trafficking, cleaning up local parks, streams and creeks, planting more than 20 trees, providing 26 health screenings, serving in area nursing homes and two local clothes closets, creating PSAs to keep the environment clean and organizing an Earth Day program for more than 50 elementary school students.

The Servant Leadership Project exemplifies the Institutional Commitment to Service Statement because it introduces every first-year student to CU's culture of servant leadership and prepares him or her for lifelong service.

The program practices found helpful are the First Year Experience programming. Each first-year student participates in the Servant Leadership Project in his or her second semester and they're paired with a faculty member and peer mentor in their area of interest to plan, organize and implement a service-learning project.

Students participate in this program as part of their academic program and projects take place during regular academic sessions. Students partnered with multiple area nonprofit organizations and K-12 schools to implement several of the completed projects. The Office of First Year Experience and an AmeriCorps VISTA member also support this program.

"Congratulations to Campbellsville University and its students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their local communities. We salute all the Honor Roll awardees for embracing their civic mission and providing opportunities for their students to tackle tough national challenges through service," Patrick A. Corvington, chief executive officer of CNCS, said.

CNCS 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 selection 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 a full list of recipients and descriptions of their service, visit www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs and leads President Barack Obama's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit www.nationalservice.gov.