Service-Learning Mission Garners Honor Roll Status from President
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – MARCH 23, 2012 – The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College were named to the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service at the American Council on Education annual conference in Los Angeles on March 12.
“We are honored to be among the institutions of higher education to receive this award,” said Shamina Davis, Director of the Center for Civic Engagement. “It belongs to our students, faculty and staff and to our community partners for participating in numerous worthwhile service activities throughout the year.”
The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities.
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.
The designation is for the time period from June 2010 to June 2011.
Davis said during that time period the campus community participated in many projects, among them volunteer activities taking place during designated days such as Make a Difference Day, Martin Luther King Day and Alternative Spring Break. Davis said there are innumerable other projects and activities that no one hears about.
“We are now in the next cycle, and in fact, today is World Water Day which is sponsored annually by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development,” she said. “Our students are participating by holding an awareness event all day at the Student Union.”
“The campus is registered as an official World Water Day site,” said Karon Jahn, Associate Master Technical Instructor in the Department of Communication.
Students from Jahn’s Applied Communication public speaking course are hosting this event for the campus and the community to focus attention on the importance of water and to advocate for sustainable management of freshwater resources.
Students provided information on how water is tied to industry, drought, animal habitat, health, education and social justice. Circle K service club partnered with the communication students, and H-E-B donated appropriate refreshments using no plastic, paper or meat. There were interactive activities, videos and speeches.
Other recent service-learning projects of the spring 2012 semester include Get Out the Vote Project 100% to host candidate forums on campus and students working with the Valley Food Bank and Brownsville Independent School District to collect items and assemble healthy snack packs for at-risk BISD students.
The Hurricane Action Team is a service-learning initiative begun last year by the Department of Behavioral Science. Working in tandem with the South Texas Chapter of the American Red Cross, students are given the opportunity to attend training sessions to become a local Red Cross disaster volunteer to work at local shelters in time of need.
“Preparing students to participate in our democracy and providing them with opportunities to take on local and global issues in their course work are as central to the mission of education as boosting college completion and closing the achievement gap,” said Eduardo Ochoa, the U.S. Department of Education’s assistant secretary for postsecondary education.
The Corporation for National and Community Service oversees the President’s Honor Roll in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.
For more information, contact Shamina Davis at 956-882-4300 or email@example.com. Information about the Center for Civic Engagement can be found online at utb.edu/cce.