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University of Iowa News Release

 

Oct. 27, 2006

UI Named To Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

The University of Iowa was recently named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, recognizing the UI's strong commitment to civic engagement and volunteerism. The Corporation for National and Community Service, an independent federal agency tasked with fostering an ethic of volunteerism and service, selected the honorees.

"I'm gratified to see the University of Iowa on the first year of the Honor Roll," said UI Executive Vice President and Provost Michael J. Hogan. "It recognizes the extra efforts that so many of our students, staff, and faculty are making to share the benefits of higher education while giving back to the community that supports us."

The UI was recognized for its efforts just over a year after developing the Civic Engagement Program, which strengthens students' learning opportunities by linking the university's teaching, research, and service mission to meeting needs in Iowa's communities through community service.

"Engagement is one of the five major goals of the University's Strategic Plan, The Iowa Promise, and this recognition shows we are making a difference," Hogan said.

Mary Mathew Wilson, the coordinator of the Civic Engagement Program, estimated that about 8,000 UI students participated in community service projects in fiscal year 2006, which coincided with the Year of Public Engagement. About 20 percent of those students contributed more than 20 hours per semester, she said.

Specifically, the selection committee looked at how university communities responded to Hurricane Katrina. Twelve undergraduates and 14 graduate students displaced by the hurricane enrolled in six colleges at the UI.

"In total, over $170,000 was contributed by university sources and fundraising efforts to support these students, with over 50 faculty, staff, and students providing advising, tutoring, and other forms of direct assistance," said Mathew Wilson.

Sandra Hansen, the executive director of Iowa Campus Compact, said the UI was one of eight institutions in Iowa honored for civic engagement.

"To have the opportunity to recognize college and universities across the nation for what they're doing is wonderful," Hansen said.

In addition to the university recognition, UI education professor Rahima Wade was named as a top-10 finalist in the 2006 Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award for Service-Learning, which distinguishes exemplary leadership in advancing the civic learning of students.

Wade, Ed.D., professor in the College of Education's Curriculum and Instruction Department, serves as the director and evaluator of CiviConnections: Constructing the Past, Creating the Future.

CiviConnections is a National Council for the Social Studies-sponsored project funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Over the course of three years, this project will involve nearly 300 teachers and 7,500 third- through 12th-grade students nationwide in linking local history inquiry with community service-learning activities.

The Honor Roll is co-sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, USA Freedom Corps, and the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Stephen J. Pradarelli, 319-384-0007, stephen-pradarelli@uiowa.edu; Program: Mary Matthew Wilson, UI Civic Engagement Program, 319-335-7589, mary-matthew-wilson@uiowa.edu