Fairfield University receives national recognition for community service
(Posted on May 20, 2011)
For the fifth year in a row, Fairfield University has been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for being a leader in building a campus-wide culture of service learning, volunteering and civic engagement.
The Honor Roll is sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), a federal agency that leads President Obama's national call to service initiative, United We Serve, and engages more than five million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs.
"As members of the class of 2011 cross the stage to pick up their diplomas, more and more will be going into the world with a commitment to public service and the knowledge that they can make a difference in their communities and their own lives through service to others, thanks to the leadership of these institutions," said Patrick A. Corvington, chief executive officer of CNCS. "Congratulations to Fairfield University and its students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their local communities."
In 2010 alone, the number of community service hours completed by Fairfield students totaled 37,605. Commitment to service is evident in the Jesuit institution's strategic plan, which includes goals related to community partnership development and student civic engagement. For Fairfield, service has entailed helping individuals in Greater Bridgeport, with such efforts as the Adrienne Kirby Family Literacy Project, as well as BASE Camp, a one-week, overnight camp open to female, Bridgeport high school students that engages them in experiences in the natural sciences and mathematics. Other initiatives include the School of Nursing's Health Promotion Center for Older Adults, which served 577 adults and involved 50 students and two faculty members completing 1,200 service hours last year.
Service learning courses are also part of the fabric of Fairfield. For example, the Grant and Proposal Writing Service-Learning course has student teams overseen by English department faculty providing grant-writing services for several non-profit organizations. Through the Dolan School of Business course, Federal Income Taxation II, students help residents who don't have access to accountants with tax preparation via the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.
Housed within the university's Center for Faith and Public Life, the service learning program at Fairfield University facilitates connections between focused academic learning that meets disciplinary standards for rigor, with meaningful and appropriate service that addresses needs identified by and with communities. "We've been on the Honor Roll every year since its inception," said Melissa Quan, associate director of Fairfield's Center for Faith and Public Life and director of Service Learning. "Fairfield has a further obligation to the wider community of which it is a part, to share with its neighbors its resources and its special expertise for the betterment of the community as a whole."
The CNCS oversees the Honor Roll award in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact, and the American Council on Education.
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Vol. 43, No. 310