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February 21, 2008

UW Seattle receives President’s Honor Roll award for service

The UW Seattle has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for exemplary service efforts and service to disadvantaged youth. The Corporation for National and Community Services bestows the honor.


“We’re delighted to have received this recognition,” says Ed Taylor, vice provost and dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, the academic department in which many service-oriented programs operate. “It is critical that research universities connect undergraduates to learning through civic engagement as we prepare students to take on the wide array of challenges facing our local, national, and global communities.”


Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service learning and civic engagement. Honorees for the award were chosen based on a series of selection factors including scope and innovativeness of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service learning courses.


Overall, the Community Service Honor Roll awarded six schools with Presidential Awards. In addition, four schools were recognized as Special Achievement winners, 127 as Honor Roll with Distinction members — the recognition received by UW Seattle — and 391 schools as Honor Roll members. UW Bothell received recognition as an Honor Roll member. In total, 528 schools were recognized. A full list is available at www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll.  


UW Seattle programs and projects highlighted in the application include the Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center, The Pipeline Project, Jumpstart, the Public Leadership and Civic Engagement Academy (a partnership between the UW and Heritage University), the UW-White Center Community Partnership and The Dream Project. These programs engage students in a variety of services to youth including tutoring, working with homeless youth, helping high school students apply for college, preparing preschool children for success in kindergarten, creating neighborhood plans, and increasing Latino and Native American participation in public leadership and civic engagement. These and other service opportunities brought an estimated 5,800 students to service projects in the 2006-07 academic year.


“One of the reasons the UW received this distinction,” says Michaelann Jundt, director of the Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center, “is because there are so many UW programs and projects empowering youth and contributing to their education. As an educational institution, our commitment to educate reaches beyond the physical boundaries of campus.”


The Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center (the Carlson Center) facilitates campuswide service learning, which saw a 7 percent increase in student participation in 2006-07. The Carlson Center also coordinated the UW’s involvement in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, in which more than 1,000 volunteers contribute 6,000 hours of service as projects around Puget Sound. UW students connect to tutoring opportunities in K-12 schools through the Pipeline Project. Additionally, the Pipeline Project’s Alternative Spring Break brings UW students to rural and tribal communities during spring break where undergraduates work on art and literacy projects as well as science and environmental projects.


“Tutoring is the highlight of my week,” said one undergraduate. “When tutoring, I feel refreshed and reinvigorated because of the excitement and curiosity with which students approach their learning.”