GENESEO – SUNY at Geneseo has once again been named to the U.S. President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, an extremely prestigious national-level recognition reserved for a select few American colleges or universities that show clear commitment to community service and service learning in several ways, or “categories.”
SUNY Geneseo was given this highest honor in the Interfaith Community Service category by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which recognized 770 colleges and universities this year for exemplary community service programs, and is also on the Honor Roll for General Community Service, Economic Opportunity, and Education.
“I receive tremendous professional and personal satisfaction working on a college campus seriously committed to service with dedicated students, faculty and staff eager to make a difference,” said Tom Matthews, Associate Dean of Leadership and Service. “This kind of ongoing recognition serves as a catalyst to continue our responsibility to serve at both the local, state and national level.”
This is the fourth year that Geneseo has received this highest distinction within the program. The college has been on the Honor Roll in at least one category for every year since CNCS launched the program in 2006.
According to a press release from the college, CNCS chooses honorees based on scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in 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. SUNY officials say that’s exactly what community service is all about, and not just at Geneseo.
“Participating in community service is an important part of any college experience and a hallmark of our strategic plan,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher. “Each of our SUNY campuses has an astounding array of options for students as well as faculty and staff to give back to their local communities and to have a greater impact on communities across the country and abroad.”
Among Geneseo service programs examined for the award were the Rochester Young Scholars Academy; The LIVES Program (Learning Independence, Vocation, and Education Skills) for students with intellectual and/or other developmental disabilities; the Soaring Stars learning program for school children living in rural areas; the Geneseo Small Business Development Center; the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly Program; the Student Ambassador Program for students to design projects that impact the community; the Geneseo Interfaith Service Project to promote interfaith discussion; the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Leadership and Service; Livingston CARES public charity to help with the reconstruction of homes in hurricane-ravaged areas of the country; Town/Gown Partnerships to Enhance Community Well-Being; and Geneseo’s Global Service Learning in Ghana, Haiti, and Nicaragua.
Interim President of the College Carol Long congratulated everyone involved, and said that community service is a large part of what Geneseo does.
“As a public liberal arts college, Geneseo has made a serious and consistent commitment to community service over the years in accord with our mission to develop socially responsible citizens,” said SUNY Geneseo Interim President Carol Long. “Community engagement and service are integral to a Geneseo education. I heartily commend everyone at the college responsible for this achievement.”
CNCS oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the U.S. Dept. of Education and U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development as well as the American Council on Education, Campus Compact and the Interfaith Youth Core.
PHOTO CAPTION: Photo courtesy of David Irwin.