Newman appointed to national community service honor roll

Newman appointed to national community service honor roll


Wichita, Kan. – Newman University is one of only 11 colleges and universities in Kansas and the only four-year university in Wichita that was recently named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for its exemplary service efforts and service to America’s communities. Newman was among only 635 institutions of higher learning across the nation to be selected for inclusion on the honor roll.

Launched in 2006, the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. The program recognizes colleges and universities nationwide that support innovative and effective community service and service-learning programs.

Among the criteria for selection are:
• The scope and innovation of service projects
• The percentage of the total student enrollment engaged in community service activities
• The percentage of students engaging in more than 20 hours of service per semester
• The extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses
• The extent to which scholarships related to service are offered
• Recognition of faculty for academic service-learning
• Service is part of the institution’s mission and strategic plan

“We are thrilled to be named to this prestigious honor roll, and proud of our students, faculty and staff whose efforts have brought this national recognition,” said Newman President Noreen M. Carrocci, Ph.D. “Service is one of the very foundations upon which this university – and our founders and sponsoring order the Adorers of the Blood of Christ – is based. Our mission is to empower our graduates to transform society, and what better way can they accomplish that than through service?”

Newman University supports and encourages student service through designated scholarships, service learning trips and classes. Students are exposed to the value of service beginning with orientation and the freshmen seminar “Traditions and Transitions,” and continuing in classes, service trips, athletic service participation and scholarships.

Service projects Newman students and faculty have engaged in include:
• “Stuff the Bus,” a holiday season toy and food drive for needy families in the area
• Trips to Crownpoint, N.M., and Guaymas, Mexico to perform work for underprivileged families
• Building houses for Habitat for Humanity
• Collecting necessities for a women’s crisis center at Christmas
• Making deliveries for Meals on Wheels
• Working as timekeepers at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure
• Coaching softball and a soccer clinic for children
• Distributing Thanksgiving dinners at United Methodist Urban Ministries

For several years, students have completed more than 16,000 hours of service per academic year – the equivalent of nearly eight years of full-time work. Charity Week also focuses student attention on serving. For the past 10 years, students have raised funds and awareness for a variety of local and national charities during this week.

The quality of the work provided by Newman University students is also consistent and valued. Comments by civic agency representatives have included:
• “Clients mentioned to me that they did not believe that the younger generation of students possessed any community spirit. Your efforts here have put that fear to rest.” (Director of Adult Day Services, Catholic Charities)
• “I can always depend on Newman University students to get the job done. We have had adult groups from {large employers} here in town and they accomplish half what Newman University students do.” (Director of Camp Hiawatha, Salvation Army)
• “…the pleasure that it was for me to witness true servant’s hearts in the students.” (Executive Director, the Treehouse, A Place for Moms, Kids & Stuff)

Recent studies have noted the importance of service-learning and volunteering to college students. In 2006, 2.8 million college students volunteered more than 297 million hours of service, according to the Volunteering in America 2007 study conducted by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

The culture of service at Newman University begins in the institution’s mission, which charges the entire university to a commitment of engagement and service. Catholic social teaching directs the institution to base all decisions on the common good, with the goal of developing and empowering people. The mission and charism of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ also calls for the advancement of justice and peace. Both statements mandate development of right relationships, a preferential option for the poor, and a hunger and thirst for justice and peace. The Newman University core value of service is an outward manifestation of these principles.

The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and is sponsored by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, the USA Freedom Corps, and the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development. The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is presented during the annual conference of the American Council on Education.

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