Bryn Mawr Named to President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction

Posted February 17th, 2009 at 11:05 am.

The Corporation for National and Community Service honored Bryn Mawr recently with a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and contributions to America’s communities. Bryn Mawr is one of only three Pennsylvania schools (the University of Pennsylvania and Waynesburg University are the others) and 83 schools nationwide that were named to the Honor Roll with Distinction.

“Bryn Mawr is distinguished by the desire of its students to make meaningful contributions to the world. At Bryn Mawr, service isn’t just something to be checked off on a list of course requirements; it’s a central part of who we are,” says Bryn Mawr President Jane McAuliffe.

“This award honors not just our students, but also the committed work of our faculty, staff, and community partners, all of whom consistently demonstrate their dedication to civic engagement through their involvement in both academic and co-curricular service learning at Bryn Mawr,” adds Director of Service and Activism Ellie Esmond of the College’s Civic Engagement Office.

For a small liberal-arts college, Bryn Mawr has large numbers of students engaged in academic and co-curricular service learning. During the 2007-08 academic year, 768 undergraduate and graduate students worked a total of 72,056 hours in the community.

“What distinguishes our program is our dual emphasis on developing a variety of civic-engagement opportunities and building sustainable and reciprocal partnerships with community organizations. Our multilayered approach to community service results in long-lasting and sustainable partnerships that grow and develop in response to the organizations’ changing needs and the College’s interest in collaboration and sharing resources,” says Civic Engagement Office Director of Praxis and Community Partnership Programs Nell Anderson.

At the moment, Bryn Mawr students are assisting local residents with tax-return preparation, writing grant proposals in partnership with community organizations, assisting in local classrooms as student teachers and mentors, conducting community-based research, and supporting the staffs of various local social-service agencies through community-based work-study.

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. The award is based on a number of factors, including scope and innovation 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.

“In this time of economic distress, we need volunteers more than ever. College students represent an enormous pool of idealism and energy to help tackle some of our toughest challenges,” said Stephen Goldsmith, vice chair of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees the Honor Roll. “We salute Bryn Mawr for making community service a campus priority, and we thank the millions of college students who are helping to renew America through service to others.”

The Honor Roll is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation.

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