UNH Honored by U.S. President for Community Service

Elizabeth Field

UNH’s commitment to experimental education and service-learning projects has earned the university a place on the 2012 President’s

For the fifth consecutive year, UNH has been awarded the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its ongoing commitment to volunteering, service learning, and civic engagement.

Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. For the fifth consecutive year, UNH has been awarded the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its ongoing commitment to volunteering, service learning, and civic engagement.

The University of New Haven is one of 14 Connecticut colleges and Universities and 513 institutions of higher education throughout the country to be awarded this prestigious honor.

“These Honor Roll colleges, their faculty, and students, are to be commended for their leadership in making community service a priority on their campuses,” said Jane A. Ciarleglio, Executive Director of the Office of Financial and Academic Affairs. “Community Service enriches not only student’s academic experience but also the communities surrounding our campuses. We celebrate these schools for their foresight and commitment, and encourage other colleges to follow their lead.

UNH’s Office of Community Service estimates that nearly 1,720 students volunteered more than 22,017 hours during the 2010-2011 academic year and that more than 40% of the students completed over 20 hours of service in both the fall and spring semesters.

The University of New Haven is a central part of the educational, economic, and cultural life of its community. UNH and its students are committed to the economic growth and welfare of the region, connecting their work and studies in the university with their work for the community.

“Through service, these institutions are creating the next generation of leaders by challenging students to tackle tough issues and create positive impacts on the community,” stated Robert Velasco, acting chief executive officer of CNCS. “We applaud the Honor Roll schools, their faculty, and students for their commitment to make service a priority in and out of the classroom. Together, service and learning increase civic engagement while fostering social innovation among students, empowering them to solve challenges within their communities.”

UNH students participate in a diverse array of community service projects and ongoing programs such as local beach cleanups, service at the Immanuel Baptist Shelter and Soup Kitchen, mentoring West Haven students, and note taking for Campus Access Services were highlighted in the university’s application.

UNH’s two flagship community service programs are Alternative Spring Break and The President’s Public Service Fellowship, which place students in community work sites to enrich student’s education and to foster closer relationships between the University of New Haven and its surrounding communities.

The Alternative Spring Break program has been a fixture at UNH for 10 years and matches students with nonprofit organizations to spend their break completing service work in the community. This year, the university placed 34 students in six community organizations: Integrated Refuge & Immigrant Services (IRIS), Habitat for Humanity, New Haven Home Recovery, Christian Community Action (CCA), The Children’s Museum, and New Haven Reads.

The President’s Public Service Fellowship is a similar eleven-week summer program where students are provided with a stipend, summer campus housing, and leadership training while completing 35 hours of service work per week. Over the years, UNH students have been placed with Life Haven, the West Haven Community House, the New Haven Chamber of Commerce, the New Haven Police Department, the West Haven Mayor’s Office, IRIS, the Children’s Museum, and Christian Community Action.

“This award demonstrates how hard-thinking and community-service minded our students are. We are grateful to them and to the dedicated faculty members who instill in the students a desire to give back,” said UNH President Steven Kaplan. “The University of New Haven is known for experimental education and community service and we are delighted that they have done so much. Community Service allows our students and opportunity to use their skills to make a difference.”