Emory Report
February 9, 2009
Volume 61, Number 19



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February 9
, 2009
Nationally prized for service

By Beverly clark

Emory has been honored with the 2008 Presidential Award for General Community Service — the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement. Emory is one of only three colleges and universities to earn this annual distinction from the Corporation for National and Community Service.

The award will be presented at the American Council on Education’s annual conference in Washington, D.C., Feb. 9 as part of the third annual President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Vice Provost Ozzie Harris is expected to receive the award on behalf of the University, along with Michael Rich, director of the Office of University-Community Partnerships (OUCP), and Emory senior Maria Town, president of the Student Government Association and a graduate of the Community Building and Social Change Fellowship.

“We are humbled and energized by this recognition of our efforts,” says President Jim Wagner. “Receiving this honor affirms Emory as a destination university for students who seek an education beyond the traditional classroom setting. “We know that bright young scholars want to make a difference today and trust that in the future they will continue to be drawn to educational settings like Emory. In turn, Emory is committed to providing our students with a world class education and the sense of responsibility to become scholar-citizens addressing opportunities to improve the human condition in myriad ways.”

Doing well by doing good
Emory was one of the first schools to receive the Carnegie Foundation’s “Engaged Institution” designation. The University has made major strategic investments in recent years to better prepare students to be engaged scholars.

“Emory has made a significant commitment to enhancing community-engaged scholarship, learning and service as part of its strategic plan. We are delighted that the vision, aspirations and initial successes of that effort along with Emory’s longstanding tradition of civic engagement have earned the University this national recognition,” says Rich, who founded OUCP in 2001.

What makes Emory stand out in particular is that students at all levels, from undergraduates to graduate students in law, medicine, humanities and theology, engage in service and research that provide direct and tangible benefits to metro Atlanta communities, Rich says.

In 2008, students completed nearly 150,000 hours of service with more than 200 community partners on projects related to poverty, homelessness, distribution of medical services and supplies, chronic disease and environmental conservation throughout Atlanta and beyond.