The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown has been named to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.
The Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the annual Honor Roll award, recognized more than 700 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from poverty and homelessness to environmental justice. On campuses across the country, thousands of students joined their faculty to develop innovative programs and projects to meet local needs using the skills gained in their classrooms. Business students served as consultants to budget-strapped nonprofits and businesses, law students volunteered at legal clinics, and dozens of others organized anti-hunger campaigns.
“Congratulations to Pitt-Johnstown and its students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their local communities,” said Patrick Corvington, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Our nation’s students are a critical part of the equation and vital to our efforts to tackle the most persistent challenges we face. They have achieved impactful results and demonstrated the value of putting knowledge into practice to help renew America through service.”
Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors including the 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.
Pitt-Johnstown President Jem Spectar commented, “This honor further validates our successful efforts at engaging and transforming our communities, educating the citizen servant-leaders of tomorrow, and fulfilling our mission as a public-serving institution. It is one more indicator that we are a leader at the forefront of baccalaureate colleges in preparing students for the real world. We are Mountain Cat Proud of our students’ deep commitment to citizenship and serving the needs of others.”
Last year, Pitt-Johnstown students performed 9,000 hours of community service, positively impacting the lives of more than 3,000 individuals. Projects ranged from Habitat for Humanity “builds” in the southern United States to volunteering at local non-profit agencies including the Salvation Army, Mom’s House, The Learning Lamp, and the Cambria County Humane Society. Students also conducted outreach to local hospitals and elementary schools, and raised money for organizations including the Make-a-Wish Foundation, American Diabetes Association, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
College students make a significant contribution to the volunteer sector; in 2009, 3.16 million students performed more than 300 million hours of service, according to the Volunteering in America study released by the Corporation. Each year, the Corporation invests more than $150 million in fostering a culture of service on college campuses through grants awarded by its programs; the education awards that AmeriCorps members receive at the conclusion of their term of service to pay for college; and through support of training, research, recognition, and other initiatives to spur college service.
The Corporation oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.
Founded in 1927, Pitt-Johnstown is located in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. The University offers a high-quality educational experience in a supportive living-learning environment designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by U.S.News & World Report as a “Best Baccalaureate College” (2010), by the Princeton Review as a “Best Northeastern College” (2010), and by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School.” Additionally, Pitt-Johnstown has been named to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
Pitt-Johnstown…at the forefront of leading baccalaureate colleges…