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Shepherd named to President's Community Service Honor Roll for second year

ISSUED: 1 March 2010
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
(Shepherd named to President's Community Service Honor Roll for second year)

Shepherdstown, WV--Shepherd University 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. This marks the second year in a row that Shepherd has received the honor.

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. 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.

"We're proud of the student service efforts that make such a valuable contribution to our community," said Shepherd University President Suzanne Shipley. "Shepherd students volunteer for projects both large and small. This creates not only an important contribution today, but also prepares future civic leaders for the communities they will later join. It's rewarding to be included on the Honor Roll for a second year in a row."

Shepherd's Office of Student Community Services and Service Learning has as its mission to promote, organize, and assist in the coordination of campus outreach initiatives. This is achieved through effective placement of individual students and academic and social organizations in situations that embrace learning through service.

Student Community Services works directly with nonprofit agencies and initiatives, both locally and nationally, to create opportunities that are mutually beneficial to both the agency and Shepherd's students. By understanding the goals of the volunteers and the recipients, successful matches are made that create lifelong learning, leadership development, and a deeper understanding of diverse populations.

Shepherd was recognized for the number of service hours coordinated by the office as well as the institution's commitment to civic engagement. During the last academic year, students completed almost 29,000 volunteer service hours. Projects included Relay for Life to benefit the American Cancer Society (Shepherd has raised $295,000 since 2003), Alternative Spring Break experience where 24 students spent their spring break to serve for two different Habitat for Humanity affiliates, the Banana Project where 25,000 lbs. of bananas were distributed to local food pantries to feed the hungry, and the Annual First-Year Orientation Day of Service. In addition to the service projects, Shepherd was also recognized for its dedication to service learning. Nearly 1,000 students participated in 1,800 hours of academic service learning. Projects included a capstone business course looking at how nonprofits can better utilize their resources, English students interviewing a cancer survivor to hear the story, historic preservation students adopting a cemetery plot to understand the importance of preservation, and health students teaching elementary age kids the importance of staying healthy.

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.

-30-OWENS

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