By From the Lowell Sun
LOWELL -- UMass Lowell was 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.
Together with the 2008 recognition as a community-engaged university from the Carnegie Foundation for Excellence in Teaching, this award underscores UMass Lowell's commitment to apply knowledge for the public good and support the development of community through teaching, research, scholarship and engagement.
"We are grateful for this national recognition of UMass Lowell's excellent service efforts that affect the lives of people locally, nationally and globally," UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan said. "UMass Lowell is deeply committed to community engagement that serves the public good, enhances student learning, and advances faculty research and scholarship."
Honorees are chosen based on a series of 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.
The three service projects highlighted in UMass Lowell's application were the Village Empowerment in Peru (Engineering); Media Literacy and Engaged Education (Community Health & Sustainability); and Project IMPACT (Office of School Partnerships). Three special focus area projects also were featured: Assistive Technology (Engineering); Bring Diversity to Nursing; and Serving Urban Youth and Families through Athletics.
"Service learning is a key component of our experiential learning model," Provost Ahmed Abdelal said. "UMass Lowell's students provide more than 44,000 hours of service each year, and we intend to increase those hours by expanding on current initiatives and adding new community initiatives, involving a greater percentage of our students."
UMass Lowell joins the three other undergraduate campuses of the UMass system in achieving the recognition. At UMass Lowell, the project will be run by the Center for Family, Work and Community.