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UMass Lowell Earns Place on National Honor Roll for Community Service


Contacts: Christine Gillette, UMass Lowell,, 978-934-2209
        Nancy Cicco, UMass Lowell,, 978-934-4944

LOWELL, Mass. – UMass Lowell was recently named to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This designation is the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement.

This honor – together with recognition as a community-engaged university from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and inclusion in the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the three previous years – underscores UMass Lowell’s commitment to applying knowledge for the public good and supporting the development of community through teaching, research, scholarship and engagement.

Inspired by the thousands of college students who traveled across the country to support relief efforts along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, the award has been presented since 2006 and administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as the American Council on Education and Campus Compact.

“Congratulations to UMass Lowell, its faculty and students for their commitment to service, both in and out of the classroom,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS. “Institutions of higher education are helping improve their local communities and create a new generation of leaders by challenging students to go beyond the traditional college experience and solve local challenges.”

“The university is honored to receive this prestigious recognition of the many hours of dedicated, hard work by our students. Through such work, our students gain valuable experience that will help them go on to become productive members of the community, both locally and globally, after graduation. Providing a wide range of opportunities to engage in community service is just one of the ways UMass Lowell prepares students to be world-ready, life-ready and work-ready,” said UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan. 

Three of UMass Lowell’s notable service projects over the last year that were considered by CNCS are the College of Engineering’s Assistive Technology Program; Bring Diversity to Nursing, a program of the School of Health and Environment; and the JUMPSTART program, part of the Graduate School of Education.

“Last year, our students provided more than 120,000 recorded hours of academic and non-academic service to communities locally and abroad,” said UMass Lowell Provost Ahmed Abdelal. “Our students learn through applying knowledge gained at the university to address societal challenges and needs of communities in both the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and around the globe. UMass Lowell students enrich their learning through addressing critical problems in all fields as well as in developing new technologies that improve the quality of life. A number of these service learning projects take place in Africa, Asia and South America.”

Other engagement activities over the last year included: the Reach Out River Hawks program that provides service opportunities for students; the Bread & Roses Centennial labor history celebration with 10 partners and 15 events in Lawrence; Project Save One Khmer, through which the Dean of Students supported a Cambodian-American student’s effort resulting in the construction of six new houses in Cambodia; continuation of the Department of  Music’s longstanding UMass Lowell String Project for underserved schoolchildren; the English Department’s “Charles Dickens in Lowell” festival, which featured an exhibit and 75 campus and community activities presented with the National Park Service, including a dramatic interpretation of a Dickens novel by the Nigerian community; the opening of a new Office of Veterans Services for more than 600 student veterans on campus; frequent interaction with Lowell neighborhood groups in support of campus growth and expansion; a project recognizing the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 that included rededicating the campus’s “Unity” memorial and assisting military families as part of the National Day of Service and Remembrance; a research initiative with the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office, through which graduate students in the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology help assess inmate programs and policy formation; and continued expansion of the Provost’s Office’s initiative to broaden experiential learning communities, interdisciplinary learning, research centers of excellence, international partnerships, urban and community partnerships and corporate partnerships.

More information about UMass Lowell’s community service efforts can be found at More information on eligibility and the full list of Honor Roll awardees can be found at  

UMass Lowell is a national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its more than 16,000 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in business, education, engineering, fine arts, health and environment, humanities, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on learning and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be ready for work, for life and for all the world offers.

The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll honors the nation’s leading higher education institutions and their students, faculty and staff for their commitment to bettering their communities through service. These are institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities.

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, the Social Innovation Fund and other programs, and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve.