NSU named to President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

(Tahlequah, OK)--Northeastern State University was named in February to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for 2009 by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

The honor roll is a federal recognition awarded to institutions of higher learning that demonstrate a commitment to volunteerism, community involvement and service learning.

"Our students, whether through university-organized activities through class or outside the classroom, are engaged in the community; not only through NSU but personally," said Laura Boren, dean of Student Affairs. "The spirit of service runs deep among our students and the honor roll is just a glimpse of what is happening here."

Institutions applying to the roll are assessed on the evaluation of the scope, innovativeness and effectiveness of student service projects they organize. Also considered is the percentage of enrollment involved in student service, among other criteria.

NSU is one of 10 Oklahoma institutions and 741 nationwide to be named to the roll. 

The three community service projects Boren included in NSU's submission were its involvement with the Knowledge is Power Program, the Big Event and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance.

"We received notification from the Corporation for Community Service encouraging us to apply for the honor roll," she said. "I wanted to highlight curricular and co-curricular service that really shows what we're doing here at the institution. The services must show that they are making an impact and demonstrate a breadth and quality of service activity."  

On Aug. 20, 2009, more than 80 7th-graders from KIPP College Preparatory Academy in Tulsa visited NSU's campus for learning demonstrations and activities. Topics included Japanese Calligraphy and Forensics Anthropology. Dr. Christee Jenlink and Dr. Allyson Watson co-lead the annual program.

NSU held its fourth annual Big Event in March 2009. The goal is interaction between the campus and community through local municipal and non-profit agencies and the volunteer spirit of the student body. Tasks performed by Big Event volunteers include painting houses and school playgrounds, doing yard work, cleaning homes and windows and highway litter cleanup. The Big Event began in 2006 with five projects and 50 volunteers. In 2009 it included 25 projects and more than 600 volunteers. Dean of Student Affairs Laura Boren oversees organization of the Big Event.

The VITA program is provided annually on NSU's Tahlequah and Broken Arrow campuses to offer free federal and state tax preparation to people grossing $50,000 or less per year. Volunteers from NSU's College of Business and Technology are certified to prepare basic tax returns and the service, sponsored by NSU and Community Action Resources and Development, is open to the campuses and surrounding communities. Community Action Resources and Development provides the service at Broken Arrow while the Tahlequah VITA program is organized by Dr. John Yeutter.

The President's Honor Roll initiative is included in President Obama's Learn and Serve America program, which encourages students of all ages to participate in service learning.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a government-run organization working to create and assist volunteer networks across the country. The corporation works with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education to compile the honor roll.

For more information about the honor roll and the Learn and Serve America program visit http://myproject.nationalservice.gov/honorroll/ and http://www.learnandserve.gov/about/programs/higher_ed_honorroll.asp.

Published: 5/27/2010 11:53:11 AM

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