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UW Receives National Recognition for Community Service

December 22, 2014
volunteers working on a construction project
UW students worked on a service project last year in Belize. UW was named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for service to the community. (UW Photo)

The University of Wyoming is among five mountain state schools receiving recognition for its community service projects.

UW was named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and recognized by the Campus Compact of the Mountain West.

The honor roll, launched in 2006, annually highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement by recognizing institutions that achieve meaningful, measureable outcomes in the communities they serve.

UW was named in the General Community Service category along with regional schools Colorado State University, Colorado Mesa University, Johnson and Wales University and the University of Denver.

Erin Olsen, assistant director of the UW Service, Leadership and Community Engagement Office (SLCE), and a Campbell County High School graduate, says her office was thrilled to learn of the award because it is given to institutions that support exemplary community service programs and raise the visibility of effective practices in campus and community partnerships.

“We want to give a tremendous amount of credit to our campus and community partners,” Olsen says. “This award belongs to our talented faculty, staff, administrators, community partners and especially our students. Students at this institution are passionate about their academics and seek out meaningful opportunities where they can make a difference in their community and in the lives of others.”

Among the community service programs that helped UW receive this recognition are UW’s Alternative Spring Breaks program and National Days of Service, such as Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service and Make a Difference Day.

The SLCE office partners with many local nonprofits and agencies on these days, which are focused on meeting the needs of the local community through service. Another service program is The Big Event, when students come together to express their gratitude for the support from the surrounding community through various acts of service.

“Students engaged in academic service learning is another area of distinction for this recognition,” Olsen says. “We have tremendous faculty on campus who are dedicated to offering and enhancing service learning experiences for students. These experiences bring new life to what is being taught in the classroom, and students have a deeper appreciation for the discipline and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility.”

Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming are states with approximately 40 colleges and universities that are affiliated with Campus Compact of the Mountain West.

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