MURFREESBORO — Middle Tennessee State University has again been recognized for its community service efforts with inclusion on the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
The Honor Roll, launched in 2006, annually highlights the role colleges and universities throughout the nation 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.
Dr. Rosemary Owens, strategic partnership coordinator in MTSU's provost office, said the accolade is a reflection of campus-wide support for public service. This is the third time MTSU has made the honor roll.
“This is an additional representation of the kinds of things we do out in the community with our students, faculty and staff,” Owens said. “Every division participates in this.”
The 2013 recipients were announced earlier this spring at the American Council on Education’s 95th annual meeting Leading Change in Washington, D.C.
Owens said MTSU’s designation reflects the university’s work via partnerships within the local community and throughout the region as well as internationally.
Among the initiatives highlighted is MTSU’s Experiential Learning Scholars Program, which encourages students to participate in service-learning activities such as Habitat for Humanity Blitz Builds and after-school tutoring at area schools. During 2011-12, almost 198,000 hours of community service work was done.
MTSU faculty, staff and student volunteers broke ground on a Habitat for Humanity home, their third home for a Rutherford County resident, in January 2012. The project was unique in that the only onsite volunteers were members of the MTSU community.
The home marked Rutherford County Habitat’s 109th and was built in the university’s surrounding neighborhood. Organizers said it honored MTSU’s commitment “to being a good neighbor and its recognition that it takes good neighbors to build a house.”
MTSU students, faculty and staff pitched in with their labor and by gathering donations. The house was completed and was dedicated to its new owner, Yvonne Summers, on April 26, 2012.
“The MTSU volunteers were ecstatic to be able to participate in an event so life-altering for Ms. Summers and her family,” stated Dr. Danny Kelley, assistant vice president for student affairs at MTSU, in the honor roll application. “The partnership that MTSU has with Rutherford County Habitat for Humanity is recognized as one of the best the university has with any entity or organization.”
The Honor Roll designation process is overseen by the Corporation of National and Community Service and is supported by a U.S. Department of Education, American Council of Education, Campus Compact and U.S. Department of Housing collaborative.
The full honor roll can be found at http://www.nationalservice.gov/special-initiatives/honor-roll.
Established in 1993, the Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service through its core programs — Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and the Social Innovation Fund — and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve.