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KU named to president's community service honor roll for fifth consecutive year

KU has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the fifth consecutive year.

The honor is the highest federal recognition of a university’s commitment to service learning, volunteering and civic engagement.

The honor roll recognizes colleges and universities for the number of students taking part in service, faculty involvement and total hours of service. The Corporation for National and Community Service compiles the list and administers the annual award.

“KU’s Class of 2011 has just graduated and is about to make a difference in their respective communities and careers,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. “These students and their fellow Jayhawks have already made a difference through their dedication to service and volunteerism. I am confident their experience in the community has prepared them not only for successful careers, but lives as model citizens.”

During the 2009-10 academic year, more than 15,775 KU students took part in service learning or community service. Of those, more than 6,600 completed more than 20 hours of service each in a semester. In all, KU students took part in more than 931,000 hours of community service.

KU highlighted a number of service programs in its application. Among them were the KU Medical Center’s Area Health Education Centers, which work to improve the distribution, supply and quality of health care professionals in Kansas. Each of KU’s three Area Health Education Centers partners with health organizations throughout the state and offers clinical opportunities for KU students in health profession programs. KU’s Audio-Reader, a free radio reading and information service for residents of Kansas and western Missouri, was also highlighted. The service broadcasts recordings of volunteers reading newspapers, magazines, books and more for the visually impaired. The Center for Community Outreach, a student-run volunteer referral agency, was also documented in the application. The center matches student volunteers with organizations throughout the community.

Amanda Schwegler, assistant director of the Center for Service Learning, submitted KU’s application and said the honor is a fitting recognition of KU students and employees to their communities.

“KU has a strong commitment to public service in so many ways,” she said. “Being listed on the honor roll highlights the involvement KU has had in helping strengthen our communities. We can be proud of the efforts that our faculty, staff and especially our students have made, not only to help others, but also to increase their own civic engagement.”

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Malika Lyon, coordinator, International Visiting Scholars
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