University of Delaware
Students help plant the Garden for the Community, one of several partnership projects between UD and the Food Bank of Delaware, to provide safe, nutritious food for Delaware families.

Community service leader

UD again named to President's Honor Roll with Distinction


4:16 p.m., March 20, 2012--Nearly 12,000 University of Delaware students put their education in action helping area communities last year, from teaching opera to middle school students, to developing computer databases for the Food Bank of Delaware. 

Such worthy works have not gone unnoticed. UD has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction — again. 

Honors Stories

National Medal of Science

President Barack Obama recently presented the National Medal of Science to University of Delaware alumnus Rakesh Jain.

Warren Award

Rosalind Johnson, assistant dean for student success in the NUCLEUS Program in UD's College of Arts and Sciences, was presented the John Warren Excellence in Leadership and Service Award during a May 26 ceremony.

This is the University’s fifth consecutive year to be named to the honor roll and its third year to receive the more elite honor “with distinction.”

The Corporation for National and Community Service accepted applications from 642 universities, colleges and schools. Of that total, 513 were named to the Honor Roll, and 110 received the recognition of Honor Roll with distinction.

UD was the only higher education institution in Delaware to receive the federal recognition for improving the life of off-campus communities, particularly low-income residents.

“This latest national honor is a testament to the high value the University of Delaware places on public service,” said Provost Tom Apple. “The opportunity to put academic training into action to help others can propel students on a lifelong path of civic engagement.” 

In addition to thriving collaborations with the Food Bank of Delaware and with the Early Learning Centers in Newark and Wilmington, the University was recognized for novel community service partnerships in business and the arts, according to the Office of Service Learning’s Sue Serra, who coordinates the University’s annual application.

Last spring, JPMorgan Chase and Co.’s Technology for Social Good Program involved a student team in management information systems from UD’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics in the design of a teen-focused website for the National Eating Disorders Association. 

JPMorgan Chase had such a positive experience with the UD team that they wanted to leverage their skills on other projects, including working on technology solutions associated with the digitization of the Martin Luther King, Jr., archives, according to Anand Setupathy, who works with the company’s Technology for Social Good Program. 

“We are proud to be working with the UD students on projects that impact the global community,” commented JPMorgan Chase CIO Guy Chiarello. “Connecting UD students with a passion for technology with non-profits with a need creates a win for all involved.”

UD students and faculty also developed a wide range of community service projects in the arts:

  • The music department’s ProjectMUSIC involved over 350 elementary school students in music presentations on campus, and UD students taught 250 fourth and fifth graders a children’s opera that was performed for more than 800 people. 
  • ArtsBridge Scholars created arts lessons for schools, integrating dance with colonial history, with mapping skills, math, pollution and transportation concepts. 
  • Art conservation students collaborated with a local African American community in Newark, Del., to create the New London Road Community Walking Tour, a smartphone-based walking tour in which residents narrate the past.
  • The Standardized Patients Program, a collaboration of the Department of Theatre, College of Health Sciences and Christiana Care Health System in which student actors help health science students and health care professionals develop communication skills and patient empathy, was recorded and shared with audiences nationwide through a series of interactive DVDs. 

What is the economic impact of all this activity? A 2011 study by UD’s Center for Applied Business and Economic Research revealed that UD students and faculty members contribute more than $6.7 million in annual goods and services to the national economy and provide more than $1.4 million in free labor.

Article by Tracey Bryant

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