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UNI named to Presidential Honor Roll for Community Service

March 13, 2012
Contact: 

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728, lindsay.cunningham@uni.edu

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa has been named to the 2012 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive, for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

"It is a great honor for UNI to be recognized again, and a strong example of our commitment to community engagement as outlined in our university strategic plan," said Ben Allen, UNI president. "Our faculty, staff and students perform a variety of community service activities related to education, business and community causes, especially those that serve high-need communities."

Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors including the scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

Special projects for which UNI has been recognized in 2012 include:

- UNI Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders Outreach Screening, which engages students in community outreach programs that provide speech-language evaluation/therapy and literacy lessons for children.

- Athletics Community Service Initiatives, where the UNI Athletic Department participated in numerous community service projects on campus, in the community and nationwide. The Just Read! program had more than 100 student-athletes reading to 470 student in local elementary schools; Camp Embracing Memories mentored more than 50 kids coping with the loss of a loved one; and more than 130 athletes and 70 girls participated in National Girls/Women in Sports Day to learn about wellness and leadership.

- The UNI Center for Urban Education, serves as an education vehicle to help students in Waterloo, in kindergarten through 12th grade, their families and community residents to realize educational and professional goals. The center is open to youth and adults wishing to receive education, career counseling and college courses. A few examples of UNI-CUE programs include a free tutoring center for students in grades three through 12; the annual Back-to-School Supplies Project, which provided 1,355 low-income families with school supplies; and the Classic Upward Bound Program, which serves 76 low-income, first-generation college students with after-school and summer programs. Eighty-seven faculty, staff and students work and volunteer with UNI-CUE. More than 15,200 people use the center annually.

"We are so proud that the hard work of the students, staff and faculty at our member institutions is being recognized at the national level," said Emily Shields, executive director of Iowa Campus Compact. "These student volunteers contribute more than $61 million worth of service to Iowa's economy and are critical to the success of many local nonprofit organizations."

The Honor Roll is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education. For a complete list of Honor Roll recipients, visit http://www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll/.

The CNCS is a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs, and leads President Obama's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit www.nationalservice.gov.