New York Life Foundation and TWC Recognize Five Universities for Civic Engagement Work

New York Life Foundation and TWC Recognize Five Universities for Civic Engagement Work

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Maha Neouchy
October 01, 2012

The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars (TWC) in partnership with the New York Life Foundation recognized its 2012 Higher Education Civic Engagement Awardees during a luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.


The awards program was established in 2009 to recognize institutions that are achieving breadth and depth of civic engagement through sustained and mutually transformative partnerships that define and address issues of public concern, at any level, from the local to the global. California State University at San Bernardino, Columbia College, Roosevelt University, Tulane University and University of San Francisco were honored this year.


Heather Smith, President of Rock the Vote and a member of the Higher Education Civic Engagement Award Selection Committee, welcomed guests and congratulated award recipients.  Smith said, “Each member serving on the committee was extremely impressed by the caliber of the 100 different nominations submitted by colleges and universities around the country." In the end, the committee chose 5 universities who did more than just "prepare students for the workplace, but also helped them turn ambition into civic purpose and harnessed their skills."


Before receiving the awards, Chris Park, President of the New York Life Foundation spoke about the long-term partnership with TWC. The foundation has been honored to prepare "students for the workforce by positioning civic engagement front and center. It's a way to take knowledge and share it with other institutions through an extraordinary commitment to community engagement." This year, the foundation generously awarded a total of $100,000 to the recipients, which will make both civic engagement and service learning an even larger part of the curriculum and the institution's community moving forward.


These 5 institutions included:


1.  California State University, San Bernardino (accepted by President Tomas D. Morales)

2.  Columbia College, South Carolina (accepted by President Elizabeth A. Dinndorf)

3.  Roosevelt University (accepted by President Charles R. Middleton)

4.  Tulane University (accepted by President Michael Berstein)

5.  University of San Francisco (accepted by President Rev. Stephen A. Privett)


Awardees provided their remarks and reflections upon receiving the award:


"This is a milestone in our campus history. It's a wonderful honor which will inspire faculty and students to continue the work."

Tomas Morales-President of California State University, San Bernardino


"We re-envisioned our core curriculum, making it a core within a core. Now our mission is real within our student's lives: it's about personal responsibility to service civic engagement and is now carrying our beliefs into their day-to-day lives."

Elizabeth A. Dinndorf-President of Columbia College, South Carolina


"We've developed a service learning program that was created from our social justice mission. It has changed the nature of our curriculum. Now, we are about community engagement and partnership. It's about people coming together to do this work."

Charles R. Middleton-President of Roosevelt University


"In 2006, we became one of the major institutions to make public service part of the core curriculum. It isn't a barrier but more of an incentive to apply to universities like Tulane. After Hurricane Katrina, we're happy to say that service learning is a part of who we are."

Michael Bernstein-Provost of Tulane University


"The more you know, the more you owe. Service learning is not just about partnerships or internships but ultimately the formation of leaders and who will help fashion a more just and humane world."

Reverend Stephen A. Privett-President of the University of San Francisco


Each school will receive $20,000 to help provide students from these universities with scholarships to attend TWC's internship programs.


During the awards luncheon, The Washington Center also celebrated the 2012 recipients of the Academic Affairs Award.  These broader awards recognize schools and faculty that have showed overwhelming dedication to experiential education.  Bridgewater State University was named TWC's Public Institution of the Year, Ohio Northern University was named TWC's Private Institution of the Year, Steve Hurwitz of Tiffin University was named TWC's Liaison of the Year and Marvin Kalb received TWC's Civic Engagement Leadership Award.


[View photos from the event on our Flickr channel]

[Read about TWC's Academic Affairs Award Ceremony]

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