TWC & New York Life Foundation Host 2012 Civic Engagement Awards


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The Washington Center and New York Life Foundation Recognize Universities with Innovating and Successful Civic Engagement Programs

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$100,000 in Scholarship Funding Given to Five Universities

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In partnership with the New York Life Foundation, The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars announce the 2012 recipients of the Higher Education Civic Engagement Award.  Five schools from across the nation will be honored at a luncheon on Oct. 1, 2012 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.  Award recipients were chosen among hundreds of nominees and winning schools will receive scholarship funding for experiential education.


“The Washington Center reached a significant milestone in 2012,” said Mike Smith, president of The Washington Center.  “This is the first time in our 37 year-history that the Civic Engagement Scholarships reached $100,000 in funding.  We thank the New York Life Foundation for their continued, generous support, and the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities they have created for students.”


The awards program was established in 2009 to showcase one-of-a-kind service learning programs and the schools that are behind them.  California State University at San Bernardino, Columbia College, Roosevelt University, Tulane University and University of San Francisco, are this year’s recipients.


“The New York Life Foundation applauds the schools for their innovative community-based programs," said Chris Park, president of the New York Life Foundation.  “Our decade long partnership with The Washington Center is based on a shared commitment to civic engagement and developing future leaders. We are honored to be part of reaching this funding milestone and are proud to work with this well-respected institution to provide valuable opportunities for students.”

Examples of the innovative and successful community programs at each winning school are:


California State University San Bernardino: CSUSB leads a number of community initiatives to welcome, serve and engage veterans.  Students and faculty coordinate DisAbility Sports Festival, a yearly event in which athletes of any disability and age, including veterans, participate in 22 sports coached by current and former Para Olympians.


Columbia College: Columbia College runs a successful and robust community initiative to promote healthy lifestyles and raise awareness of diabetes.  Through a partnership with St. John Baptist Church, Columbia College developed a series of programs that range from providing information on access to healthcare to community gardens and cooking lessons.


Roosevelt University: In 2011, undergraduates enrolled in the Art as Activism course and partnered with homeless youth to create an art exhibition in downtown Chicago.  Additionally, during Grounds for Change course, students discussed ways to address social changes and even helped enact state legislation pertaining to drug policy and public health.


Tulane University: Upward Bound and For the Children Literacy Program are just two examples of the community initiatives run by Tulane.  Upward Bound provides college preparation for first generation and low income high school students and Tulane students tutor and read to local elementary and high school students through the Children Literacy Program.


University of San Francisco: USF sponsors 25 community programs including the Center for Law and Global Justice at the USF School of Law.  Law students and faculty work with international governments on human rights issues and have combated human trafficking in Haiti and provided legal support for victims of genocide in Cambodia.


During the awards luncheon, The Washington Center will also celebrate 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 has been named the Public Institution of the Year, Ohio Northern University is the Private Institution of the Year, Steve Hurwitz of Tiffin University is the Liaison of the Year and Marvin Kalb of Harvard University is recognized with the Civic Engagement Leadership Award.


About The Washington Center

The Washington Center for Internships and Academic seminars is an independent, nonprofit organization that serves hundreds of colleges and universities in the United States and other countries by providing selected students challenging opportunities to work and learn in Washington, D.C. for academic credit.  The largest program of its kind, The Washington Center has close to 50,000 alumni who have become leaders in numerous professions and nations around the world.  It was established in 1975.


About the New York Life Foundation

Inspired by New York Life’s tradition of service and humanity, the New York Life Foundation has, since its founding in 1979, provided more than $155 million in charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations.  Through its focus on “Nurturing the Children,” the Foundation supports programs that benefit young people, particularly in the areas of educational enhancement and childhood bereavement.  The Foundation also encourages and facilitates the community involvement of employees, agents, and retirees of New York Life through its Volunteers for Life program.  To learn more, please visit the Foundation’s Web site at

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