July 20, 2012 — Morehead State University has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for general community service by the Corporation for National and Community Service for 2011.
“The University proudly accepts this award in honor of our entire faculty, staff and students who are involved in community service. We have been practicing good citizenship for more than 120 years and will continue to do so,” said MSU President Wayne D. Andrews.
Launched in 2006, the President’s Honor Roll recognizes institutions of higher education that support innovative, effective and exemplary community service programs. Honorees for the various award levels, including the Presidential Award, were selected on a series of factors, including scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers service-learning courses.
MSU’s application for inclusion in the 2011 Honor Roll highlighted the University’s involvement in the third Annual Repair Affair, second Annual MLK Jr. Challenge for Change, and Pay It Forward.
The Repair Affair,an event co-sponsored by the MSU Center for Regional Engagement (CRE) and Frontier Housing, was a one-day blitz that addressed the minor home repair needs of low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners throughout the community. Funding for the event was awarded to the CRE through the Kentucky Housing Corporation Homeowner Occupied Repair Affair Program. In total, 21 homes were selected to receive repairs which include painting, door repair, window replacement, gutter repair, andvarious other services. Additionally, two ramps were constructed to address accessibility issues for homeowners. The total number of volunteers (including both registered and unregistered) participating in this year’s event was 272 people.
For the second year in a row, to commemorate the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, the students at MSU and Eastern Kentucky University challenged each other to determine which could log the greatest number of service hours in their respective service regions. For the second consecutive year, MSU won the battle by logging 4,111 service hours during the time period of Jan. 23 through Feb.17, 2011 - three times the previous year's output. The students at several of the MSU campuses held food and clothing drives or worked at recycling centers or food pantries. They volunteered at schools or held campus blood drives. The clubs and organizations held events to draw attention to their adoptive causes and submitted their hours to the Center for Regional Engagement. The VITA Club prepared community members’ taxes for free and a large group of students spent one Saturday going door-to-door for Operation UNITE, informing residents of the danger of keepingprescription drugs unsecured in their homes and to promote the Drug Take-Back Program.
During two afternoons, students dropped by the MSUCARES at the student center to sew blankets, prepare hygiene kits, and Valentines for the homeless in the area. The Student Government Association (SGA) partnered with the Center for Regional Engagement to create this monthlong event that pitted these institutional rivals between the two home basketball games.
Finally, with funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service through Kentucky Campus Compact, MSU was awarded a $15,500 grant to implement a Pay It Forward: Student Led Philanthropy Grant Project.
In addition to providing matching funds to cover travel and administrative costs, the CRE provided funding for an additional course. Professors and their students in five courses wrote and released requests for proposals to area nonprofit agencies. The students designed scoring rubrics, scored the submitted proposals, and decided which projects to fund. Students awarded $18,000 to 12 area schools and other agencies for a variety of projects impacting children and youth programs; neighborhood development and revitalization; and hunger, homelessness and health issues. In addition to money, students gave the nonprofits a substantial chunk of time. Each student who participated in Pay It Forward was required to volunteer at least 15 hours during the semester. With 89 students participating, they contributed more than 1,300 hours to the schools and other nonprofits in MSU’s service region.
“Congratulations to Morehead State and its students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their local communities,” said Robert Velasco II, acting CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service.
“We applaud the Honor Roll schools, their faculty and students for their commitment to make service a priority in and out of the classroom. Together, service and learning increase civic engagement while fostering social innovation among students, empowering them to solve challenges within their communities.”
The Corporation for National and Community Service, which has administered the Honor Roll since its launch, admitted 642 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth. Of that total, 513 were named to the Honor Roll, 110 received the recognition of Honor Roll with distinction, 14 were identified as finalists, and five received the Presidential Award.
On campuses across the country, millions of college students are engaged in innovative projects to meet local needs, often using the skills learned in classrooms. According to the CNCS Volunteering in America report, 3.1 million college students dedicated more than 312 million hours of service valued at more than $6.6 billion. Business and law students offer tax preparation and legal services, and college student volunteers provide meals, create parks, rebuild homes after disasters, conduct job training, run senior service programs, and much more.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a strong partner with the nation's colleges and universities in supporting community service and service-learning. Last year, CNCS provided more than $200 million in support to institutions of higher education, including grants to operate service programs and the Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards for college tuition and student loan repayment. CNCS is a catalyst for service-learning programs nationwide that connect community service with academic curricula. Through these programs, in classes and in extracurricular activities, college students serve their communities while strengthening their academic and civic skills.
Additional information is available by calling the Center for Regional Engagement at 783-9327.