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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb 15, 2008    #006
Contact: Angela Turner
816-235-1592

President’s Honor Roll Award for Service recognizes UMKC

The Corporation for National and Community Service named the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for exemplary service efforts and service to disadvantaged youth.

“This honor recognizes our institution’s leadership in helping to build a culture of service and civic engagement on campus and in our nation,” UMKC Chancellor Guy Bailey said. “We are proud to be recipients of this award for the second year.”

Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Honorees for the award were chosen based on a series of selection factors including scope and innovativeness 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.

Among UMKC’s community service efforts is the New Orleans Crossroads project. UMKC faculty members who were former residents of New Orleans and students in UMKC’s Urban Planning and Design spent weeks developing and executing an economic recovery plan for a treasured part of the Big Easy. During vacations and summer breaks, the group visited Katrina-ravaged New Orleans to meet local residents and conduct field evaluations. Along with economic stimulation, tourism and neighborhood development, the recovery plan boosts public health and provides safe walking routes for school children.

UMKC received $273,000 for the study from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, one of only seven given to universities. The project is an excellent example of a citizen-led recovery.

In addition to the New Orleans Crossroads project, the university was recognized for Project Outreach. Since 1988, UMKC’s School of Pharmacy students have educated fourth- and fifth-graders about proper and safe use of medications and the dangers of drug abuse. Approximately 25 pharmacy students participate annually, resulting in nearly 300 fourth- and fifth-graders hearing the messages. The program has been recognized by the Department of Health and Human Services with an “Innovations in Health” award, and the national pharmacy student organization calls Project Outreach a premier community service initiative.

The President’s Honor Roll is jointly sponsored by the Corporation, through its Learn and Serve America program, and the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, USA Freedom Corps and the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation.

In congratulating the winners, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings said, “Americans rely on our higher education system to prepare students for citizenship and the workforce. We look to institutions like these to provide leadership in partnering with local schools to shape the civic, democratic and economic future of our country.”

Overall, the Community Service Honor Roll awarded six schools with Presidential Awards. In addition, four schools were recognized as Special Achievement Award winners, 127 as Honor Roll with Distinction members and 391 schools as Honor Roll members. In total, 528 schools were recognized. A full list is available at www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll.

“There is no question that the universities and colleges who have made an effort to participate and win the Honor Roll award are themselves being rewarded,” said American Council on Education President David Ward. “Earning this distinction is not easy. But now each of these schools will be able to wear this award like a badge of honor.”

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. The Corporation administers Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America, a program that supports service-learning in schools, institutions of higher education and community-based organizations. For more information, go to http://www.nationalservice.gov.

UMKC, one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences and urban engagement.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).

 

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