Southeastern named to President's Honor Roll for Community Service for second consecutive year

Contact: Rene Abadie

     HAMMOND – For the second consecutive year, Southeastern Louisiana University has been named to the President’s Higher Education Honor Roll for Community Service.
     The honor cites the work of more than 2,600 Southeastern students who provided nearly 98,500 service hours worth an estimated $2.1 million to help meet various needs throughout the region.
    The President’s Honor Roll recognizes institutions that “reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities,” according to the Corporation for National and Community Service, which sponsors the program.
     “Service is an official element in Southeastern’s institutional values and basic mission,” said President John L. Crain. ‘We’re proud to see our students honored nationally for the thousands of hours of volunteer work they perform for area non-profit agencies and in our communities. We know the impact of their work is significant and valued.”
     “Service is evident in all aspects of Southeastern’s culture,” said Tena Golding, director of the Center for Faculty Excellence, which oversees service-learning projects at the university. “Service at Southeastern is very diverse. It may involve marketing students organizing and working in fundraising events for an area animal humane society, the work of ‘playologists’ at the Louisiana Children’s Discovery Center, or groups and organizations working together in the ‘Big Event’ to provide a wide range of services to meet community needs.”
     The university was recognized for both its community service activities and its service-learning projects.
     Golding explained that community service activities are different than service-learning projects, which are integrated with academic courses and strongly tied to course objectives. Through service-learning, the academic theories and principles of the classroom are used in real world applications. Examples, she said, include teacher candidates tutoring area children as part of their field experiences, environmental awareness and biological sciences students assisting in placement of recycled Christmas trees to strengthen area wetland shorelines, and nursing students participating in health fairs and educational events.
     “Both forms of service are highly valuable and commendable,” she said. “Both contribute to helping students become empowered, motivated and experienced leaders and citizens, well-rounded individuals that our society needs.”
According to Southeastern’s report, in 2010-11, service-learning activities were incorporated into 38 academic course sections with nearly 800 students logging more than 15,600 hours of service.
     Community service activities involved even greater numbers, Golding said. More than 1,800students were involved in community service activities, totaling nearly 83,000 service hours.
     She cited the Children of the Gulf initiative conducted by the 2010 Lions football team to raise funds for children of Plaquemines Parish impacted by the BP oil spill. The team sold t-shirts depicting the pastimes affected by the disaster and raised more than $8,000 for Plaquemines Parish recreation activities.
     “Greek organizations alone documented approximately 7,900 service hours and raised more than $55,000 for non-profit agencies.”
     The report also noted contributions of Southeastern faculty and staff members who logged close to 12,000 hours of service, and participated in campus-wide fundraising campaigns for the United Way, the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association.

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