SUNY Plattsburgh Lauded for its Community Service Programs
SUNY Plattsburgh has been recognized by the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for its commitment to community service and engagement.
According to Cori Jackson, director of the Center for Student Involvement, the college received a place on the honor roll in three categories: general community service; economic opportunity community service; and education. The honor roll is the highest federal recognition an institution can receive for its commitment to community, service-learning and civic engagement.
“We were on the honor roll last year, but we had only applied for the general category,” Jackson said. “This year, we applied in three of four categories and were named in all three.” The fourth, interfaith community service, did not apply.
“In our application, we had to explain the depth and breadth our programs — what the campaigns were, hours spent, community service hours contributed, etc. We had to show our presence in our community,” she said.
In the general category, the college received nods for its commitment to Project HELP/Day of Caring, the Empty Bowls Dinner, and the Shine On! Conference.
In the education category, the college was recognized for Project Connect, TRIO, specifically Upward Bound, and Plattsburgh State Art Museum outreach programs such as its involvement in the county-wide Museum Days, field trips and its family art projects during vacations.
And in the economic opportunity community service category, the college was lauded for its Small Business Development Center, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program offered by accounting students, and the college’s relationship with the Interfaith Food Shelf and the many projects done on campus and off to support that effort such as the 9/11 food drive, the end-of-year rummage sale and the community garden, which gives surplus vegetables to the program.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a U.S. federal government agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve America, Senior Corps, and other national service initiatives. The CNCS has administered the honor roll since 2006 in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the American Council on Education, Campus Compact and the Interfaith Youth Core.
Faculty and Staff Involvement
“This award not only speaks to student involvement but the work of faculty and staff and the Center for Public Service,” Jackson said. “We value community engagement. It’s nice to highlight these examples and receive some recognition for them. It’s also nice to receive because, while students often get recognized for their involvement, faculty and staff rarely do. We welcome more and continued involvement of our faculty and staff. They also play an important part in what we do.”
Julia Devine, coordinator of the Center for Community Engagement, agreed.
“I am committed to promoting and celebrating service and community engagement on this campus and making it an institutional priority,” she said. “The president’s honor roll is a clear signal that we’re already doing so much of this work.”