SOU Again Named to Presidential Honor Roll for Community Service

(Ashland, Ore.) – The Corporation for National and Community Service has honored Southern Oregon University (SOU) with a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to America’s communities. It’s the fifth year in a row SOU has received the honor.

“Last year more than 5,300 SOU students participated in some form of academic service learning.” says Dee Perez, director of the learning commons at SOU. “Our students also performed more than 4,200 hours of community service.”

Projects included Alternative Spring Break, SOU Serves activities in the days before Fall term begins, and individual student contributions. SOU Student Becca Fronek used persuasion concepts she learned in a Communication class to benefit the Medford Gospel Mission Women’s Shelter. Fronek designed an event called Every Woman Deserves Christmas during which she handed out Christmas gift bags, and asked other women in the community to fill bags with disposable razors, hair brushes, socks and underwear, bus passes, and gift cards for women staying at the shelter.

“The energy, creativity and enthusiasm of our students is the catalyst for some truly amazing work, and our staff and faculty provide the support and guidance to have lasting and positive impact all around us,” says Perez.

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 innovation 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.

“Through service, these institutions are creating the next generation of leaders by challenging students to tackle tough issues and create positive impacts in the community,” said Robert Velasco, 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.”

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