Five colleges and universities were chosen this year from more than a hundred nominations to share in the 2014 Higher Education Civic Engagement Awards presented by The Washington Center and the New York Life Foundation. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is among those honored.
Recipients were chosen based upon their leadership and innovation in civic engagement. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga will be presented with the award during The Washington Center’s annual awards luncheon in Washington, D.C., at the National Press Club on September 29, 2014.
“The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is honored to receive this designation,” said UTC Chancellor Steven Angle. “Our institution promotes community engagement as a source of educational experience for our students and as an opportunity to enhance our region by serving our community.”
The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, in partnership with the New York Life Foundation, established this award to celebrate institutions in the higher education community that are reaching beyond their own campuses to achieve sustainable civic impacts. The award aims to highlight, in particular, innovation and leadership in forging partnerships beyond campus to define and address issues of public concern, whether at the local, regional or international level.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has also been awarded the designation of the President’s Honor Roll for Community Service with distinction and has received Carnegie elective classification as a community engaged institution. UT Chattanooga is a founding member of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities.
UTC embraces the Carnegie definition of community engagement as “the partnership of college and university knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors to enrich scholarship, research, and creative activity; enhance curriculum, teaching and learning; prepare educated, engaged citizens; strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility; address critical societal issues; and contribute to the public good.”
The extent of student and employee involvement to civic engagement is broad: In 2012, a total of 7,514 students were engaged in community service (2,873 students in academic service learning and 4641 students in community service). Their total number of community service hours was 618,981. A 2013 inventory of partnerships revealed that faculty, staff, and administrators participate in 602 unique partnership endeavors with an estimated economic impact in excess of $30 million.
The extent of financial involvement to civic engagement is equally strong and sustainable. The University of Chattanooga Foundation supports specific chairs, endowments and academic programs that have a community engagement component, such as economic education for public school teachers and a national symposium on the 19th Century Press, the Civil War and Free Expression in conjunction with the sesquicentennial of the Civil War.
In 2013-14, UTC continued to budget expenditures for public service.
“The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is a shining example of how universities are taking the traditional curriculum model and incorporating initiatives that teach self-awareness, community engagement and life-long leadership skills,” said Mike Smith, president of The Washington Center. “UTC is a true leader within the academic community and we congratulate them on this honor.”
A committee of leaders in the field of civic engagement selected the recipients of the award. Serving on this committee were:
Geraldine Mannion, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Chair
Michelle Cooper, Institute for Higher Education Policy
Bobby Hackett, Bonner Foundation
Peter Levine, CIRCLE, Tufts University
Heather Smith, Rock the Vote
The other academic institutions receiving the 2014 Civic Engagement Award include California State University, Fullerton, Hampshire College, Rice University, and Georgia College and State University.
About The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is an engaged, metropolitan university committed to excellence in teaching, research, and service, and dedicated to meeting the diverse needs of the region through strategic partnerships and community involvement.
About The Washington Center
The Washington Center for Internships and Academic seminars is an independent, nonprofit organization that serves hundreds of colleges and universities in the United States and other countries by providing selected students challenging opportunities to work and learn in Washington, D.C. for academic credit. The largest program of its kind, The Washington Center has over 50,000 alumni who have become leaders in numerous professions and nations around the world. It was established in 1975. www.twc.edu
About the NewYorkLifeFoundation
Inspired by New York Life’s tradition of service and humanity, the New York Life Foundation has, since its founding in 1979, provided more than $155 million in charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. Through its focus on “Nurturing the Children,” the Foundation supports programs that benefit young people, particularly in the areas of educational enhancement and childhood bereavement. The Foundation also encourages and facilitates the community involvement of employees, agents, and retirees of New York Life through its Volunteers for Life program. To learn more, please visit the Foundation’s Web site at www.newyorklifefoundation.org.