North Park University Named to Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll
President's honor roll notes University's multiple community service initiatives
CHICAGO (March 27, 2013) -- North Park University is among 26 Illinois colleges and universities named to the 2013 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, honoring leading U.S. higher education institutions and their students, faculty and staff for commitments to make their communities better through service.
"One of the exciting developments we highlighted this year was the continued growth of service-learning initiatives as part of our engagement in the community," said Richard Kohng, urban outreach coordinator, North Park University Ministries. "Faculty members continue to find creative outlets for students to serve in the urban context while fostering learning opportunities." University Ministries provides logistical support for many projects, and helps identify partnerships between departments working to facilitate service-related opportunities, Kohng added.
"Very few awards capture the spirit of who we are as an institution of higher education committed to contributing to the welfare of our city than the president’s honor roll," said Anthony Zamblé, director of University Ministries. "The University recognizes that one of the ways we prepare our students for lives of significance and service is by providing opportunities for them to contribute to the welfare of Chicago. We help solve problems in our community, and we also help to cultivate a spirit of service."
The University's service initiatives included activities related to Dr. Martin Luther King Day, organized by the Collaboratory for Urban and Intercultural Learning, plus a spring neighborhood clean-up service event, an annual block party, and a holiday gift program. Also cited was the University's work with the North Park Friendship Center, faculty and staff service on boards of organizations in Chicago's Albany Park neighborhood, and student and staff involvement in nearby Chicago public schools as tutors, student teachers and volunteers. The University was recognized for the classes offered by the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management to teach people working in neighborhood nonprofits, and for students in the School of Business and Nonprofit Management who serve as interns in the surrounding neighborhood and throughout the city.
Also cited was the 2012 Justice Summit hosted by the University; North Park's Dialogue II Ethical Consumerism Academic Service Learning Class Project; and the University's "Working in the Schools" partnership with nearby Hibbard Elementary School. Through the WITS mid-day mentoring program, North Park faculty and staff volunteered to read to elementary school students each week, focusing on third-grade students for whom English is a second language. This program was organized by North Park University Human Resources.
"We are encouraged that these institutions and their students have made service a priority," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, a former chief executive of Chicago Public Schools. "Through reaching out to meet the needs of their neighbors, these students are deepening their impact, strengthening our democracy and ultimately preparing themselves to be successful citizens."
The 2013 president's honor roll includes 690 colleges and universities nationwide. The Corporation for National and Community Service manages the program in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as the American Council on Education and Campus Compact.
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Learn more about North Park University's urban outreach