Five colleges and universities from across the country were chosen this year to share in the 2016 Higher Education Civic Engagement Awards presented by The Washington Center. SUNY Buffalo State is among those honored.
Recipients were chosen from more than 100 nominations based upon their leadership and innovation in civic engagement. Buffalo State will be presented with the award during The Washington Center's annual awards luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 26.
"Civic engagement has long been a hallmark of Buffalo State," college President Katherine Conway-Turner said. "Our faculty emphasizes the importance of connecting with the outside community through service-learning classes, and students have numerous opportunities to participate in off-campus community projects. This commitment to serving the greater good helps us attract students who are seeking to become engaged citizens through hands-on learning opportunities. This emphasis on community involvement also provides an avenue for meaningful and lasting partnerships with organizations that have a significant impact on individuals living in Western New York."
The other academic institutions receiving the 2016 Higher Education Civic Engagement Award include Marquette University, Purdue University, the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and the University of San Diego.
The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars established this award to celebrate institutions in higher education where the commitment to leadership extends into civic roles in the communities beyond their own campuses. The award aims to highlight, in particular, institutions that are forging transformational partnerships beyond campus to define and address issues of public concern, whether at the local, regional or international level.
"It is very impressive to see the unique and innovative ways this year's winners have worked with their partners to promote the greater good," said Chris Norton, president of The Washington Center. "These are important models of civic leadership for their students to learn from and for all of us to emulate."
As the only comprehensive college within the State University of New York system that is located in an urban area, Buffalo State is committed to its role as citizen of Buffalo. During the 2014-15 academic year, Buffalo State students, faculty and staff participated in more than 490,000 hours of community service activities in the region. For more than a decade, volunteer and service-learning students have helped the Journey's End Refugee Services Inc. staff - one of more than 120 community partners - to build their internal capacities and to provide services ranging from financial literacy education to language training to preparation for the U.S. naturalization test. Along the way, this partnership to support Buffalo's newcomers has afforded Buffalo State students unparalleled opportunities for civic learning.
Buffalo State, a State University of New York (SUNY) campus located in Buffalo's Elmwood Village, offers degrees in the arts, education, the sciences and professional studies. Each year, approximately 10,000 students choose Buffalo State.
The Washington Center for Internships and Academic seminars is an independent, nonprofit organization that serves hundreds of colleges and universities in the U.S. 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.