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LSUA Named to President's Higher Ed Community Service Honor Roll

Released: 02/25/2010

LSU Alexandria has been named to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement. The Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service, announced the award.

“Congratulations to LSU Alexandria and its students for dedication to service that improves its local community,” said Patrick Corvington, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “LSUA students are among a national group that demonstrates the value of putting knowledge into practice to renew America.”

LSUA students provided nearly 4,000 service hours to various community and campus projects in the 2008-09 school year, according to Dr. Julie Gill, associate professor of kinesiology and Office of Service Learning coordinator. “The total represents an average of 8.3 hours per LSUA student over the fall, spring and summer semesters,” she said. “If you put a monetary value on the work it amounts to almost $81,000.”

Nearly 3,100 service hours worth more than $63,000 were provided to Central Louisiana. The rest was contributed in urban Denver and Hawaii by 16 students on two Baptist Collegiate Ministry mission trips.

Dr. David Manuel, LSUA chancellor, said service-learning “is a time-honored tradition in higher education with benefits to each student who participates, the recipient of the service, and the community. In many ways service-learning reinforces the core mission of effective higher education and a meaningful curriculum.

“We are proud to receive this designation, and we will continue to find ways to simultaneously enhance our students’ education and the community.” Manuel has included service-learning in the university’s strategic plan.

Ten LSUA service groups totaling 481 students participated in projects. Involvement included several LSUA faculty members gearing academic projects in their classes to address community needs. One example was six students from Dr. Arthur Rankin’s “Myth, Legends and Folklore” class teaching elementary students about mythology at three local schools. The LSUA students presented interactive lessons in Greek, Cajun and Native American folklore followed by creative interpretations from the elementary students.

Gamma Lambda Tau, a clinical lab technician professional organization, provided 304 hours of service in blood typing and other tests at Peabody Magnet School, volunteer work at the Shepherd Center, a Christmas toy drive and other projects. Sigma Kappa Sigma, a campus sorority, supported the American Cancer Society with 22 students working 440 hours on a benefit talent show.

Other participants at LSUA were Department of Education students, varsity athletes, Catholic Student Organization, the Office of Student Life, Student Nurses Assn. and Trick-or-Treat Street.

Only about one-in-five schools in America earned honor roll status. Service projects nationwide include environmental concerns, marketing plans for non-profit organizations, legal services, health care services, tutoring and anti-hunger efforts.