Daemen Receives National Honor for Sixth Straight Year
Daemen Recognized as National Leader in Service Learning
March 4, 2013
Contact: Mike Andrei
Dr. Susan Marchione
Service Learning Coordinator
Daemen College has been named to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service. This is the sixth straight year Daemen has been recognized as a national leader for its service learning programs. The Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities.
For more than a decade, Daemen College faculty, students, and staff have collaborated with City of Buffalo neighborhoods in Seneca Babcock, the West Side, and the Fruit Belt, to bring about positive change for residents in each community. Daemen volunteers have brought about improvements in education and health care; helped to create economic self-sufficiency; helped to increase literacy levels; and built environmental and civic awareness.
“Daemen College is clearly a national leader in service learning and a model for colleges and universities throughout the nation," said Daemen President Dr. Gary A. Olson. “Fostering civic engagement and a sense of social responsibility is a key part of our core mission and dates back to our founders. We believe it is vitally important for all students to engage in this type of learning experience.”
The goal of Daemen College’s service learning program is to provide opportunities for students to become engaged learners and informed citizens while addressing a range of social, economic, educational, and environmental problems faced by disadvantaged populations and communities.
In academic year 2012-2013, hundreds of Daemen students contributed tens of thousands of service hours to Western New York communities. More than two dozen service learning classes were taught by 21 faculty members in 11 academic disciplines.
“The point is to change a student’s mind regarding their responsibility to the community,” said Daemen Service Learning Coordinator Dr. Susan Marchione.
“Service learning makes you think about it. It challenges your mind. It is a transformative experience we want our students to have. Because of our commitment to service learning, we have built lasting relationships with a great many non-profit organizations, who value the energy and assistance our students bring to them.”
Each year Daemen students perform service at over 50 different community sites, including those in three neighborhoods in which Daemen has established long-standing partnerships: Seneca Babcock, Buffalo’s West Side, and the Fruit Belt. Daemen students were involved as volunteers in after-school programs; health and human service agencies; youth and senior advocacy organizations; programs for international and refugee populations; and housing rehabilitation projects.
In Seneca Babcock, Daemen students majoring in health care, English, and education, have conducted blood pressure screenings and other health tests, provided computer literacy training, and after school tutoring, among other assistance, to Seneca Babcock community residents.
Additional projects include the Refugee Teen Empowerment Program at Lafayette High School, coordinated by the Daemen Center for Sustainable Communities and Civic Engagement, which helped to significantly improve graduation rates; Environmental Education in the Community classes; developing environmental projects with students in Buffalo’s MLK School #39; and The Thomas Reynolds Center at Daemen College Summer English Language Arts Theatre & Arts Camp.
Daemen service learning students coordinate summer reading camps, organize Volunteer Income Tax Assistance programs, and participate in a variety of environmental and economic recovery efforts.
Daemen College students and staff have also joined WNY Apollo Alliance and local labor union members in providing free weatherization, energy related assistance, and installation of in-home carbon monoxide (CO) detectors to residents of Buffalo’s Seneca Babcock neighborhood.
Launched in 2006, the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognizes colleges and universities nationwide that support innovative and effective community service and service-learning programs – including commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement. Honorees for the award are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including scope and innovativeness 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.
The Refugee Teen Empowerment Program at Lafayette High School, coordinated by the Daemen Center for Sustainable Communities and Civic Engagement, helped to significantly improve graduation rates.