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UT Arlington honored for community service

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Monday, March 8, 2010

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Media Contact: Teresa Newton

ARLINGTON - For the fourth year in a row, The University of Texas at Arlington has been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, which recognizes colleges and universities for their commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

"This is national recognition of our students and their commitment to making our local communities a better place to live," UT Arlington President James D. Spaniolo said.

The University was named to the 2009 Honor Roll. Past honors include being named to the 2008 Honor Roll and the 2006 and 2007 Honor Rolls with Distinction. Each year, six universities receive the top award, the Presidential Award.

The UT Arlington Center for Community Service Learning documents student volunteer and service-learning hours. All student organization volunteer hours and course field experiences are included in the award application.

"UT Arlington boasts numerous model service-learning activities across the University that were highlighted in the award application," said Shirley Theriot, director of the Center for Community Service Learning.

Service-learning occurs when students combine course content outcomes and the search to solve community issues which result in deeper content learning, personal growth and appreciation of others, Theriot said. More than 100 UT Arlington faculty members integrate service-learning into their courses.

UT Arlington students gave 790,516 hours to general community service and 146,376 hours to this year's focus area of youth from disadvantaged circumstances. The students' volunteer efforts included clinical practice, internships, student teaching, as well as service-learning projects.

Examples of UT Arlington students giving to the community include:

  • Two advanced painting and graphic design art majors spent more than 160 hours teaching 18 teenagers in creating a large mural at the Boys and Girls Club of Arlington.
  • Twenty-three bilingual undergraduate students volunteered as G-Force mentors to first generation minority high school students at three local high schools.
  • Business students providing a transportation analysis that helped a local nonprofit group receive funding from the North Texas Tollway Authority.
  • Engineering students designing and building a large automated swing for severely handicapped high school students.

In 2009, 3.16 million college students performed more than 300 million hours of service, according to the Volunteering in America study released by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

The Honor Roll is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service and is sponsored by the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation, the USA Freedom Corps, and the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development. For more information, visit www.nationalservice.gov.

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research, teaching, and public service institution whose mission is the advancement of knowledge and the pursuit of excellence. The University is committed to the promotion of lifelong learning through its academic and continuing education programs and to the formation of good citizenship through its community service learning programs. The diverse student body of nearly 29,000 shares a wide range of cultural values and the University community fosters unity of purpose and cultivates mutual respect.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.

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