Oswego achieves national distinction for service

SUNY Oswego, named each time to the U.S. President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll since the list’s inception in 2006, has earned the designation “with Distinction” for the 2009-10 academic year. Oswego is one of only 114 colleges around the country to win the prestigious designation.

The honor roll recognizes higher education institutions for “exemplary community service” and “meaningful outcomes in their communities.”

Oswego service

SUNY Oswego students Amy Wolff ’11, center, and Raymundo Lopez ’12, right, work alongside Alyssa Amyotte, coordinator of the college’s Center for Service Learning and Community Service, to plant trees in January on the outskirts of New Orleans as an additional barrier against hurricane-force winds. Such community-service Alternative Breaks are among the SUNY Oswego projects that helped the college earn a place on the latest U.S. President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, with Distinction.

In its application for the 2009-10 honor roll, SUNY Oswego highlighted three of its many programs: Adopt-a-Grandparent, with six weekly programs at seven Oswego area nursing homes as well as the annual Senior Ball; Mentor Oswego, where students tutor and mentor 150 local youths through partnerships with nine Oswego area schools and the Salvation Army; and Alternative Break, with 10 student and adviser trips in the spring of 2009-10 — and more during winter break — for projects ranging from Head Start in New Jersey to the Volunteer in Jamaica Opportunity Program in impoverished areas of the Caribbean nation.

The newly released SUNY Report Card calls the Carnegie classification and the President’s Honor Roll “the gold standard in recognizing effective community service” and pledged that more State University campuses would join Oswego in achieving such recognition.

Scott Ball ’09, who is working toward his master’s degree in adolescence education, has made numerous Alternative Break trips, including one in 2009-10 to an impoverished community in Florence, Ala., to build homes for Habitat for Humanity.

“I think it (the honor roll with distinction) shows just how great and compassionate this school and its student body are,” said Ball, who this summer took part in his second flood-relief project in New Orleans.

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