SUNY Oswego's community service efforts earn federal distinction

SUNY Oswego recently made the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll “with Distinction” for the fifth straight year.

Vocal Effect volunteers with middle school studentsThe Corporation for National and Community Service recently published the honor roll for 2015; colleges and universities needed to apply for the recognition this year. SUNY Oswego has earned a spot on the broader honor roll every year since its inception in 2006.

Only 12 colleges and universities in New York state received the latest “with Distinction” recognition, including three others in the State University system: Cortland, Fredonia and Geneseo.

“SUNY Oswego students make a significant impact on community life through their service, providing thousands of hours of effort a year to help those less fortunate, whether for a single day or yearlong,” said Alyssa Amyotte, the college’s coordinator of community services. “The college is proud of its many student-driven community service initiatives.”

Among the college’s programs:

* Mentor Oswego, which last year sent 176 volunteers into Oswego and Fulton city schools, Hannibal schools and the Oswego Salvation Army for nearly 3,000 hours working with youths to stay in school.

* Alternative Winter Break and Alternative Spring Break provided more than 100 students with travel-and-service opportunities on behalf of those in need in a dozen locales, from Florence, Alabama, to Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic.

* Adopt-a-Grandparent sent 140 students to seven nursing homes to serve about 100 residents for a total of more than 2,000 hours, including the Senior Dance, an intergenerational event that brings seniors, nursing staff and students together for a night of music, dancing and dinner.

* SUNY Oswego starts early integrating community service with college life. During opening activities in 2015 at the college, 175 students—most of them first-year—participated in Project Serve to provide 350 hours of service at Oswego Public Library, Oswego Tree Stewards, Oswego Middle School and numerous other locations, including the Permaculture Living Laboratory on campus.

* Additionally, 11 faculty members taught 26 service-learning courses with 643 students, completing 15,000 hours of community service.

For more information on community service at SUNY Oswego, visit or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

PHOTO CAPTION: Service in action—Members of Vocal Effect, SUNY Oswego’s show choir, offer a dance workshop last year in Swetman Gymnasium for Oswego Middle School students who are working with college students in Mentor-Scholar, an academic and social support program aimed at helping schoolchildren reach their full potential. It was just one of many community service efforts, helping the college earn a spot on the recently announced 2015 President’s Higher Education Honor Roll with Distinction.

(Posted: Oct 31, 2016)

Tags: solutions, service learning, president's higher education community service honor roll, community service