Prestigious National Award Presented to Rutgers University–Camden by The Washington Center and the New York Life Foundation

Rutgers University–Camden is among the five colleges and universities nationwide chosen from nearly 100 nominations to receive the 2015 Higher Education Civic Engagement Awards presented by The Washington Center and the New York Life Foundation.

Recipients were selected based upon their leadership and innovation in civic engagement. Rutgers University–Camden will be presented with the award during The Washington Center’s annual awards luncheon in Washington, D.C. at the National Press Club on Oct. 5.

“This honor from The Washington Center and the New York Life Foundation is yet another signal that Rutgers University–Camden is a national model for how civically engaged universities can provide their students with exceptional learning opportunities while also growing partnerships that help to advance our communities,” says Phoebe A. Haddon, chancellor of Rutgers University–Camden.

In January 2015, Rutgers University–Camden earned another national honor when the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching selected the research university to receive its 2015 Community Engagement Classification.

The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, in partnership with the New York Life Foundation, established this award to celebrate institutions in the higher education community that are reaching beyond their own campuses to achieve sustainable civic impact. The award aims to highlight, in particular, innovation and leadership in forging partnerships beyond the campus to define and address issues of public concern, whether at the local, regional or international level.

During the 2013-14 academic year, approximately 45 percent of all Rutgers–Camden students engaged in more than 300,000 hours of community service. During that same period, 1,065 students delivered service as part of a credit-bearing academic experience, which included 93 academic courses developed with specific civic engagement components.

Rutgers–Camden’s many service-oriented initiatives include the North Camden Schools Partnership, which connects Rutgers students with Camden children for afterschool enrichment activities; a wide array of pro bono and clinical legal programs offered through the Rutgers Law School; empowerment workshops delivered by the Community Leadership Center; and research-driven analysis developed by the Center for Urban Research and Education.

“Rutgers University–Camden is a shining example of how universities are taking the traditional curriculum model and incorporating initiatives that teach self-awareness, community engagement and life-long leadership skills,” says Mike Smith, president of The Washington Center. “Rutgers University–Camden is a true leader within the academic community and we extend our congratulations on this honor.”

A committee of leaders in the field of civic engagement selected the recipients of the award.  Serving on this committee were:

Geraldine Mannion, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Chair

Michelle Cooper, Institute for Higher Education Policy

Bobby Hackett, Bonner Foundation

Heather Smith, Rock the Vote (former)

The other academic institutions receiving the 2015 Civic Engagement Award include Dominican University of California, John Carroll University, Tufts University, and Weber State University.

The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars is an independent, nonprofit organization that serves hundreds of colleges and universities in the United States and other countries by providing selected students challenging opportunities to work and learn in Washington, D.C. for academic credit.  The largest program of its kind, The Washington Center has more than 50,000 alumni who have become leaders in numerous professions and nations around the world.  It was established in 1975.

Inspired by New York Life’s tradition of service and humanity, the New York Life Foundation has, since its founding in 1979, provided more than $155 million in charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. Through its focus on “Nurturing the Children,” the Foundation supports programs that benefit young people, particularly in the areas of educational enhancement and childhood bereavement.  The Foundation also encourages and facilitates the community involvement of employees, agents, and retirees of New York Life through its Volunteers for Life program.

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