posted Mar 20, 2013 in ACADEMICS
McPherson College has a fantastic five-for-five streak going, but it’s not for any Bulldog athletic team this time.
For the fifth year in a row since 2008, the college has been named to The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor roll - including a “With Distinction” honor in 2010. MC is one of only five institutions in Kansas to accomplish a similar streak, out of the more than 50 colleges and universities in the state.
“The joy of giving of self was apparent on the McPherson College campus last school year,” said Dr. Tom Hurst, director of service. “To selflessly give time, energy and creative thought and action to be part of another’s life is to interact with our world in a way that blesses the giver and the receiver. Believing that the Spirit of God is within those who extend themselves to serve others, McPherson College had a Spirit-filled year of service to others.”
In September 2011, Kansas Campus Compact named Dr. Hurst as the “Kansas Community Engagement Professional of the Year.” Among the factors for selection, Dr. Hurst cited MC’s selection to receive 12 AmeriCorps student mentors through Kansas Campus Compact - a fifth of those allocated for Kansas. He also pointed to Dr. Becki Bowman, associate professor of communication, and Dr. Allan Ayella, assistant professor of biology, who both received a $7,500 grant through Kansas Campus Compact to each develop and teach a new service learning course.
Established under the Corporation for National and Community Service in 2006, the honor roll recognizes those institutions that encourage and support community service. Those on the honor roll help solve community issues as they direct students toward a life of service.
At the end of the 2011-2012 academic year, students had logged more than 17,323 hours of volunteer service, a 54 percent increase over the year before with 94.5 percent student involvement. And that’s after the 2010-2011 academic year, which had a 42 percent increase in hours. Dr. Hurst also mentioned that one out of four students were involved in six or more projects and 12 percent of students gave more than 50 hours of service.
Service has ranged from students helping flood victims during their spring break, to packaging nutritious meals for people in Haiti, to helping care for animals at the local Humane Society. And that’s not to mention the many individual acts of service that students have undertaken on their own.
“Working with Brethren Disaster Services in Alabama over spring break to repair houses damaged by a tornado, I noticed how much service impacted the freshmen in our group,” said Emilee Reinhert, senior Tipton, Kan. “I noticed that the freshman began to take on leadership positions based on the skills they could share in rebuilding these houses. The students said that they were not going to stop working until the job was done and, at that time, the house looked great and we were able to meet the family that was, once again, going to have a house to live in.”
Learn more about the honor roll at www.nationalservice.gov and more about service at MC at www.mcpherson.edu/service.