The Corporation for National and Community Service has named UCSB to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. UCSB is one of 511 colleges and universities so honored, and one of only 114 to be recognized with distinction.
In addition, the UC Board of Regents on Tuesday presented the university’s 2010 President’s Award for Outstanding Student Leadership to UCSB’s Student Veterans Organization. The organization was cited for its advocacy efforts on behalf of student veterans and for providing valuable resources to veterans as they acclimate to life on campus.
Other President’s Award recipients include Jason Tien, a doctoral candidate in neuroscience at UC San Francisco, and Alberto Ortega Hinojosa, a doctoral candidate in public health at UC Berkeley. They were honored for helping develop a student health insurance plan that is both comprehensive and affordable.
Launched last year, the President’s Award honors groups or individuals who find creative solutions to systemwide issues and advance UC’s core mission of public service. The SVO will receive $2,500 award, and Tien and Hinojosa will each receive $1,000.
“Jason, Alberto and the SVO epitomize the best qualities of the University of California,” UC President Mark Yudof said. “We are grateful to them for embodying our university’s broad service mission in their work. The UCSB Student Veterans Organization is a model, both for UC and for higher education as a whole.”
UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang said: “It was such a proud moment to see our UCSB Student Veterans Organization honored with the UC President’s Award. We deeply appreciate the contribution of our student veterans to our university and our nation. Our Student Veterans Organization is a wonderful resource and support network for our student veterans, and I am honored to congratulate them on this very meaningful recognition.”
In addition to pushing tirelessly for educational benefits at the local, state and national levels, the group strives to improve the image of returning veterans. The organization sponsors several programs, including scholarships, the “Ask a Vet” forum, a “Boots to Books” webinar that explores ways in which veterans’ skills, experiences and perspectives can strengthen a campus community, and a Central Coast Student Veterans Conference. Also, organization members mentor at-risk youth, volunteer with veterans groups of past wars, and read Dr. Seuss favorites to elementary school children in the Santa Barbara area.
“For a very long time, I have been both impressed and proud of the tradition of community service and volunteerism on the UCSB campus,” said Michael Young, vice chancellor for student affairs at UCSB. “In particular, I am most proud of our students, who, year after year, across the spectrum of student communities, make a significant difference in our world. They tutor children, create outreach programs for teens, serve seniors and disabled citizens, volunteer during disasters, champion sustainability projects, and the list goes on. I applaud them and the broader campus in achieving this honor.”
2010 marks the third year in a row that UCSB has been included on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, which recognizes colleges and universities for exemplary, innovative, and effective community service programs. Members are selected based on several factors, including scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.
CNCS oversees the honor roll in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Contact and the American Council on Education. CNCS is a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn & Serve America programs. It leads President Barack Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve.