SUNY Oswego, recipient five years ago of the prestigious Carnegie Community Engagement Classification, retains the designation on the new list of just 361 colleges and universities nationwide for 2015.
The tribute from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching recognizes colleges and universities that deeply intertwine community engagement in their leadership, curriculum, outreach programs, strategic planning and community partnerships.
SUNY Oswego has also earned a place on the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction—the fourth consecutive year the college has achieved the designation. More than 750 colleges and universities were named to this year’s Honor Roll, a list Oswego has joined each year since its inception in 2006.
The significant national laurels have helped drive Oswego to continue expanding student community service and service learning opportunities and participation, according to Christy Harrison Huynh ’98 M’08 CAS’08, associate director of career services.
“The honors help to remind us this is a priority,” Huynh said. “Community service and service learning have the support of the organization here from the top down. It’s embedded in the culture of the college.”
Alyssa Amyotte, coordinator of service learning and community service at SUNY Oswego, said the honors are “a testament to the campus-wide commitment to community engagement.”
“There is great support from staff and faculty, but I give the most credit to students who choose to volunteer and participate in service-learning courses on top of their already hectic schedules,” Amyotte said. “We would not be receiving recognition such as these without them.”
Her office coordinates programs and courses that are responsible for tens of thousands of volunteer hours annually around the region.
Nationally and globally, dozens of SUNY Oswego students volunteer annually during winter and spring breaks that benefit communities from Atlantic City to Omaha, from El Salvador to the Dominican Republic.
Among other programs, Adopt-A-Grandparent teams more than 160 students with senior citizens in care facilities throughout Oswego County for activities, shows, games and a gala annual dinner dance. Scores of college students volunteer in Mentor Oswego programs at three schools in the Oswego City School District and two in Fulton, along with Hannibal Middle School and the Oswego Salvation Army, providing tutoring and mentoring to hundreds of children.
Since 2001, the college has been a founding member of the New York Campus Compact to encourage community service and civic engagement.