News Release: Student Life, Sustainability, University News

May 26,  2011

Emory Named to National "Honor Roll" for Commitment to Service

Stephanie SpanglerStephanie Spangler, a Jumpstart and Emory Reads volunteer, is one of 12 Community Building and Social Change Fellows.

Emory University recently earned national kudos for its commitment to the greater good through research and service. The university has been named to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. In addition, one of the university’s signature education and outreach programs has earned national notice as Georgia’s most innovative, urban-based project.

The Corporation for National and Community Service honored Emory as a leader among institutions of higher education for its support of volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.  The Honor Roll follows the Presidential Award for General Community Service that Emory earned in 2008, the highest federal recognition given to colleges and universities for their commitment to community service. 

The university was admitted to the honor roll, with distinction, for its strong institutional commitment to service and compelling campus-community partnerships that produce measurable results for the community.

Nursing Migrant WorkersNursing students care for migrant farm workers and their families in Moultrie, Georgia.

Highlights of these partnerships include:

Welcoming New Americans

Nearly 500 undergraduate and graduate students provided more than 4,500 hours of engagement in activities addressing the needs of refugees and immigrants. They include health sciences students staffing health care clinics for migrant farm workers and conducting health literacy classes. Students from across Emory also serve as coaches for English language classes and teach bilingual social studies classes in DeKalb County schools.

Contextual Education

Each cohort of 285 Candler School of Theology students are required as part of their curriculum to serve four hours a week for two years in placements ranging from hospitals to prisons and homeless shelters providing an annual total of more than 44,000 hours in service to people in need.


School of Medicine students design and teach biweekly health sciences enrichment classes to 150 students at South Atlanta High School with 40 Emory pre-med students serving as mentors and coaches for the academic year.

Emory Reads

Nearly 100 undergraduates have logged 20,000 hours of service as reading tutors in local public schools.


Through this Office of Student Leadership and Service program, 100 Emory students gave 30,000 hours of service as readers and early learning coaches for preschoolers living in low income neighborhoods.

Nearly 90 percent of all Emory undergraduates take part in service projects. The university states in its strategic plan that it will “produce socially conscious leaders with a portfolio of skills proven and values tested in community involvement.”

Fellowship named to Fast Company’s “United States of Innovation”

One of the partnerships noted in the Honor Roll, Emory’s Community Building and Social Change (CBSC) Fellowship along with its founding director, was lauded in the May 2011 issue of the business magazine Fast Company in its feature “United States of Innovation.”

The CBSC program is highlighted among 51 “bold ideas and brilliant urbanites who are helping to build the cities of America’s future.” The list, which includes one entry from each state and the District of Columbia, recently received further coverage on CNN.

“We’re very pleased that the fellowship program has been included in such an exciting group,” says Office of University Community Partnerships (OUCP) director Michael Rich, associate professor of political science and the founder and faculty chair for the fellows program. “Our fellows don’t go out seeking recognition, but it is always gratifying to know that influential publications are paying attention and also know the important role universities can play in helping build local communities.”

The fellowship is a centerpiece of Emory’s OUCP, which coordinates, supports and enhances Emory’s growing number of relationships with dozens of community groups, nonprofit organizations and government agencies to address pressing problems ranging from homelessness to healthcare, affordable housing to food and nutrition, and welcoming new Americans to K-12 school improvement.

The fellows program has grown into a national model for engaged learning programs—those that integrate original research and classroom learning methods with active participation and engagement in real community problem solving with the community serving as an active and equal partner throughout.

The fellowship provides undergraduates with a comprehensive year of training, research and experience culminating in an intensive summer-long practicum working on community initiatives across metro Atlanta. The program also helps Emory continue to foster long-term, dedicated initiatives with various Atlanta neighborhoods and community groups.

The 2011 class of fellows now are working for 10 weeks on three projects:

  • neighborhood assessments with DeKalb County Community Development Office
  • Refugee Family Services to expand the work of their new Global Growers Network community gardens, and
  • with organizations in the Edgewood neighborhood on assessing out-of-school-time programs.

Related Stories

Community Building Fellows take hands-on approach for social change  (Emory Report, March 21)

PRISM: Bringing New Blood to High School Science  (eScienceCommons, June 17, 2010)

Emory Nursing Students Offer Health Care Services to Migrant Farmers (June 10, 2010)

Emory Pipeline Project's budding scientists are college-bound (Emory Report, May 3, 2010)

Emory Receives Presidential Award for Community Service (Emory News, Feb. 9, 2009)


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