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Stony Brook University Receives Highly Selective 'Community Engagement Classification' From Carnegie Foundation

STONY BROOK, NY, January 12, 2011 - The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has granted Stony Brook University the highly selective 2010 Community Engagement Classification for Curricular Engagement and Community Outreach. This voluntary classification, a designation shared by only 311 institutions of higher education, provides national acknowledgement for Stony Brook’s institutional commitment to, and support of its surrounding community. 

“Through a classification that acknowledges significant commitment to and demonstration of community engagement, the Foundation encourages colleges and universities to become more deeply engaged, to improve teaching and learning and to generate socially responsive knowledge to benefit communities,” said Carnegie President Anthony Bryk. “We are very pleased with the movement we are seeing in this direction.”

Institutional support by the University at large comes from both academic and medical campuses, and the list of entities that educate, mentor, serve, and outreach to a variety of community partners throughout Long Island, New York City, and overseas is extensive. Students, faculty, and staff on Stony Brook’s Main campus and the Medical Center campus participate in academic service projects, internships, community based research, and out-of-class service activities.  

Examples of community engagement efforts from across campus include: 

Each year, high school students participate in HOPE, a comprehensive health professions educational and mentoring program. All training takes place at locations on the Medical Center campus. Pictured is a group that recieved completion certificates.

• SBU Medical Center hosted 106 lectures, 61 health fairs & health screenings (6,786 people). The HOPE (Health Occupations Partnership for Excellence) and PAR FORE (Perseverance, Accountability, Resiliency, Fellowship, Opportunity, Respect, and Empowerment) programs are part of SBUMC’s Health Initiative for Underserved Communities which works with grassroots organizations to improve access to higher education, provide community health education programs and screenings, and support efforts to meet the needs of people living in underserved communities.

• In 2009-2010 41,000 hours of service were completed by students through the AmeriCorps, VISTA, & VCS programs coordinated by the Career Center, which has relationships with 1000+ community agencies on Long Island and in NYC: an estimated 45,000 additional hours were completed by students performing service through other venues, such as service learning projects, fraternities, clubs, and organizations.  

• An estimated 9,000 students participate in service annually; 1,500 of whom do internships in community agencies. 

• 175 courses with a service component were offered in 18 academic departments with 2,675 students enrolled.

• $16 million in philanthropic research grants were received in 2008-2009 to support, create, and sustain programs related to improvements within the community and surrounding areas. 

• $200,000 was raised through SEFA faculty/staff campaign to support 175 health and human services agencies. The student-run Rise Again Haiti campaign raised $20,000 and the ‘Tis the Season campaign organized by the National Residence Hall Honorary raised $17,000.   

• SoMAS students and faculty worked to provide sustainable water supplies in Tanzania.

• All efforts are aligned with SUNY’s “Citizen SUNY” community engagement strategic plan. 

The above listing is a representative sampling of the collective accomplishments of Stony Brook University students, faculty, and staff in community engagement. While community members benefit from University involvement, service also has an impact on those who perform it. Stony Brook students have reported that they have developed a deeper understanding of community problems, transferrable skills, and motivation for sustained involvement as engaged citizens.  

For more information, go to the Stony Brook University Career Center website, or contact Urszula Zalewski at 631-632-6814.