UCF, Instructor Honored for Community Service

UCF, Instructor Honored for Community Service

The University of Central Florida and a faculty member were honored recently for their community involvement by Florida Campus Compact, a coalition of more than 50 colleges and universities committed to promoting community service, service-learning and civic engagement.

The university won two awards and Women’s Studies instructor Leandra Preston-Sidler won a third award.

UCF won the Campus-Community Partnership Award because of the College of Business Administration’s Cornerstone Project with Boys Town of Central Florida. Since 2005, more than 1,100 students in the Cornerstone Project have worked with Boys Town, said Amy Zeh, UCF’s program director of Service Learning. The project offers hands-on experience in professional-skills development and involves a semester-long service project addressing a need in the community.

The university also earned the Engaged Campus Award, which is given to honor an institution of higher education for advancing the purposes of education, improving community life and teaching students about civil and social responsibility. In 2011-2012, there were 9,786 University of Central of Florida students who participated in service-learning courses, Zeh said. They completed more than 210,000 service hours in projects with more than 350 partner organizations, saving community partners more than $4 million. Also, 145 faculty members across the campus implemented 55 academic courses in more than 300 classrooms involving service for 2011-2012.

Preston-Sidler won the Service-Learning Faculty Award for the state university sector. The award was given because of her dedication to working with nonprofit community partners to enhance student learning.

Florida Campus Compact said the award winners “are the folks who are in the trenches, forging sustainable campus-community partnerships that enhance the collegiate experience and help our students become stronger and more active citizens.”

The awards were presented Nov. 8 at the University of Tampa.