UNCW Named to President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

Thursday, September 29, 2016

UNC Wilmington has been named to the latest President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

UNCW was recognized in three categories: General Community Service, Education, and Economic Opportunity. UNCW is one of only five institutions in the state recognized in Economic Opportunity, and one of two public institutions recognized in this category. The other schools were Duke, Elon, NC State and Pfeiffer.

"I am excited that UNCW received this national recognition of the wonderful engagement work we have been doing in our region," said Lori Messinger, Associate Vice Chancellor for Community Engagement. "The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship helped us stand out among our peers as a university that supports the economic development of our community."

The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognizes institutions of higher education that support exemplary community service programs and raise the visibility of effective practices in campus community partnerships. UNCW has been on the National Honor Roll since 2008. "Given our commitment to applied teaching, engaged scholarship, and service to our community, I expect that we will continue to be a leader in this area," Messinger added.

The 2015 award focused on several programs from 2013-14 academic year, including:

  • A partnership with the Raleigh affiliate of the national program Stop Hunger Now, the UNCW Office of Student Leadership and Engagement, and several businesses and civic organizations packaged 285,000 meals. More than 1,350 UNCW faculty, staff and students worked together to meet this goal. They donated 1,934 pounds of food to the Food Bank of Southeastern North Carolina.
  • The Miracle Field project, a collaboration between UNCW College of Health and Human Services and Coastal Carolina Events Sports and Services (ACCESS) of Wilmington, allowed UNCW to develop volunteer, service learning and community engagement projects focused on Wilmington’s Miracle League. The program gives individuals of all ages with disabilities the opportunity to play baseball.
  • The Wilmington Regional Science Olympiad brought more than 900 middle and high school students from Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover and Pender counties to campus to compete in an annual tournament. Hosted by the Watson College of Education’s Center for Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (CESTEM), faculty and students join community volunteers to design events for these students. More than 2,500 individuals attended the awards ceremony, with volunteers from UNCW, New Hanover County Schools, and local science-based companies General Electric and Corning.

"This recognition solidifies the university’s commitment to community engagement—to sharing expertise and resources with our community to achieve mutual benefits for the community and the university—as one of the six values that underlies our strategic plan," Messinger said. "You can see that in the work our faculty do in the community; our students’ active engagement in applied learning in local schools, agencies and businesses; and our staff, student and faculty service projects. We are connected in so many ways, and we plan to continue and strengthen these connections."

--Venita Jenkins