Rollins Garners National & Statewide Community Service Awards

February 11, 2008

The Corporation for National and Community Service named Rollins College to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll With Distinction for exemplary service efforts and service to disadvantaged youth.

The Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Honorees for the award were chosen based on a series of selection factors including scope and innovativeness of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

Enaged Campus Award
(From left to right) Assistant Professor of Modern Languages Gabriel Barreneche, Assistant Director of Community Engagement Meredith Hein, Associate Professor of Art Rachel Simmons, Assistant Professor of Anthropology Rachel Newcomb, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Roger Casey and Director of Community Engagement Micki Meyer celebrate at the Florida Campus Compact 2007 Inaugural Awards Gala & Dinner.

In October 2007, Rollins received the top award in the state as the Florida institution most committed to being an engaged campus. Out of 51 colleges, universities and community colleges in the state who are members of Florida Campus Compact, Rollins was honored with the engaged campus award for “Best in Class” in the independent category and also garnered the engaged campus “Overall Statewide Award.”

“Being named the most engaged campus in Florida is the culmination of many years of hard work by numerous faculty, staff, students and community partners,” said Rollins College Vice President for Academic Affairs & Provost Roger Casey. “I take very seriously Rollins' mission of educating for global citizenship and responsible leadership. I hope as a community we can celebrate this magnificent, positive achievement and the lives that have been changed by the work which lies behind it.”

In addition to the top honor of the night, two members of the Rollins community received prestigious awards. Director of Community Engagement Micki Meyer received the “Community Engagement Educator Award” in the independent sector for “significant contributions to the institutionalization of community engagement, inspiring a vision for service on the campus, and supporting faculty, staff and campus-community partnerships.” Meyer’s colleagues nominated her for this award noting in the nomination: “Through her dedication, enthusiasm and love for her work, Micki is recognized campus-wide as the heart and soul of community engagement at Rollins.”

Associate Professor of Sociology Rhonda Ovist received the “Service-Learning Faculty Award,” in the independent sector for contributing to the integration of service-learning into the curriculum. Ovist’s work has helped students, community members and scholars examine hierarchies of knowledge between academic and community partnerships. She continues to help further the pedagogy of service-learning while transforming current sociological and educational perspectives.

“The campus has changed a lot in the two years I have been here, said Rollins student Patrick McKelvey. “These awards mean so much because we are one of the smallest schools associated with Florida Campus Compact. We are the little engine that could."

Rhonda Ovist and Micki Meyer
Rollins award-winners Associate Professor of Sociology Rhonda Ovist (left) and Director of Community Engagement Micki Meyer

Award-winners were judged by a peer review panel from out of state. Campus Compact is a nationwide coalition of college and university presidents committed to the public purposes of higher education. Made up of more than 1,000 member institutions in 47 states, the organization promotes engaged teaching and learning through organized service projects to develop citizenship skills and values.

“We are so excited about this honor,” said Director of Community Engagement Micki Meyer. “To be recognized at this level for the hard work and dedication of our students, faculty and staff is quite an accomplishment.”

“Our state has seen tremendous benefits from many campuses that have made intentional investments in their surroundings by connecting student learning to community service and civic engagement,” said DeeDee Rasmussen, executive director of Florida Campus Compact. “We couldn’t be more proud of all of them, but Rollins really deserves the substantial recognition they’ve achieved in this area. The College has studied and implemented the best practices in the field.”

Enaged Campus Award
(From left to right) President Lewis Duncan, SGA President Stephanie Schuldt, Associate Professor of Sociology Rhonda Ovist, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Roger Casey, Dean of the Faculty Laurie Joyner and Director of Community Engagement Micki Meyer celebrate the day.

The City of Winter Park proclaimed Friday, October 26, "Rollins' Community Engagement Day." In celebration of that, faculty, staff and students gathered in front of the Cornell Campus Center for a special reading of the proclamation, followed by an ice cream social.

Read more about Rollins' top awards and rankings and what the guidebooks have to say.

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