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A Commitment to Service

Spring 2012

In keeping with the theme “To Love and Serve in All Things,” this issue of Ignite focuses on some of the University’s many community outreach programs located within Academic Affairs. The University of Scranton’s commitment to service and outreach to the community are grounded in its Catholic and Jesuit mission and the strategic plan, which calls for a “civically engaged philosophy of teaching and scholarship that inspires students to apply their knowledge to the joys and hopes, the grief and anguish of the people of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted.”

Moreover, the University is committed to an investment of resources to aid students, staff and faculty in their service of others. For example, administrative staff positions that support service and related expense lines (e.g., directors of outreach, civic engagement, international service programs, Leahy Community Health and Family Center, etc.) totaled 899,540 in the University’s 2010-2011 annual budget. The Office of the Associate Provost for Civic Engagement coordinates the collaborative development of academic service. Through the Community Outreach Office, students work with more than 120 Scranton-area social service agencies, responding to local needs while engaging in reflective service. Faculty members are supported through internal grants, such as the Faculty Fellows in Service Learning, Education for Justice, and Diversity Education grants. All of our student organizations are required to complete service projects and students receive support for service activities through the Divisions of Student Affairs and University Ministries, as well as academic departments.

The University’s commitment to service is integrated into campus activities in a variety of ways. The Weinberg Memorial Library is the home to the Schemel Forum, which offers a variety of academic and cultural events each year to Scranton area residents. The Schemel Forum is profiled in the article, “Set High Expectations–And Exceed Them!” In addition, faculty and students organize a number of academic competitions and workshops for students from local area school groups. These activities include a journalism boot camp, math, physics and computer science competitions, the annual Brain Bee, and a stock market simulation.

The Performance Music Program, under the direction of Cheryl Y. Boga, has created several opportunities for Scranton-area musicians of all ages and skill levels to develop their musical skills. These activities are profiled throughout this issue of Ignite.

Our academic programs reflect our commitment to service in other ways as well. For example, all Panuska College for Professional Studies majors must complete a minimum of 40 service hours as a graduation requirement. The college also hosts the Leahy Community Health and Family Center, which offers a range of community programs that are profiled in the article, “A Culture of Challenge.” In the Kania School of Management, the Accounting department runs a robust Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in collaboration with the United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne counties and other area agencies. That program is described in the “Making Filing Easier.” The Kania School provides another important outreach program to the local community through the Women’s Entrepreneurship Center, a joint program between the Kania School and the Small Business Development Center. The purpose of the center is to provide training and support to area women who are, or want to become, small business owners. The origins and activities of the center are highlighted in the article “Developing Business and Developing Success: The Women’s Entrepreneurship Center."

This commitment to service extends beyond the Scranton area. The Campus Ministries division organizes several domestic and international service trips throughout the year. Students and faculty members not only participate in those service programs, but many have organized specialized service trips that allow them to provide highly specialized professional skills in underserved areas. An example of such efforts is the annual service trip made each year by students, faculty and staff in the Occupational Therapy/Physical Therapy Department. Their endeavors are described by John P. Sanko, Ed.D., department chairperson, in the article “Traveling with a Purpose: True Understanding Comes From Experience and Discovery."

Commitment to Service By the Numbers

The programs and activities described in this issue are a sample of the numerous ways The University of Scranton’s students, faculty and staff act on their desire “To Love and Serve in All Things.” To learn more about the University’s service and outreach activities, visit www.scranton.edu/communityimpact.

2,040

The number of students who engaged in academic service-learning during the 2010-2011 academic year.

990

The number of students who engaged in forms of community service not including those who engaged in academic service learning (unduplicated count.)

3,030

The total number of students who engaged in community service of any kind.

1,500

The number of students who engaged in at least 20 hours of any kind of community service per academic term.

175,000

The total number of all community service hours engaged in by the institution's students durin gthe 2010-2011 academic year.