A Community of Service
The University has long been committed to the service of others as part of its Jesuit tradition. Our focus on conscientious civic engagement and social responsibility has formalized and matured in recent years, and continues to grow. Our students complete thousands of hours of community service and service learning activities each year - nearly 200,000 hours in this last year alone. Ninety-one students participated in international service trips through the University's Office of University Ministries, in nations including Mexico, Haiti, Guyana, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic.
In May 2011, the University was named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, recognizing our enhanced efforts in the area of civic engagement; the University was also named a top service-oriented college by Washington Monthly in 2010. To help build a stronger communication link between the University and our neighbors, the Office of Community Relations released a new web site and newsletter designed to share information with our community, and provide individuals, groups, and agencies with resources that can continue to cultivate our relationships. The University announced a new professorial fellowship in 2011 - the William and Elizabeth Burkavage Fellowship in Business Ethics and Social Responsibility. Dr. Irene Goll, an associate professor in the University's Kania School of Management, is the University's first Burkavage fellow. The University's Education for Justice Program continues to grow, focusing this year on the theme of Peace and Reconciliation. This year, the program hosted lectures by poet Carolyn Forche, Paolo Dall'Oglio, S.J., and Rajmohan Gandhi. Nine members of the University faculty took part in the inaugural year of the Faculty Fellows in Service Learning Program, working together to create a campus-wide definition for service learning, updating courses and improving service learning courses through research and assessment projects.
Like our students and faculty, many University staff take part in service activities each year. In 2010-11, a concentrated effort to emphasize the role of service in the life of University leadership led staff, administrators, and faculty to participate in several international service programs. The University has a particularly close relationship to Latin America, in particular, El Salvador, where six Jesuits were martyred in 1989. The University has several programs - SEED, SCOPE, and Bridges to El Salvador - that connect our campus in meaningful ways to this nation. In January 2011, fifteen University leaders traveled to El Salvador to reflect on the experience of these martyrs and the needs of the people of El Salvador, bringing back to our campus ways to animate our commitment to educate men and women for and with others.
This past year, the University also reflected on the nation of Rwanda through a number of educational and service activities led by the President's Office. The University hosted several academic discussions on Rwanda's court system, economic development, and the nations efforts' related to reconciliation and social development. As part of this year-long dialogue, the University hosted visit with Bishop John Rucyahana, the president of Rwanda's National Unity and Reconciliation Commission. Students within the Women's Studies program were able to take part in a international travel course to Rwanda, studying issues in gender equity. This year of reflection on Rwanda culminated with a visit of several University leaders to the nation in spring 2011.
Student Development & Transformation
Cultivating students in the Jesuit tradition of service and leadership is important to the University of Scranton. To facilitate this process, the University offered a new living & learning experience for students in 2010-11 - the Cura Personalis Program, a residential program for freshman who wish to live in an environment which focuses on the development of faith, service, and leadership, and in understanding the role of Ignatian education in their learning experience. 45 students took part in the new program in 2010-11. The Office of Student Activities and Orientation was renamed the Center for Student Engagement, an effort to communicate its important role in developing students, engaging them in the life of the University and the lives of others.
In 2010-11, the University created a new Office of Parent Relations to help welcome and support Scranton students' parents as they join our University family.In 2011, the University's Leahy Community Health and Family Center was awarded two grants to support key developmental programs; these include a $15,000 grant from the Prudential Foundation to support the work of the University of Success program, which provides free academic tutoring and mentoring services to local high school students, and a $97,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare to help serve the health and wellness needs of underinsured and underserved persons in our region. Over the last year, the number of programs in the Center's Learning Laboratory increased from 1 to 17.
- 1,028 University students attended mission-focused retreats in 2010-11; 125 staff and faculty attended mission retreats in that year.
- 90 members of the University community participated in formal international service trips last year.
- 20 members of the Class of 2011 went on to full-time service commitments following graduation
- In 2010-11, students in the Panuska College of Professional Studies completed over 14,000 hours in service and social engagement. The number of courses in the college incorporating service learning reached 52.
- Students at the University completed over 170,000 hours of community service during the 2010-11 academic year.
- 57% of our full-time students lived in University housing in 2010-11.