Geneseo receives national recognition for service

Geneseo was recognized on President Barack Obama’s 2013 Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, released on March 4.

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service website, “[The honor roll] annually highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement by recognizing institutions that achieve meaningful, measurable outcomes in the communities they serve.”

Geneseo has been on the honor roll every year since its launch in 2006. 

“Geneseo’s consistent placement on the honor roll illustrates the serious commitment our students, faculty and staff have to community service and service-learning,” President Christopher Dahl said in a statement. “Such work is integral to a meaningful liberal arts education, and our campus is engaged every day in the lives of others through service at the local, national and international levels. I commend everyone at Geneseo responsible for this achievement.”

According to the Geneseo website, Geneseo was recognized for five specific community service or service-learning projects that include the Livingston CARES Program, urban and rural public relations projects, the El Sauce service-learning project in Nicaragua, Rochester Young Scholars Academy at Geneseo and the Learning Independence, Vocation and Education Skills Program.

 “It is gratifying that we have gotten recognized externally. It is important that we ourselves know the extent of our service,” adjunct instructor of Latin and humanities and faculty fellow for international programs Weston Kennison said. “Service to me is fundamentally about building and sustaining relationships of mutual benefit.”

Professor of political science and international relations Edward Drachman discussed the overall image of community service taking place at Geneseo. 

“I have been extremely impressed over the years with how many of our students are involved with various volunteer activities, how enthusiastic they tend to be,” he said. “At the end of the day they feel not only that they have helped others, but they have grown themselves.”

According to Kennison, service-oriented projects have become a large a part of Geneseo.

“The depth, breadth, complexity of service that happens here is one of our best-kept secrets,” he said. “I mean that there is so much [service] taking place and Geneseo’s faculty and student population have a lot of people who don’t wait to be included in something else – they go and start things.”

“Service is one of the most important ways to make the place where you’re at matter in your education,” Kennison said. 

He also spoke about the impact service has on outside communities. 

“Our service work is something that binds us together in these long-term relationships. These benefits are tremendous and that is something unique to Geneseo,” he said.