Monday, July 13, 2009

People create a truly engaged university

A great public university provides all sorts of benefits to its locale. College-educated people, of course. Jobs. Arts, athletics, thought-provoking speakers, research in concert with business to produce solutions to problems in the marketplace. And it also provides engagement with the community.

At UNC Charlotte, examples of community engagement are countless, which is one of the reasons the University was selected for a prestigious 2008 Community Engagement elective classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The designation recognizes institutions that have internalized and sustained their commitment to collaborate with communities through teaching, research, and outreach.

One person, among many, who embodies UNC Charlotte's culture of community engagement is Susan Harden. This month whe was recognized with the 2009 Civic Engagement Professional of the Year Award from Campus Compact. Harden is coordinator for UNC Charlotte’s Crossroads Charlotte initiative.

A national coalition of more than 1,100 college and university presidents, Campus Compact represents some six million students who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education. The Civic Engagement Professional of the Year Award highlights Harden's critical and valuable role in UNC Charlotte's higher education mission. The award validates the fact that Harden has become a vital link between the community and campus.

During this past year, Harden introduced new Crossroads-themed courses such as UCOL 1200 Freshman Seminar and LBST 2215 Citizenship. More than 600 students participated in the courses, which resulted in almost 2,000 community service hours. Harden also spearheaded the development of a strategic network of Crossroads partners for service learning and event collaboration. These partners include Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Levine Museum of the New South, YWCA and the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.

UNC Charlotte is staking its claim as a leading institution for the Charlotte region. It leads through scholarship, research, arts, culture, athletics, global outreach and community engagement. Harden is one of many, many students, faculty and staff who enrich the Charlotte region through their service.

Keep reading UNC Clt_News to meet more students, faculty and staff like Susan Harden.

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1 comment:

  1. Susan's work is truly amazing, and important to the life of the university and the community. Community service activities create a direct connection between the university and the community. Not only do these activities raise the university's profile in the region, but they also broaden students' perspectives and give them greater understanding of the complex problems/issues most communities face. I'm proud of UNC Charlotte for committing resources to this endeavor and hope to see it expanded. Congratulations on a much-deserved award, and keep up the good work!