CSU-Pueblo named to President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

CSU-Pueblo named to President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

 PUEBLO – Colorado State University-Pueblo has been named to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement.   

“CSU-Pueblo has a long history of service-learning and believes strongly in preparing our graduates to be active leaders and participants in an ever changing world,” said President Lesley DiMare. “We’re honored to receive this prestigious award – and owe much of it to the students and faculty themselves. They’re the energy driving our commitment, and they’re the ones who make it all happen.”

Honor roll logo

Based on the number of hours reported in CSU-Pueblo’s application, the dollar value of service hours that CSU-Pueblo students gave back in the community through volunteering, service-learning, federal work study, internships, and community-based research totaled more than $11 million. From July 2011-June 2012, more than 2,600 students contributed in excess of 512,000 community service hours through a variety of projects.

“The University continues to gather data on the breadth and depth of partnerships between CSU-Pueblo and the community,” said Jennifer Mullen, chief of staff for the University. “In fact, every one of the University’s majors has a service-learning option.”

Mullen said the information being collected is proving to be so significant that service learning and community engagement partnerships are being incorporated into recruitment and marketing plans in order to confirm the value that CSU-Pueblo places on learning that engages the student through impactful service to the community.

In its application, CSU-Pueblo cited three major projects:

Annual Southern Colorado Health Fair: The project involves all levels of nursing students and full/part-time faculty/staff. It also incorporates community/university collaboration that benefits the health of the community. Supervised for the last 18 years by Ruth DePalma, Undergraduate Nursing Program Coordinator, this comprehensive health fair provides more than 25 screenings and 25 interactive educational centers. Collaboration occurs with many agencies including St Mary Corwin Medical Center, Parkview Medical Center, National MS Society, American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, Arthritis Foundation, Epilepsy Foundation, Ovarian Cancer Alliance, Scleroderma Foundation, Hepatitis C Connection, Gerontological Society, Prostate

Conditions Educational Council, Pueblo Area Agency on Aging, Pueblo City-County Health Department, Hospice, Child Health Plan/Step-Up, Southern Colorado Aids Project, Eating Disorder Center, Pueblo TBI Alliance, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Pueblo Health Challenge, Colorado Beef Council and Talking Book Library.

 “9Health Fair has been a tremendous opportunity for students to demonstrate leadership and community collaboration as they coordinate and implement this event, which encourages local citizens to take charge of their own health,” said Dr. Donna Wofford, associate dean of nursing.  

Exposure to Lead & Child Health Risks in Pueblo, CO: Understanding Aspects of Potential Genetic Disparities: The objective of this research is to investigate the potential health risks in Pueblo’s children from lead exposure and aims to determine if children living in areas with high lead levels have higher blood lead levels compared with children in other parts of town and determine the differential genetic polymorphisms of lead metabolism. This phase of research was done during fall 2011- summer 2012 and is ongoing. To date, 163 children have been sampled for blood lead content. Saliva samples were also collected from the participants for study. The project team consists of a Biology faculty member, graduate student, and staff. The results of this project will have substantial impact on the community and the grad student’s research. This study is embedded into/embraced by the community with involvement from the Health Department, City Council, Pueblo CARES, EPA, and Head Start.

 “Our lead study is 100% community focused, and we are conducting this research to inform the Pueblo community and to ensure the health of the children living here,” said Biology Professor Dr. Moussa Diawara. “The partnerships we have developed through this study have been extremely beneficial, and we hope to continue to partner with local organizations.”

Bessemer Historical Society - Multi-disciplinary partnership: The Bessemer Historical Society (BHS) operates the Steelworks Museum and Colorado Fuel and Iron Company Archives in Pueblo. The steel/mining industries are important in the history of Pueblo/surrounding area. Students in multiple disciplines are involved in BHS year round as volunteers/interns/work-study/researchers. Projects include: physical re-housing of collections, basic arrangement/description, digital content processing/management, research inquiries. Students serve as gift shop attendants, education programming assistants/cataloging technicians for the 3D museum collections. BHS staff has taught grad/undergrad courses focusing on archives methodology/processing, public history, and museum studies. Two faculty members from history/Chicano studies have conducted extensive research within the collection and published it, which helps promote the work of BHS. One faculty member is the Scholar in Residence at BHS, supporting research and publication for BHS.

 “The opportunity to partner with the Bessemer Historical Society was enriching for undergraduate and graduate students,” said Artist in Residence Dr. Fawn Amber Montoya. “The historical significance of BHS to the community of Southern Colorado and to the nation has allowed for CSU-Pueblo students to come to have an appreciation and respect for Pueblo’s diverse community and has allowed students from the region to connect to their own working class history in an academic setting.”       

More information about the CSU-Pueblo community service efforts can be found by calling Shanna Farmer, Community-Based Research Coordinator, Regional Access to Graduate Education (RAGE), 719-549-2691 or Shanna.Farmer@colostate-pueblo.edu

More information on eligibility and the full list of Honor Roll awardees, can be found at nationalservice.gov. 

The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll honors the nation’s leading higher education institutions and their students, faculty and staff for their commitment to bettering their communities through service. These are institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities.

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, the Social Innovation Fund and other programs, and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve.

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.