CSUSM Received National Recognition for Community Service, Named to President¿s Honor Roll

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Margaret Lutz | mlutz@csusm.edu

California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) has been named to the 2009 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement for the fourth year in a row.

The Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the annual Honor Roll award, recognized more than 700 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from poverty and homelessness to environmental justice.

"Congratulations to Cal State San Marcos and its students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their local communities," said Patrick Corvington, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. "Our nation's students are a critical part of the equation and vital to our efforts to tackle the most persistent challenges we face. They have achieved impactful results and demonstrated the value of putting knowledge into practice to help renew America through service."

Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors including the scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

"Community service is an important component of our commitment to being a university fully engaged in our community," said CSUSM President Karen Haynes.  "Student interactions address community-identified needs, deepen their civic and academic learning, and enhance community well-being while enriching the scholarship of the institution."

2,820 students last year were engaged in 166,000 hours of regional community service or service learning projects - an increase of nearly sixty percent of the year before and represents, at minimum wage, a value of $1.3 million for their services.

CSUSM's "Hands Across Our Border" initiative is one example of an ongoing project that has actively engaged university students on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border for the past four years. Through this project, students from CSUSM and the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California (UABC) in Tijuana, Mexico join forces to help communities in need on both sides. Past projects have included painting elementary schools, cleaning and organizing a community food pantry, and readying apartments for move-in by families experiencing homelessness.

During spring 2009, Cal State San Marcos students teamed up with the East Los Angeles Society for Film and Arts (TELA SOFA) and met UABC students at an orphanage in the slums of Tijuana. The university students, guided by a TELA SOFA representative, used art activities to break down language and social barriers, providing the nearly 120 Casa Hogar Sion orphanage children with education, entertainment, and companionship.  Additionally, CSUSM students collected and delivered 600 pounds of donations of food, clothing, cleaning supplies, diapers, and other essentials, to the orphanage.

Hands Across our Border is organized and supported by CSUSM's Office of Community Service Learning.

About the Corporation for National and Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs, and leads President Obama's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit www.nationalservice.gov.

About California State University San Marcos
California State University San Marcos combines the ambiance of a mid-sized, personal, modern campus with the unequaled value of the California State University. Since its founding in 1989, the campus has distinguished itself. Students benefit from the latest facilities and equipment, a superb faculty that enjoys teaching, and a rigorous academic program that prepares students for a successful life in and out of the workplace. A recent survey reported that our annual spending in the region was $161 million, generating a total impact of $307 million on the regional economy. 85 percent of CSUSM's alumni stay in the region. CSU San Marcos is located on a 304-acre hillside overlooking the city of San Marcos. It is 15 miles east of the ocean; just 30 miles north of downtown San Diego.