Chatham News

Chatham University receives national recognition for community service

By: Amanda Leff Ritchie, Senior Public Relations Specialist
May 20, 2011

Chatham University has been admitted to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for engaging its students, faculty and staff in meaningful service that achieves measurable results in the community. The honor roll is overseen by the Corporation for National and Community Service; the U.S. Department of Education and Housing and Urban Development; Campus Compact, a national coalition of more than 1,100 college and university presidents who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education; and the American Council on Education. For a full list of honored institutions,

“Being named to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is an accomplishment of which Chatham is very proud,” said Zauyah Waite, vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students. “Our students, faculty, and staff demonstrate significant dedication to improving the University’s surrounding communities, and we are very pleased to be recognized for these efforts.”

Honorees are selected based on a series of selection factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships, and measurable community outcomes as a result of the service.

Chatham University’s community service is diverse and extensive. Recent examples follow below.

• Students in the Master of Fine Arts Creative Writing Program participate in a project titled “Words Without Walls,” where they teach creative writing to inmates at the Allegheny County Jail.

• Through the efforts and coordination of the Food Studies program in the new School of Sustainability and Environment, students, faculty, and staff are able to volunteer in the University’s Organic Garden, produce from which has been donated to a local church and to the East Liberty Food Pantry.

• In the fall term of 2009, Chatham celebrated the first of two University Community Service Days in celebration of the University’s 140th anniversary. The event was designed to encourage the Chatham community to volunteer, and to partner with local organizations that were aligned with the University’s mission initiatives and core values. These organizations included Bethlehem Haven, a nonprofit organization that provides housing, employment, and health care services to women; Hearth, a nonprofit housing organization working to empower families to become independent, self-sufficient, and adequately housed; Hosanna House, which offers quality health and human services to youth, families, and individuals; and Sojourner House and Sojourner House MOMs, which helps to rebuild families torn apart by addiction and poverty.