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University of Iowa News Release

May 19, 2006

UI Civic Engagement Program Recognizes Community Partners At Reception

The University of Iowa Civic Engagement Program held its first "Celebrating Community Partnership" reception Thursday, May 18, to recognize the volunteer agencies it has collaborated with during its first year of operation.

UI Executive Vice President and Provost Michael Hogan and Vice President for Student Services Phillip Jones, whose office jointly fund the Civic Engagement Program, thanked community participants, UI students, faculty and staff for helping the program to a successful start during the last year.

"Public universities are built on the concept of partnership, from our relationship to the state right down to the learning partnership that takes place between student and teacher in the classroom," Hogan said. "The Civic Engagement Program is about strengthening one of our most important partnerships -- our partnership with the community, and with all the people in the community who work so hard, every day, to contribute to the common good. Thanks to the enthusiastic participation and generous support of so many organizations and individuals who were willing to jump into this with us, the Program has had an incredibly successful first year."

The Civic Engagement Program strengthens students' learning opportunities by linking the university's teaching, research and service mission to meeting needs in Iowa's community through service. It maintains the UI's Volunteer Link website, http://volunteer.uiowa.edu/, which connects potential volunteers with local organizations in need of assistance.

Since its opening last July, the Civic Engagement Program has co-sponsored two university-wide volunteer fairs, established and cultivated relationships with more than 150 community organizations and sponsored a UI student's alternative spring break to Washington, D.C. The program also coordinated two large volunteer partnerships for Arts Iowa City and the Old Capitol Museum by matching them up with groups of UI students.

"Our community partners have helped us stage two record-breaking volunteer fairs, develop a searchable website for volunteerism, assist a growing cadre of service learning faculty with development of service learning courses, and in many other ways, contribute greatly to engagement efforts at the University of Iowa," said Mary Mathew Wilson, the program coordinator. "At the end of our first year, we want to thank our friends and neighbors who have helped us. We could not do our work without them."

At the recognition Jones lauded the tangible results from the first year of the Civic Engagement Program. "It has been gratifying to see the development of increased cooperation between the university and community partners in providing service to the community," he said.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011, mary-kenyon@uiowa.edu or Lesly Huffman, 319-384-0077, lesly-huffman@uiowa.edu; Program: Mary Mathew Wilson, 319-335-7589, mary-mathew-wilson@uiowa.edu

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.