GU Honored for Civic Engagement, Community Service

December 15, 2014

Gonzaga News Service

SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga University has earned three prestigious awards for civic engagement and community service. The Seattle-based Raikes Foundation, the Jon C. Dalton Institute on College Values at Florida State University, and the Corporation for National and Community Service — a federal agency — all honored Gonzaga, and particularly its Center for Community Action and Service-Learning (CCASL) for exemplary mentoring, service and community engagement programs.

"These honors are especially meaningful as CCASL celebrates 20 years of providing Gonzaga students with formative service experiences while partnering with the community to help address critical needs," said Judi Biggs Garbuio, vice president for student development. "The program has evolved to be a signature component of the Gonzaga experience for many students, and we know the impact on Spokane and other communities is considerable."

The Raikes Foundation recognizes high quality out-of-school programs in the state of Washington as part of its Youth Program Quality Initiative, which "raises the caliber of after-school programs by improving the capacity of staff through data-driven professional development," said Erin Kahn, director of the Raikes Foundation.

Recognizing its commitment to continuous quality improvement of after-school programs, the Raikes Foundation honored CCASL as one of three organizations to receive the 2014 Pinnacle Award. CCASL earned the recognition for its youth mentoring programs, especially Campus Kids, a nationally recognized, one-on-one, campus-based mentoring initiative focused on helping children in grades four through six succeed in school and build positive relationships.

The Dalton Institute honored CCASL's Mission: Possible program, a weeklong spring break service immersion program, with its 2015 Best Practices Award. More than 100 Gonzaga students participate annually in the program, traveling to 10 sites around the country to serve local communities in multiple ways.

This marks the sixth year in a row that Gonzaga has been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The Honor Roll recognizes institutions of higher education that support exemplary community service programs and raise the visibility of effective practices in campus community partnerships. In addition to CCASL initiatives, GU programs such as Science in Action, and the School of Education leadership with the Hillyard Youth Collaborative are recognized through this award. For the first time, Gonzaga was named in two categories: General Community Service and Community Service in Education.

"It's rewarding to be honored," said Todd Dunfield, director of CCASL. "It's a testament to the hard of work of our staff, the support of the entire University, and most of all, the students who make it happen."