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University Relations

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June 11, 2009
Contact: Andi Witczak, Center for Service Learning, (785) 864-0965.

261 students earn service learning certification

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LAWRENCE — The Center for Service Learning at the University of Kansas recognized 261 students in more than 50 disciplines for completing certification in service learning during the 2008-09 school year.

A ceremony was held May 7 to present students with their certificates. Andi Witczak, director of the Center for Service Learning, commended the students for their achievements and emphasized the impact of the students’ efforts on their community and their education.

“Service learning connects the life of the mind with the habits of the heart, giving students the opportunity to experience how their discipline plays a role in civic engagement and service to the community,” she said.

Danny Anderson, vice provost for academic affairs, also congratulated the students, referencing his own experiences with service learning and discussing the importance of all engaged learning at the university.

In the final comments before the students received their certificates, Bob Basow, associate professor of journalism reminded them of the words of cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

In addition to the certificates presented during the ceremony, students also received certification designation on their official university transcripts. This notation represents the significant time and effort the recipient devoted to service learning classes and activities that foster civic engagement, community involvement and leadership.

Service learning is a form of experiential education in which students participate in service that addresses community needs and increases students’ understanding of course materials through application and reflection. This year, for example, Basow’s service learning students applied their strategic communication skills to enhance public outreach efforts of several local nonprofit organizations, including KU’s Counseling and Psychological Services, the Lawrence Historic Preservation Alliance, Parenting Initiative and the Kansas City Area Development Council.

To receive certification in service learning, students must complete four components: a service learning course, independent service project, set of directed civic engagement and leadership readings, and reflection upon their experiences.

Service learning certification is one of three engaged learning certificate programs at KU: service learning, research experience and global awareness. Jenna Hunter of the Global Awareness Program and John Augusto of the Research Experience Program also presented certificates from their respective programs during the May 7 ceremony.

The Center for Service Learning was established in 2005 and strives to increase the value and relevance of service learning at KU. The center works to promote the interconnectedness of teaching, research and service as well as the relationships between teachers, learners, classrooms and communities.

Students receiving service learning certification are listed below by hometown.


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus. | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045