April 13, 2012
for its commitment to assisting communities and people in need, St.
John’s is one of only 110 American colleges and universities
admitted with distinction to the 2012
President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
The Honor Roll annually commends colleges and universities that
demonstrate leadership in promoting student, faculty and staff
participation in volunteering, service-learning and civic
engagement with “measurable outcomes.” The Corporation for
National and Community Service (CNCS), part of the U.S.
government’s Office of the Inspector General, launched this program
This is St. John’s sixth straight year on the Honor Roll — its
with distinction. “It’s a wonderful, external validation of the
mission-centered focus of our faculty, students and
Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., Executive Vice President for Mission
and Student Services. “They are all to be congratulated for
advancing the University’s values through volunteering, teaching
and community-based research.”
“Congratulations to St. John’s University, its faculty and
students for their enduring commitment to making service a priority
in and out of the classroom,” said Robert Velasco II, Chief
Operating Officer, CNCS. “Together, service and learning increase
civic engagement while fostering social innovation among students —
empowering them to solve challenges in their communities.”
Cited for its dedication to general community service, St.
John’s earned special recognition for its focus on creating a
six-week summer program that engaged disadvantaged middle school
students in protecting the environment.
The University’s Vincentian
Institute for Social Action (VISA) won a competitive, $90,000
Learn and Serve America” award to fund the program. In July and
August 2010, 150 low-income students from five local middle schools
came to the Queens
campus, where they learned about improving the environment by
volunteering in local recycling and conservation efforts.
St. John’s created the Institute to more visibly embed its
mission in every student’s education. The goal is to blend new and
ongoing programs that empower students, faculty and staff to fight
poverty and injustice through teaching, research and service.
These initiatives also received Honor Roll recognition:
In partnership with New York City’s Department of Homeless
Services (DHS), the
Advantage Academy helps currently and formerly
homeless individuals pursue an associate degree in business
administration at St. John’s. Admission is based on prior academic
achievement. The University covers tuition, textbooks, laptops,
counseling and career advisement. The city subsidizes housing,
transportation and child care.
Service-Learning is central to a St. John’s education.
Advancing the University’s Vincentian mission, professors integrate
course-related volunteer activities into their classes. This past
year, 4,359 students logged some 96,833 service hours at 125
agencies and organizations throughout New York City and Long
The four-year Ozanam Scholars
Program combines hands-on, community-based
volunteering with courses and research. Admission, which includes
an annual scholarship of up to $10,000, is based on academic
achievement and a record of assisting others. Students produce
capstone projects that propose workable and sustainable solutions
to poverty and social injustice. Last year, 88 students and 15
faculty mentors logged 4,821 service hours at 11 sites on four