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ODU Named to President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

For the second consecutive year, the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll includes Old Dominion University.

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Housing and the American Council on Education and Campus Compact, named ODU to the 2013 honor roll on March 4 at the American Council on Education annual conference in Washington, D.C. ODU also made the list in 2012.

ODU was one of 690 higher education institutions nationwide that were named to the 2013 honor roll, which provides recognition, from the highest levels of the federal government, for "exemplary" commitments to service and civic engagement.

In addition to leveraging research capabilities to address long-term challenges, ODU is committed to immediate concerns through volunteerism and activism. Amid the Norfolk community - with 19.4 percent of residents living below the national poverty level and 18 percent living without health insurance - ODU focuses attention on food insecurity and affordable health care concerns by collecting food, providing health screenings and services, and building local nonprofit capacity while utilizing the community as a co-educator for students.

"Community service and civic engagement have been priorities at Old Dominion for many years and formally became a part of our strategic plan four years ago," said President John R. Broderick. "This award is validation of the exceptional work being done every day by ODU's students, faculty and staff to help improve the quality of life in Hampton Roads and beyond."

In all, 11,389 of ODU's nearly 25,000 students engaged in community service during 2012, providing a total of 376,234 service hours. In addition, 54,000 hours of service were contributed to more than 800 organizations by ODU faculty and staff during the same period.

"Communities are strengthened when we all come together, and we are encouraged that these institutions and their students have made service a priority," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, regarding the honor roll. "Civic engagement should be a key component of every student's education experience. Through reaching out to meet the needs of their neighbors, these students are deepening their impact, strengthening our democracy and ultimately preparing themselves to be successful citizens."

The following is a summary of service projects highlighted in the honor roll application by the ODU Office of Community Engagement:

Rock and Wrap It!

ODU faculty, staff, students and alumni, as well as community members, provided over 15,000 meals at an estimated cost of more than $30,000 to feed the homeless within the Hampton Roads region. The university's adoption of the national Rock and Wrap It! program was implemented by campus food and beverage service provider Aramark and the entertainment management company Global Spectrum. Initial efforts have been expanded to university-wide community events, concerts, athletic events and student center activities. Unused/untouched food that would have previously been thrown out following events is packaged by Aramark and delivered to the Union Mission Ministries by student volunteers, including members of the international student organization Global Student Friendship. One hundred student participants contributed 1,000 hours of service and 25 faculty/staff members provided 90 additional hours to the program in 2012.

Haul for Hunger

ODU's Center for Service and Civic Engagement co-sponsored the Haul for Hunger program with the Office of Community Engagement as part of Public Service Week. On Nov. 12, 2011, more than 300 students, faculty/staff and community volunteers unpacked, sorted, bagged and loaded nearly 17,000 pounds of apples delivered by Crown Orchard, of Charlottesville, for donation to the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and other independent food pantries in the Hampton Roads region. Blemished and imperfect apples were delivered to local horse farms, making it a zero-waste event. Event organizers included two students participating in the Federal Work-study Community Internship Program. More than 230 students and 58 faculty/staff members contributed a combined 1,164 service hours to the effort, which provided the equivalent of 14,000 meals, based on the food bank's pounds-to-meals conversion formula.

Dental Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

ODU's Gene W. Hirschfeld School of Dental Hygiene provides health promotion and disease prevention activities to underserved populations through outreach and service that includes offering oral screenings, dental sealants, fluoride treatments, oral radiographs and patient education. Approximately 8,000 people received free services from senior dental hygiene students in 2012 and the School of Dental Hygiene donated an additional $85,464 in professional dental hygiene oral health care services, including one instance where client assessment and triage services were provided to the Rappahannock Indian Reservation, located more than 100 miles from ODU. To make the project sustainable, a grant is in the planning stages. Also, the city of Norfolk holds a special annual event to facilitate basic health services for the homeless, where ODU students provide oral screenings, repairs and oral health education. In all, 45 students and 16 faculty/staff members contributed 20,000 and 74 service hours, respectively, to the effort in 2012.

Old Dominion University is Virginia's forward-focused research university with rigorous academics, an energetic residential community, entrepreneurial research and collaboration, and initiatives that contribute nearly $1 billion to the economy.

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