Shepherd receives national recognition for community service efforts
For the sixth year in a row Shepherd University is listed on the Corporation for National and Community Service President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The award recognizes efforts Shepherd students have made in service to the surrounding community that have resulted in meaningful outcomes.
“It’s kind of cool because we are compared to our peers across the nation as well as in our state, so it is a big deal,” said Holly Morgan Frye, assistant vice president of student affairs for student engagement. “We just really feel strongly that our institution has such a culture of service to the community. It’s just the way we go about things on our campus.”
This year’s award is for community service done in the 2013-14 academic year. Shepherd’s application includes information such as how many students participated and how much time they spent on community service. Rachel Crum, community service and service learning coordinator, said the application also highlighted three unique programs.
One involves extreme couponing and is coordinated through the economics classes taught by Rudolph Bropleh, adjunct faculty in economics and finance.
“We give each student in the class $5 to practice skills of extreme couponing and everything they buy is donated to Jefferson Community Ministries,” Crum said.
Another highlighted was the Emerging Leaders in Service Program, which is part of the annual Day of Service that takes place in August just before the school year begins. The Day of Service was expanded so students can participate in leadership and team building activities in addition to providing community service to a variety of nonprofit organizations throughout Jefferson and Berkeley counties.
The third program highlighted on the application involves the Washington Gateway Academy that takes place in June, when rising eighth grade students from across the state come to Shepherd to take part in classes and field trips.
“One afternoon and evening our office spent time with the Gateway campers and they completed five different service projects in three hours,” Crum said. “On the application we talked about the impact that afternoon spent with the Gateway campers made on them and on the community.”
Crum said the listing on the honor roll shows just how much students at Shepherd are committed to community service.
“I think our students really understand the concept of giving back to the community,” she said. “Shepherdstown and Shepherd University are so closely connected I think they see the benefits that they are providing to the community while they’re living here on campus.”
“I have seen over the years when students work together side by side on a project it breaks down all stereotypes,” Frye added. “You put five different people from very unique backgrounds together to build a house and at the end of the day no one cares who or where or what you came from. You care because collectively you pulled together and you helped to build a house for someone who was deserving of that home.”