Rutgers-New Brunswick Recognized by Carnegie Foundation for Excellence in Community Engagement and Outreach Partnerships

Rutgers-New Brunswick Recognized by Carnegie Foundation for Excellence in Community Engagement and Outreach Partnerships

Melissa Chedid
Credit: Christine Chow
Rutgers student Melissa Chedid teaches vocabulary and conversation to Mexican immigrants at a New Brunswick church.

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Rutgers-New Brunswick has been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for its exceptional commitment to community service, educational outreach and service-learning.

The Carnegie Foundation also recognized the university's Newark Campus for its outreach and partnerships, as well as its curricular engagement.

Rutgers is among 115 institutions selected by the Carnegie Foundation for its 2010 community engagement classification this year.

“We are so pleased to be honored for our commitment to community engagement and campus-community partnerships that serve the public good,” said Rutgers President Richard L. McCormick.  “As a state institution, Rutgers plays a critical role in bettering the lives of New Jerseyans by using our intellectual and social capital in research and teaching to solve issues in our communities.”

Isabel Nazario, who heads the Office of the Associate Vice President for Academic and Public Partnerships, said the distinction puts Rutgers among top-tier institutions nationally in the area of community engagement and underscores the university’s commitment toward socially responsive teaching, research, and service learning.

Nazario, whose office was responsible for leading the campus community outreach research and organizing the proposal for the Carnegie Foundation, said to receive the classification, universities and colleges must show that they are not only involved in service-learning but also serve as a community partner to improve conditions for local residents. Civic engagement must be mentioned in the institutions' mission statement and strategic plan, and the impact such programs have on students, faculty and staff must be tracked.

“The Carnegie application process and related questions gave us an excellent framework for guiding the self-study. It allowed us to showcase the outstanding work of our faculty and students in the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, professional schools and campuswide, community-outreach partnerships,” Nazario said.

The academic self-study was a team effort that included a Faculty Council led by Maurice Elias, professor of psychology and director of the Civic Engagement and Service Education Partnerships Program. “The Carnegie recognition comes at a pivotal time in history,” Elias said. “With the passing of Sargent Shriver, who did so much to advance service in the United States and globally, we intend to use his words to guide our continued forward progress: 'We are going to ask our children not just to talk but to act, serve, and live in accordance with a set of higher values and with a buoyant optimism.'

Robert M. Goodman, dean of the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, noted the significance of the Carnegie designation for the university and his school. “This designation is fitting for New Jersey’s land-grant university,” Goodman said. “It recognizes the value of the university’s service to the people of the state, not just in the traditional fields of education and research, but also in outreach, in areas as diverse as alternative energy, social work, workforce development, nutrition education, youth development, integrated pest management, public health and management of natural resources.”

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Media Contact: Ken Branson
732-932-7084, ext. 633