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The New American Colleges and Universities is a national consortium of selective, small to mid-size independent colleges and universities dedicated to the purposeful integration of liberal education, professional studies, and civic engagement.
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Integrating Liberal Arts, Professional Studies, and Civic Responsibility

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New! NAC&U Boyer Award Recipient Devotes Career to University-Community Relations

Photo of Ira Harkavy
Ira Harkavy
2015 Award Recipient

In the 1960s the University of Pennsylvania (Penn), located in West Philadelphia, was certainly “in” the city, but no one thought of it as “of” the city. West Philly residents accused the University of expanding its campus and operations without any thought to the impact on the residents, mostly renters, who were forced to move without compensation. The relationship that existed was largely that of mistrust.

Ira Harkavy, NAC&U’s 2015 Boyer Award recipient, remembers this well as an undergraduate student at Penn who protested this treatment of neighbors. Today the university has a completely different relationship with West Philly due in part to the work of Dr. Harkavy and his colleagues at the Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships at Penn.

Dr. Harkavy, founding director and associate vice president of The Netter Center, describes the center’s work as an evolution. In 1984, a student in one of Dr. Harkavy’s courses wrote a research paper on the problems plaguing West Philly’s public schools. Dr. Harkavy saw that many other students shared the young woman’s passion for the topic. He seized the opportunity to help these students make a difference. Read more

New! Majority of NAC&U Members Named to President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

LogoNearly three-quarters of NAC&U’s membership were named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll which recognizes higher education institutions that support exemplary community service programs and raise the visibility of effective practices in campus community partnerships. Two members -- Nazareth College and the University of La Verne were among just four Presidential Finalists in their respective categories. Nazareth College was a finalist for its Economic Opportunity Community Service, and the University of La Verne was a finalist for Interfaith Community Service. Below are listings of each of the four categories of community service and the NAC&U members recognized in each of them.

General Community Service
The General Community Service category recognizes institutions that have made a commitment to improving the quality of life of off-campus community residents, particularly low-income individuals.

Photo of Stetson service projectHonor Roll with Distinction:
Nazareth College
Wagner College
Stetson University
University of Redlands
Widener University
John Carroll University
Valparaiso University

Honor Roll:
Westminster College
Belmont University
Hamline University
North Central College
The University of Scranton
University of La Verne
Arcadia University
Ohio Northern University
University of Evansville
Drury University

Interfaith Community Service
Interfaith community service programs foster meaningful relationships among community members of differing faiths and backgrounds. Institutions recognized in this category demonstrate participation of campus and community faith-based organizations, including cooperation of faculty, staff, and students of diverse faiths and secular perspectives, in projects that tackle community challenges.

Westminster Community Service photoPresidential Finalist:
University of La Verne

Honor Roll with Distinction:
Nazareth College
University of La Verne
Stetson University
Hamline University

Honor Roll:
John Carroll University
St. Edward's University
Westminster College

Economic Opportunity
The Economic Opportunity category recognizes institutions with service programs that build economic independence, increase family stability, and create more sustainable and resilient communities.

Presidential Finalist:
Nazareth College

Honor Roll with Distinction:
Stetson University
Valparaiso University

Honor Roll:
The University of Scranton
Hamline University

Education Community Service
The Education category recognizes institutions that have made a commitment to improving educational outcomes for children and youth in pre-kindergarten through undergraduate education.

Honor Roll with Distinction:
Stetson University
Widener University
John Carroll University
Valparaiso University

Honor Roll:
The University of Scranton
University of La Verne
University of Redlands
Belmont University
Westminster College
Hamline University

New! Carnegie Foundation Selects Seven NAC&U Members for 2015 Community Engagement Classification

Photo from Scranton eventThe Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching selected seven NAC&U members among the 240 institutions that will receive its 2015 Community Engagement Classification. These institutions join the three NAC&U members that earned the classification during the 2010 selection process.

The following NAC&U members have received the classification: University of La Verne (2015), University of Redlands (2006, 2015), Stetson University (2008, 2015), Nazareth College (2008, 2015), Wagner College (2008, 2015), John Carroll University (2010), The University of Scranton (2008, 2015), Widener University (2006, 2015), Belmont University (2010), Westminster College (2010).

New! Arcadia Students Present Research at SEPCHE Session; Schoff ’15 Discovers, Names Bacterial Virus Photo of virus

During the fall semester, five Arcadia students presented research at the SEPCHE (Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium for Higher Education) Summer Undergraduate Research Poster Session at Gwynedd Mercy University. One student, Courtney Schoff ’15, helped to identify and name a bacterial virus. She presented her findings in “An Optimized Enrichment Technique for the Isolation of Arthrobacter Bacteriophage Species from Soil Sample Isolates.” Read more

Ohio Northern’s Multiracial Gospel Ensemble Sings from the Heart

Recent photo of groupCan a gospel ensemble create authentic gospel music if it has more white singers than black singers? That is the primary question that Adriane Thompson-Bradshaw, vice president of student affairs and dean of students at Ohio Northern University (ONU), investigated in her doctoral dissertation on American Culture Studies at Bowling Green State University. For Dr. Thompson-Bradshaw, the project was personal. She started the ONU Gospel Ensemble (GE) in 1987 and, as its advisor, has watched it evolve into a biracial group over the last 27 years.

Photo of AdrianeWhen Dr. Thompson-Bradshaw first came to ONU in 1987 to work in student affairs, the campus and the town were not racially diverse. She was the only African-American woman living off-campus in Ada, Ohio, where ONU is located. There were only two other African Americans working on campus, both men over age 60 who commuted from another town. There were two campus organizations – the black student union and the black law student union – to address the unique needs of the small African American student population. Most, if not all, of these students did not join other campus groups, so when Dr. Thompson-Bradshaw formed the ONU GE, it was in part to serve as a support system for these students. Because many of the students grew up going to African American churches with gospel music, it gave them a home away from home in addition to providing a way to worship through song. Read more

NAC&U Selects Dr. Ira Harkavy as 2015 Ernest Boyer Award Recipient

Photo of Ira Harkavy
Ira Harkavy
2015 Award Recipient

NAC&U is pleased to present its 5th annual Ernest L. Boyer Award to Dr. Ira Harkavy, associate vice president and founding director of the Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania. The official awards presentation will take place at the annual AAC&U Meeting, January 21-24, 2015, in Washington, DC.

To honor the legacy of Ernest Boyer, NAC&U recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to higher education and whose ideas will be celebrated for generations to come. Dr. Harkavy was selected because of his dedication to university-driven community engagement.

“I am extraordinarily honored and touched to be the recipient of this award,” said Dr. Harkavy. “Ernest Boyer was someone I knew, someone who inspired me--and he played a most important role in shaping our thinking and the work that we do at the Netter Center.” Read more

NAC&U to Present Posthumous Award to Bobby Fong

Photo of Bobby FongIn September 2014 the higher education community mourned the loss of Bobby Fong, then president of Ursinus College. Members of The New American Colleges & Universities were especially saddened to learn the news about Dr. Fong who was an important contributor to the consortium when he served as president of Butler University. NAC&U leaders knew Dr. Fong as an extraordinary colleague who had a steadfast commitment to liberal education, believing that higher education was more than earning a degree and rather served to prepare students to lead lives of service. To honor Dr. Fong’s legacy to NAC&U and higher education, we will offer a special posthumous award to him. His wife, Suzanne Fong, will accept the award at the AAC&U Annual Meeting on January 23 in Washington DC. Dr. James Gentile, dean of Natural and Applied Science at Hope College, will offer a tribute to Dr. Fong and his many accomplishments in higher education.

Nine NAC&U Members Recognized for Study Abroad Participation

Photo from Arcadia Study Abroad programThe Institute of International Education’s Open Doors Report ranked nine NAC&U members among top 40 masters institutions nationwide for study abroad participation. Arcadia University (#3), Hamline University (#6) and Belmont University (#29) were ranked among top masters institutions in Total Number of Students Participating in Study Abroad. Several more members were ranked among the top masters institutions for Undergraduate Participation in Study Abroad, including Arcadia University (#1), Stetson University (#3), Pacific Lutheran University (#14), University of Redlands (#15), University of Evansville (#16), Samford University (#22), John Carroll University (#38), and Belmont University (#40). For more information: Arcadia: For Fifth Consecutive Year, Arcadia University Ranked First in U.S. in Study Abroad | Hamline: Study Abroad Leader | Stetson: International Student Enrollment Up 65 Percent

Debugging the Gender Inequity in Computer Science

Photo of Helen HuSurveying her students, Westminster College computer science professor Dr. Helen Hu is often reminded of the gender inequity in her field. It’s not unusual for Hu to be the only woman in the room in upper level computer science courses, and she can even recall a second semester course that consisted of only male students. Yet Hu is working on several strategies to correct the gender imbalance in computer science.

For the past ten years, Hu has taught a programming course to eighth grade girls at Westminster’s AWE+SUM camp. Although the popular, three-day sleep-away camp usually draws between 60 and 80 girls each summer, Hu knows that it’s too short of a time to have a long-term effect. As a college professor with limited time, she felt that making an impact on high school teachers might be the best way to encourage more girls to pursue computer science. Read more

Read archived New American Colleges and Universities Featured stories.

 
 

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List of our members:
Arcadia University
Belmont University
Drury University
Hamline University
Hampton University
John Carroll University
Manhattan College
Nazareth College
North Central College
Ohio Northern University
Pacific Lutheran University
St. Edward's University
Samford University
Stetson University
The Sage Colleges
The University of Scranton
University of Evansville
University of La Verne
University of Redlands
Valparaiso University
Wagner College
Westminster College
Widener University