February 11, 2014
When students arrived at the state capitol in Indianapolis Monday for Indiana State University's annual "Day at the Statehouse," they held their heads a little higher. Some even dressed a little snazzier.
This year, they weren't there just to talk to state officials about their college experiences; they were there to be recognized for the university's No. 1 national ranking in community service.
The Indiana House and Senate passed separate resolutions honoring Indiana State for being ranked first among 281 national universities in the 2013 Washington Monthly magazine college guide in the category of community service participation and hours worked. In another category, level of university support for service learning, ISU ranked second in the nation.
"I applaud ISU's student body, faculty and staff for not just talking about helping the community but by taking action and impacting our neighborhoods for the better," said Rep. Bob Heaton, co-sponsor of the House resolution. "As an ISU graduate, I commend the university for teaching students about the importance of civic engagement which is now a graduation requirement, and ISU deserves recognition for making this a priority. I'm truly honored to call myself a Sycamore."
Rep. Clyde Kersey, also an Indiana State alumnus, noted that students' commitment to helping Hoosiers continues after they complete their degrees.
"Under the leadership of President Dan Bradley, Indiana State University has experienced tremendous growth in its enrollment and upon graduation most of the students remain in Indiana and continue to work in community service projects," he said.
Kersey and Reps. Alan Morrison and Kreg Battles co-sponsored the House resolution recognizing Indiana State while Sen. Tim Skinner sponsored a companion resolution in the Senate.
"It's very exciting to be recognized here at the Statehouse," said Nancy Rogers, Indiana State's associate vice president for community engagement and experiential learning. "Our students contributed more than one million hours of service (in 2012-13). The vast majority of that was in the state of Indiana. I'm really proud that our students and faculty are making a difference in the state ... and improving the lives of our fellow Hoosiers."
Every academic program at ISU has a community engagement component and Rogers said she is "fairly optimistic" students this year will exceed last year's level of service.
Indiana State has been on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll list for the past six years; three years earning distinction. The university partners with other schools, non-profit businesses, faith-based organizations, public agencies and international groups to promote community engagement.
"Community service projects bring people together, strengthen communities and build relationships," said Rep. Morrison. "Communities thrive when individuals, from different backgrounds and age groups, work together to accomplish a common goal. Whether the project is big or small, they all have a positive impact and provide a great service to those in need, and I commend ISU's student body and staff for their efforts to making our state a better place to live and raise a family."
More than 50 students, faculty and staff members filled the House and Senate chambers for passage of the resolutions.
Earlier in the day, students staffed displays about the university and met with lawmakers in the atrium of the capitol building.
"Rather than having faculty come, this gets the students directly involved with their legislators," said Hannah Summitt, a freshman political science major from Spencer. Summit spearheaded the student effort in conjunction with the university's American Democracy Project campaign. She led students in writing legislators to invite them to the event and set up advance planning meetings on campus.
Dozens of lawmakers and state Attorney General Greg Zoeller chatted with students during the day and students said they were pleased with the turnout.
"It's important to the university because it showcases that our students at ISU are interested in the policy making process and the policies that are made here have a direct impact upon our university," said Julian Winborn, a junior political science major from Hobart. "We want to make sure that we're showing the best that we can so that we can get the best outcome for it."
Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/Events/Events-by-Year/2014/ISU-Honored-at-Statehouse/i-HFRmGKt/1/3X/02_10_14_statehouse-1525-3X.jpg - Nancy Rogers, Indiana State University's associate vice president for community engagement and experiential learning, prepares to address the Indiana House of Representatives in conjunction with passage of a resolution recognizing the university's No. 1 national ranking for community service as proud students look on Feb. 10, 2014. At left is state Rep. Clyde Kersey of Terre Haute. (ISU/Tony Campbell)
Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/Events/Events-by-Year/2014/ISU-Honored-at-Statehouse/i-3FpwDmf/1/L/02_10_14_statehouse-1361-L.jpg - State Rep. Eric Koch of Bedford chats with students during Indiana State University's Day at the Statehouse Feb. 10, 2014. (ISU/Tony Campbell)
Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/Events/Events-by-Year/2014/ISU-Honored-at-Statehouse/i-3Hhp4mr/1/L/02_10_14_statehouse-1342-L.jpg - Hannah Summitt (left), a freshman political science major from Spencer, and Carly Schmitt, political science instructor and American Democracy Project coordinator, prepare to meet lawmakers and other state officials during Indiana State University Day at the Statehouse Feb. 10, 2014. (ISU/Tony Campbell)
Contact: Nancy Rogers, associate vice president for community engagement and experiential learning, 812-237-2474 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or email@example.com
The Indiana House and Senate passed separate resolutions honoring Indiana State for its No. 1 national ranking by Washington Monthly magazine.