COLUMBIA, S.C. - The Commission on Higher Education presented Winthrop University with an award for its hunger project during the ninth annual Service Learning Awards ceremony on March 4.
Directed by Ellin McDonough, Winthrop University’s York County Hunger Outreach Project engaged the entire freshman class in a first ever campus-wide shared project to provide food and services to York county residents suffering from poverty and hunger. About 1,200 freshman and 500 upperclassmen participated.
Winthrop President Anthony DiGiorgio stated that “Winthrop appreciates the recognition provided by this award, yet we appreciate even more the students who made this initiative their own. In an era when unemployment has added significantly to poverty and hunger in our part of South Carolina, Winthrop’s first-year students were challenged to lead a campus-wide initiative that would provide timely and meaningful large-scale assistance to the community around them.”
The Commission on Higher Education’s service learning award recognizes the extensive contributions made by the service learning and volunteerism efforts of S.C. colleges and universities and their students. It has been given since 2001.
The Commission views service learning as a meaningful opportunity for students to apply acquired knowledge and skills in solving real world problems in their communities. The annual competition makes three awards: one to a public four-year college or university, one to a public two-year college, and a third to an independent college or university.
Cynthia Mosteller, chair of this year’s Selection Committee, said she was very impressed with the 16 projects nominated this year.
For public four-year institutions, Clemson University tied with Winthrop for the top award. Clemson undergraduate and graduate design students, under the direction of Mary Beth McCubbin, worked on the a.LINE.ments Project. More than 270 students have provided designs for downtown parks and streetscapes to S.C. communities since 2006.
For public two-year institutions, Greenville Technical College received the award for the Gerontology Certificate Service Learning Projects. For independent institutions, Furman University received the award for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Mentors Advancing Science Education and Wellness in Urban Greenville Schools.