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Service for others has a new name at Loyola

January 17, 2014

The newly renamed Loyola University New Orleans Office of Community Engaged Learning, Teaching and Scholarship—previously known as the Office of Service Learning—pays tribute to the increasing involvement of faculty, community partners and students in a broader array of community engagement activities.

The in-kind value of all service learning by Loyola students totals more than $1.68 million since 2009—a calculation based on a formula by the Independent Sector and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

In just one year, for example, Loyola students logged 20,265 hours of service learning. That’s the equivalent of 10.5 years of full-time work on behalf of 59 partner agencies. In the same year, 50 students earned more than $71,000 working part-time at 14 local nonprofit agencies through Loyola’s growing Community-Based Federal Work Study Program. This program provides job experience for work study-eligible students while providing help to organizations such as the New Orleans Film Society, the Audubon Nature Institute and Abeona House Child Discovery Center. Because students are paid with work study funds, the help comes at no cost to the organizations.

The office’s new name also credits a burgeoning interest in community-based research by Loyola students and faculty members. “We can serve with more than just our hands,” said Kelly Brotzman, director of the office. “As scholars and students, we can also put our knowledge and expertise in the service of the common good.”

It’s no secret that Loyola excels in connecting the university to community needs. U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” 2014 edition ranked Loyola among the top 25 universities in the nation for service learning initiatives.

“The service learning office is already the center of gravity for community engagement at Loyola, so it made sense to change the office’s name to reflect this reality,” said Marc K. Manganaro, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs. “It also conveys a more up-to-date paradigm of how universities interact with their communities in diverse and mutually beneficial ways.”

In addition to its top priority of supporting service learning courses at Loyola, the office will also support community engaged research and scholarship; continue managing the Community-Based Federal Work Study Program; connect community partners with more Loyola offices, programs and resources; and monitor and consolidate information about Loyola’s many community engagement initiatives and activities across the university.

Before final approval this fall, the office’s name change and broadened scope was endorsed by the Service Learning Faculty Advisory Committee and the Community Partners Council.

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