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Danbury's WestConn Recognized On National Honor Roll For Community Service

Students participating in the WCSU “Building a Bridge to Improve Student Success” program take hands-on biology classes.
Students participating in the WCSU “Building a Bridge to Improve Student Success” program take hands-on biology classes. Photo Credit: WCSU Photo/Peggy Stewart

DANBURY, Conn. — For the second year in a row, Western Connecticut State University was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

The 2014 designation recognizes the university’s commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

“These achievements represent important partnerships, service learning components in the classroom, and community service initiatives,” said Ann Atkinson, the university's associate vice president for Academic Affairs, who led Western’s effort to qualify for the honor roll. “We have demonstrated that we are building upon our previous success by being named to the Honor Roll for a second year.”

One project that helped Western earn this distinction is the research of Neeta Connally, assistant professor of Environmental & Biological Sciences, and several of her students, who collected and tracked deer ticks at the Nature Preserve on Western’s Westside campus and several western Connecticut towns including Ridgefield and Newtown.

Also in the Department of Biological & Environmental Sciences, professor Mitch Wagener and associate professor Edward Wong, guide students to research the threat of invasive species such as zebra mussels in Candlewood Lake and several other bodies of water in the region.

Another project that helped Western earn the honor roll distinction is “Building a Bridge to Improve Student Success.” A collaboration between WCSU and Bethel and Danbury high schools and middle schools, the Bridge program identifies high school standards with college expectations and improves access, accountability and affordability. Students who participate in the program are more likely to be able to avoid college remedial classes and shorten graduation time and expense.

Finally, a two-course sequence in the Social Work Department teaches students about the theories that inform community organizing and helps them put the theories into action. Recent community projects include teaching financial literacy to high school students and raising funds to build a well in Zambia.

The Honor Roll is part of the Corporation for National and Community Service’s (CNCS) strategic commitment to engage millions of college students in service. CNCS has administered the award since 2006 and manages the program in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as the American Council on Education and Campus Compact.

For more information, call the Office of University Relations at 203-837-8486.

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