Puget Sound Named a Lead Institution in National Civic Engagement Initiative

August 19, 2013

TACOMA, Wash. – University of Puget Sound has been selected to participate in a national initiative that aims to promote civic learning and democratic engagement by college students.

For a second year Puget Sound will join 70 colleges and universities across the nation in leading the new effort pioneered by NASPA—Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, which represents student affairs professionals.

In joining the Lead Initiative, Puget Sound renews its commitment to encourage students’ civic development through community partnerships, leadership opportunities, and democratic participation. 

“Puget Sound is pleased to be selected to participate in this network of forward-looking institutions since civic engagement is a core value of higher education,” said Mike Segawa, dean of students. “Being recognized as a national leader in this field reflects the quality of our current efforts, as well as our ongoing commitment to inspire students to seek leadership and service roles.”

Throughout its 125 years in Tacoma, Puget Sound campus members have made extensive efforts to assist the local community and to contribute to national social justice efforts.

Under President Ronald R. Thomas the college launched the Civic Scholarship Initiative, Race and Pedagogy Initiative, and Sound Policy Institute, all of which create channels to direct the scholarship and resources of Puget Sound toward improving the lives of those in the community.

Year after year numerous students also take advantage of volunteer opportunities through offices including the Community Involvement and Action Center; Spirituality, Service, and Social Justice; Student Activities; Logger athletic programs; and Greek Life.

The stated goals of the NASPA Lead Initiative are:

  • Building civic learning and democratic engagement activities into student affairs division strategic goals
  • Creating strategies with students, faculty, and local partners that increase civic learning and help solve community problems through collective action
  • Collecting and reporting data on the efficacy of campus efforts

“Through the Lead Initiative NASPA is shining a light on the unique contributions that student affairs professionals are making to democratic engagement,” said NASPA President Kevin Kruger. “In a time of concern and worry about our civic society, it is critical that college administrators are doing all that they can to present students with opportunities to help them develop as productive and engaged citizens.”

To learn more and view a list of participating institutions, please visit: http://www.naspa.org/clde/lead_initiative.cfm

Photos on page: Top right. Freshmen help out at the L'Arche Farm during orientation; Above left: Student offers tutoring help through the Community Involvement and Action Center.

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