GW was recognized Friday alongside 118 other U.S. colleges and universities for its commitment to community engagement.
The University received the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s 2020 Community Engagement Classification – the first time GW has received the distinction, which has been awarded to 359 institutions in total – according to a release. The classification is given to institutions that excel in aligning their mission and operations with community service and engagement.
“The institutions that we are recognizing today are doing extraordinary work in addressing their societal responsibilities in and through community engagement and service,” Paul LeMahieu, the foundation’s senior vice president, said in a statement. “In doing so, they bring scholarship, knowledge, and expertise to bear in the address of real challenges in our communal lives.”
More than 5,000 GW community members completed 759,891 hours of service last year, according to the release. Officials offer 69 “community engagement courses” – classes in which students and faculty partner with the community to solve problems – including a food sustainability course taught by celebrity chef José Andrés last semester.
“We are delighted to have been recognized with this most prestigious designation for community engagement,” Amy Cohen, executive director of the Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service, said in the release. “The Community Engagement Classification reflects how deeply embedded community engagement is in GW’s mission, policy and infrastructure.”
Cohen led GW’s efforts to receive the designation alongside alumna Lauren Daneilowski, professor of clinical and community psychology Sharon Lambert and the Nashman Center’s program manager for community-engaged scholarship, Wendy Wagner.
GW’s classification lasts until 2026, and officials can reapply for the status starting in 2024, the release states.