Seventh Class of Public Service Scholars Receive Honors

The 194 graduating Public Service Scholars at Carolina were recognized for their achievements at a ceremony during Commencement weekend. Each received a Carolina blue and white cord to wear at Commencement.

The Public Service Scholars program, part of the Carolina Center for Public Service, is designed to support Carolina students’ commitment to service, connect them to others who care about similar issues and guide them through training and course work to make their service more effective.

To graduate as a Public Service Scholar, students must have a minimum 3.0 grade point average, complete at least 300 hours of service, take one service-learning course and attend four skills-training workshops.

Most of this year’s graduates exceeded those requirements, on average completing more 450 hours of service. Ten students reported more than 1,000 hours each, and one student recorded more than 2,000. These students join the 822 past scholars who have graduated since the program launched in 2003.

“The Public Service Scholars program has clearly demonstrated the importance of experiential education with regards to finding significance in learning,” said Caitlin Donovan, a scholar from Adak, Alaska, who plans to attend graduate school. “My work with children, the environment and even tigers has reinforced the importance of engaging with the community in a productive way.”

This year’s scholars have worked at more than 100 agencies, including UNC Hospitals, Big Brothers Big Sisters, North Carolina Prevention Partners, Piedmont Wildlife Center and Victory Junction Camp. They also have participated in international public service projects through UNICEF, American Red Cross and Global Medical Brigades.

More than 2,200 students participated in the program this year. Since the program began, more than 4,373 students have participated, contributing almost 743,875 hours of service. Current participants represent more than 92 percent of the majors across campus and come from 89 of 100 N.C. counties, 40 other states and the District of Columbia, and 24 other countries.

The Carolina Center for Public Service, created in 1997, engages and supports the faculty, students and staff at Carolina in meeting the needs of North Carolina and beyond. The center is designed to strengthen the University’s public service commitment by promoting scholarship and service that are responsive to the concerns of the state and contribute to the common good.

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