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Washington Center Honors Keene State with Civic Engagement Award

September 19, 2017
Washington Center Honors Keene State with Prestigious Civic Engagement Award

Keene State is One of Five Institutions Chosen from 100 Nominations Nationwide

Keene State College received the prestigious 2017 Higher Education Civic Engagement Award presented by The Washington Center. The College was selected for its leadership and innovation in civic engagement. Five colleges and universities were chosen this year from 100 nominations. Keene State College was presented with the award during The Washington Center’s annual awards luncheon in Washington, D.C. at the National Press Club on October 2, 2017.

“Keene State is honored and humbled by this recognition from The Washington Center. Civic engagement is an integral part of the Keene State experience, and it will be the College’s legacy. Examples of this work include a national initiative, led by Keene State, focused on economic inequality through the American Democracy Project that provides innovative curricular and co-curricular programming to higher education institutions across the country. At home, our work with the Keene Housing Kids Collaborative creates opportunities for the Keene State community to work alongside the outstanding staff of the Collaborative, bringing their expertise and ideas, big hearts and tenacious work ethic to the challenge of breaking the cycle of poverty for children living in public housing.”

The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars established this award to celebrate institutions in higher education where the commitment to leadership extends into civic roles in the communities beyond their own campuses. The award aims to highlight, in particular, institutions that are forging transformational partnerships beyond campus to define and address issues of public concern, whether at the local, regional or international level.

"Today it is more urgent than ever that colleges and universities step up as forces for the greater good of society at large," said Chris Norton, president of The Washington Center. "The winners of this year’s awards—together with their community partners—have set important examples for their students and all of us to follow."

As the public liberal arts college of New Hampshire, Keene State College’s leadership begins at home in the town of Keene and the greater Monadnock Region of New Hampshire. Among the College’s many engagements in the community, their work with Keene Housing Kids Collaborative stands out. In partnership with the Keene Housing Authority, Keene State marshals many of its strengths as a college toward programs to promote the social mobility of the region’s children and break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. Faculty and staff at Keene State are also conducting a longitudinal study based on the Brookings Institute Social Genome Model to serve as a baseline for measuring the impacts of these efforts.

A committee of leaders in the field of civic engagement selected the recipients of the award. Serving on this committee were:

Mary Marcy, President, Dominican University of California, Chair
Bobby Hackett, President, Bonner Foundation
Nancy Thomas, Director, Institute for Democracy and Higher Education, Tufts University

The other academic institutions receiving the 2017 Higher Education Civic Engagement Award include Guilford College, Northern Arizona University, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the State University of New York, College at Plattsburgh.