Local efforts from UAB community land UAB on President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

UAB has earned recognition on the 2015 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in general community service, economic opportunity and education through local efforts and collaborations.
Written by Keaira Turner
Media contact: Tiffany Westry, tiffanywestry@uab.edu


presidents honor roll wThrough community service and collaboration with local organizations in the Greater Birmingham area, the University of Alabama at Birmingham has earned recognition on the 2015 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

Each year, the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll acknowledges institutions of higher education that support ideal community service programs and raise the visibility of effective practices in campus community partnership. Institutions are awarded in four categories: general community service, interfaith community service, economic opportunity and education.

UAB was recognized for the 2014-2015 academic year for general community service, economic opportunity and education.

In 2014-2015, the UAB Benevolent Fund, established and governed by employees, enabled employees to give tax-free donations to nonprofit organizations in the Birmingham area. Employees donated more than $1.9 million to more than 120 health and human service community organizations and to the Employee Emergency Assistance Program.

The UAB School of Dentistry hosted its second annual Dentistry Cares Community Day. Dentistry Cares Community Day is a way to help offset several barriers to access to dental care among low-income, rural and underserved populations in the Birmingham area. Volunteers consisting of UAB Dentistry faculty, staff, students and alumni provided urgent, quality dental care, oral health care counseling, oral cancer screenings, and blood pressure checks for homeless and low-income individuals.

The UAB-Donaldson Lecture Series features UAB faculty and staff members who sign up to engage inmates in academic talks at William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility. In the academic year, volunteer lecturers gave 16 two-hour lectures to 800 inmates.

The UAB/Nestlé/Woodlawn Early Childhood Nutrition Program educated 50 families in the Woodlawn community. Volunteers taught six learning modules: Breastfeeding, Hunger and Fullness Cues, Introduction to Solids, Transitions to Table Foods, and Snacking.

The UAB School of Education partnered with Birmingham City Schools to introduce its Innovation Learning Collaborative to Glen Iris Elementary and EPIC Elementary. UAB faculty members taught several lessons from math, social studies, philosophical foundation and special education.

UAB students who enrolled in the “Food Security and Nutrition” service learning class spent an hour each week serving at Jones Valley Teaching Farm. Students were taught how to harvest food crops, performed maintenance work and interacted with schoolchildren in the Farm’s educational programs. After the fall harvest, students donated their crops to Magic City Harvest, a local organization that picks up unused prepared and perishable food from local restaurants and redistributes it to food organizations.

Students served with the organization Stop Hunger Now to package meals for underserved populations. Fifty-nine students volunteered more than 256 during the event and packaged 12,744 meals. The meals were sent to Haiti and distributed among three organizations: The Robert Ford Haitian School and Orphanage Foundation, Hands for Haiti, and College John Wesley.

Through Impact America’s SaveFirst program and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, UAB students and faculty provided free tax preparation to low-income individuals. The students were able to help prepare 2,220 tax returns for working families and helped low-income families in Alabama secure $3.6 million in tax refunds and save $672,000 in commercial tax preparation fees.

The UAB Collat School of Business Student Scholars collaborated with Birmingham City Schools to evaluate the 6th District to determine ways for improvement and advancement in education, housing, recreation, entertainment, retail and commercial development, crime prevention, and health disparities.

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