OSU wins national community engagement honor
The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) announced at its annual meeting in Washington, D.C., Sunday night that Oklahoma State University is the winner of its national community outreach award for 2017. The C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship recognizes how colleges have redesigned their learning, discovery and engagement missions to become even more involved with their communities.
“This is a wonderful honor and exciting national recognition of Oklahoma State’s health initiative with the Chickasaw Nation,” said OSU President Burns Hargis. “It’s a humbling acknowledgement of our founding commitment to serve and engage in our communities. I want to thank and congratulate the many OSU employees and students who carry out our land-grant mission in countless ways.”
“Public universities have an unmatched capacity to make cultural, civic, and economic contributions to their communities,” said APLU President Peter McPherson. “That’s why public institutions feel compelled to address the greatest challenges facing their communities. Oklahoma State has done exactly that through an exceptional partnership with the Chickasaw Nation to improve child nutrition and public health.”
OSU’s health collaborative with the Chickasaw Nation includes the Eagle Adventure program for children in the first through third grades. The program embraces the Native American tribe’s storytelling tradition to educate participants on practices that prevent Type 2 diabetes through dietary and physical activity.
A recent survey showed 67 percent of the parents whose children are involved in the program, report that it has helped their youngsters be more active after school, eat more vegetables at dinner (49 percent), and reach more often for fruits as snacks (55 percent).
Known formally as OSU’s Solutions-based Health Innovations and Nutrition Excellence (SHINE) program, the initiative was chosen for national recognition by a team of community engagement professionals over the other three regional winners, Purdue University, East Carolina University and the University of New Hampshire.
Since 2006, APLU and the Engagement Scholarship Consortium, with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, have partnered to honor the engagement, scholarship, and partnerships of four-year public universities. Named in honor of one of APLU’s past presidents, the C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship award includes a sculpture and a $20,000 prize. The award funds will be used to expand and strengthen programs, activities, and training events that enhance OSU’s partnerships with the sovereign tribal nations and other communities.
APLU is a research, policy, and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. With a membership of 237 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organizations, APLU's agenda is built on the three pillars of increasing degree completion and academic success, advancing scientific research, and expanding engagement. Annually, member campuses enroll 4.9 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.2 million degrees, employ 1.2 million faculty and staff, and conduct $43.9 billion in university-based research.
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