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Miami's Over-the-Rhine Residency Program honored for community service focus

05/21/2012

Miami University's Over-the-Rhine Residency Program, where students live, learn and work near downtown Cincinnati, is a regional winner of the 2012 Outreach Scholarship/W.K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Award, and is now a finalist for a national award.

The Outreach Scholarship and the national C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award identify colleges and universities that have redesigned their learning, discovery and engagement functions to become even more involved with their communities. Miami was selected along with four other universities representing different U.S. regions. Other recipients are: East Carolina, Colorado State and both North Carolina State and North Carolina A&T State universities.

The awards will be presented during the 13th Annual National Outreach Scholarship Conference in September. Winners of the Outreach Scholarship Awards each receive a prize of $6,000 and qualify to compete for the 2012 C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award presented annually by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU).

Miami received the North Central regional award for the residency program. The residency program, part of Miami’s Center for Community Engagement, is directed by Thomas Dutton, professor of architecture and interior design. Established in 2002, the center has collaborated with many community groups in Over-the-Rhine, forging opportunities for student, faculty, and community learning in cross-disciplinary and inter-cultural experiences.

According to Dutton, “the center’s firm conviction is that such learning in support of broader community transformation is best served by direct social engagement that generates learning and knowledge based upon social participation within a cultural community of color.”

In Miami’s residency program, established in 2006, students take a full load of courses while living in Over-the-Rhine, an inner-city location in Cincinnati. In addition, architecture and interior design majors design and build out spaces for low- and moderate-income residents. Students from other majors work in various neighborhood institutions that support under-served populations, totaling 24-27 hours per week.
Students have worked at the Drop Inn Center (a homeless shelter), Venice on Vine (a restaurant that provides training and employment readiness for low-income residents), Peaslee Neighborhood Center, the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center, and Over-the-Rhine Community Housing. Teacher education majors work full-time as student teachers at Rothenberg Preparatory Academy as part of Miami’s Urban Teaching Cohort, directed by Tammy Schwartz, instructor in teacher education.

This year, Miami was honored as one of only five recipients in the nation of the Presidential Award in the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Efforts in both the Center for Community Engagement and Urban Teaching Cohort supported Miami’s nomination for the award.

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