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Oklahoma State University

OSU competing for national community engagement honor 

Mon, November 06, 2017
OSU Campus

Oklahoma State University is a partner in an innovative health initiative that is in the running for a national community outreach award from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), which is expected to be announced sometime next week.

The initiative, a collaboration with the Chickasaw Nation, includes the Eagle Adventure program for children in the first through third grades, which combines the tribe’s cultural, historical and programming capabilities with nutrition and public health expertise. It embraces the Native American storytelling tradition to educate participants on practices that prevent Type 2 diabetes through dietary and physical activity.

Known formally as OSU’s Solutions-based Health Innovations and Nutrition Excellence (SHINE), the initiative resulted in the university being chosen as one of four regional winners of the 2017 W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Scholarship award in July. The APLU honor recognizes programs that demonstrate how colleges have redesigned their learning, discovery and engagement missions to become even more involved with their communities.

The winner of the national version of the award, called the C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship, will be announced during the APLU annual meeting set for Nov. 12-14 in Washington D.C. The award includes a sculpture and a $20,000 prize. The OSU project is competing with three other regional winners for the national honor, East Carolina University, the University of New Hampshire and Purdue University.

“This year’s regional winners have demonstrated exceptional cultural, civic and economic contributions to their communities, states and regions,” said APLU President Peter McPherson. “They’re tackling some of the most urgent challenges facing our country by elevating the importance of student and faculty service, deepening connections to their communities, and reorienting their engagement work to ensure it employs a comprehensive approach that addresses every angle of these challenges.”

A team of community engagement professionals judged the regional round of the award. A second team is picking the national winner following presentations from each university at the 2017 National Engagement Scholarship Conference in September.