Apply Today! Spartan Volunteer Service Award: A Presidential Recognition

November 9, 2017

“It’s not just what we do, but why and how we do it, that distinguishes us as Spartans.”
--MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon

A new and prestigious President’s service award for all MSU students has been introduced by the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement (CSLCE), to coincide with the Center’s 50th anniversary, and Spartan student are strongly encouraged to apply due the fast-approching deadline.

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The Michigan State University Spartan Volunteer Service Award: A Presidential Recognition will be presented to any MSU student who accrued a minimum of 100 hours of verified community-engaged learning and/or volunteerism between November 1, 2016, and November 1, 2017. Recipients will be acknowledged at the MLK Dinner on January 15, 2018.

The deadline for applications received at CSLCE is December 1, 2017.

The application can be found on the CSLCE website at or by visiting the  Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement office in Room 345 of the Student Services Building, 556 East Circle Drive, in East Lansing.

CLSLCE is honored to facilitate the new award on behalf of President Simon, according to Renee Zientek, CLSLCE director.

“Today,” she said, “students are living the MSU core value of Connectivity. They are committed to community engagement, as evidenced by the thousands of service projects pursued by students each year. CSLCE aims to encourage every student who meets the minimum requirements to apply. It should be noted that this award is open to all international students as well, making it more inclusive and in line with MSU core values.”

MSU President Simon states, “Connectivity means that we are forward-looking, anticipating tomorrow’s issues while addressing the issues of today. It means a willingness to take responsibility for our role in our community, to work hard, and to fulfill our commitments. Finally, it means performing our work in the spirit of service.”

The number of MSU students who participate in community-engaged learning and/or community service opportunities is promising, according to CSLCE statistics. For the 2015-2016 academic year alone, 27,475 students were engaged in service. Of those students, 39 percent (10,651) were registered in community-engaged learning as part of an academic course and 61 percent (16,824) participated in co-curricular (not related to a specific course) community service. 

Applying for the new Michigan State University Spartan Volunteer Service Award: A Presidential Recognition is simple, but the deadline is quickly approaching, Zientek cautions.

Applicants are asked to provide the name of the organization or group that they volunteered with, contact information for that organization or group, their role as a volunteer, the dates they served, and the number of hours served with each organization or project. Hours may be with one organization or several—the service simply has to be within the defined period of November 1, 2016, through November 1, 2017.

2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement, originally known as the Office of Volunteer Programs and founded at MSU in 1968. The Center holds the distinction of being the first office of its kind on a university campus in the United States. Throughout 2018, CSLCE—part of the Division of Student Affairs and Services—will be celebrating and commemorating the community and civic engagement of students, staff, alumni, and community partners locally and around the globe for the past 50 years.

The introduction of the new Spartan Volunteer Service Award coincides with the start of a year of commemoration, beginning with the new award acknowledgments at the MLK Dinner on January 15.

Year after year, MSU’s Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement has consistently provided the connectivity needed to bring students and community together in successful partnership. In 2014, MSU earned the Michigan Campus Compact “Engaged Campus of the Year” award and the U.S. President's “Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll (with Distinction).”  MSU has been recognized on this honor roll consistently every year.

For more Information about the new award, contact K.C. Keyton at or call 517-353-4400.

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