Eduardo J. Padrón
Office of the President
300 N.E. Second Avenue
Miami, Florida 33132-2297
Message From the President
Thursday, October 15, 2009
MDC hosts First Lady and Florida Campus Compact Awards at the Freedom Tower
Dignitaries from across the state, college and university presidents, media, faculty, staff and students packed the Freedom Tower this afternoon for the 2009 Florida Campus Compact Awards Gala and Luncheon, recognizing the people and institutions that have made outstanding contributions through service-learning and engaged scholarship.
Our honored guest, of course, was the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, who delivered the keynote address and spoke with deep conviction of the importance of service. Mrs. Obama was joined by special guests Congressman Allen Boyd of North Florida, University System Chancellor Frank Brogan and Senator Bob Graham.
As the keynote speaker, Mrs. Obama expressed her appreciation for the work that colleges and universities are doing to make service-learning an integral part of education, especially in a time of decreasing resources and increasing demands.
"President Obama and I, we honor you, we celebrate you, and more than anything, we thank you for everything that you do to serve your communities and your nation." (Please click here to view Mrs. Obama's complete remarks).
She added that higher education is not just about producing good students, but good citizens who are engaged in their communities and the world around them. She expressed her hope that students will continue to use their degrees to give back to their schools, to their communities, and to be caring and engaged service-learning partners; she also urged everyone to make volunteerism a part of their daily routine, recognizing that the best solutions come directly from the communities themselves.
MDC wins several Florida Campus Compact awards
Miami Dade College received the Engaged Campus of the Year Award for outstanding commitment to a culture of engagement in all aspects of our institution. This is a tremendous honor and speaks to the dedication of our faculty, staff and students. Special thanks to Josh Young, director of MDC’s Center for Community Involvement, who has worked tirelessly to develop service learning and community engagement programs.
Our faculty and programs were also recognized:
- The Miami Rescue Mission Clinic received the Campus-Community Partnership Award for producing measurable improvements in people’s lives while enhancing higher education in the process.
- The Center for Community Involvement was recognized for its exemplary utilization of Florida Campus Compact's AmeriCorps VISTA program.
- Dr. Lauren Gach, associate professor in the School of Education, won the 2009 service-learning faculty award in the state college sector. This award recognizes faculty members who have substantially contributed to the integration of service-learning into the curriculum.
The proceeds from the sold-out event will go to benefit Florida Campus Compact, an organization of more than 50 Florida colleges and universities committed to encouraging students' participation in public and community service.
I would like to thank this afternoon’s honorees and our educational leaders and students across Florida. A special thank you to all who helped orchestrate this event and to all who attended and support service-learning in the college community.