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FIT Named to President Obama's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) is one of 16 colleges in the State University of New York (SUNY) system named by President Barack Obama to the 2012 Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. FIT is one of seven colleges in New York City and one of 38 in New York State to make the list. The honor recognizes FIT's commitment to bettering its community through community service and service learning. The announcement was made at the American Council on Education’s 94th Annual Meeting held on March 12 in Los Angeles.

The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, launched in 2006, annually highlights the role that colleges and universities play in solving local problems and in directing more students toward a path of civic engagement by recognizing institutions that achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities.

To qualify for the honor roll, FIT submitted projects undertaken by students in the Student Volunteer Community Service (SVCS), the FIT honors programs, the Toy Design program, and in extracurricular clubs.

“We are extremely proud of our students for actively participating in a wide variety of community service projects,” said Dr. Joyce F. Brown, president of FIT. “Giving back is an important component of the FIT experience, and we are pleased to receive this recognition from President Obama.”

For the first time this year, SVCS presented workshops during fall orientation at which students could use a new web-based system, FIT Link, to register for volunteer opportunities. More than 1,200 students completed volunteer interest forms, and they now receive notices of volunteer requests that are organized by interest area.

Community service is an integral part of the FIT honors programs, which include the Presidential Scholars and the Baker Scholars. These groups have assisted such organizations as Riverside Park, the High Line Green-Up, West Side Campaign Against Hunger, and Baby Buggy, which distributes new and gently used essentials to families.

As a part of the curriculum of the Toy Design program, students participated in a storytelling program with the Mott Haven Academy Charter School in the South Bronx, as well as an ongoing “Discover Together” program with the Cardinal Spellman Head Start Center, where students serve as teaching assistants.

All student clubs participate in service activities. Volunteer activities have included earthquake relief efforts for Haiti and Japan, and work with such organizations as the American Cancer Society, Partnership for the Homeless, Susan B. Komen Run/Walk for Cancer Awareness, and City Harvest. In another effort to increase student engagement in philanthropy, the FIT Student Association held a dance marathon to raise funds for K.I.D.S. (Kids in Distressed Situations).

“The generous efforts made on behalf of the 16 campuses recognized by President Obama truly embody our five-year strategic plan, The Power of SUNY,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “As a major component, SUNY is deeply committed to creating vibrant communities across New York State. Each of SUNY’s 64 campuses is not only a top education provider but also a community partner that invests countless hours each year to helping others and bettering their communities locally, nationally, and even across the globe.”

FIT is a leader in career education in art, design, business, and technology, with a wide range of programs that are affordable and relevant to today’s rapidly changing industries. The college offers more than 45 majors leading to the AAS, BFA, BS, MA, MFA, and MPS degrees.

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