10:05 AM

UHD Celebrating Commitment to Community Engagement During Luncheon

Community engagement is a driving force at the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD). Faculty, staff and students work in tandem to impact the city in many ways. From community clean-ups to animal welfare projects and voter registration initiatives, the city of Houston benefits from UHD's brand of Gator - aid.

On Thursday, Sept. 15 at the Junior League of Houston, UHD will celebrate its commitment to community service during the 2016 Community Engagement Luncheon. Community partners will come together with members of the UHD family to learn how the institution helps Houstonians in need and inspires positive change in the city. The event begins at 11:30 a.m.

"Students are leaning how the academic concepts learned in the classroom relate to their communities," said event coordinator Jacob Lipp, director of corporate relations at UHD. "Research has shown that community engagement projects are highly effective in students' learning processes."

The luncheon serves as vehicle to increase financial support for UHD's community engagement initiatives and to promote awareness of the institution's many initiatives.

"This is an opportunity to show what makes UHD's faculty, staff and students special," Lipp said. "We're not just focused on our community, but we are committed to understanding how our day to day actions can have a positive impact on our neighbors."

Critical thinking using community context is the focus of UHD's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), which is part of the institution's Southern Association of Colleges and Schools reaccreditation process. Through its QEP, UHD developed the Academic Achievement through Community Engagement (A+CE), which delivers community engagement experiences through curriculum for First Time in College students.

This summer, incoming freshmen began their involvement in UHD's service to the community during the Gator Gateway orientation. Orientation activities included preparing pet food for aniMeals on Wheels (benefitting elderly dog and cat owners).

UHD's Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning also serves to connect students to projects in which they apply critical thinking abilities to real world issues.

KHOU Ch. 11 anchor Mia Gradney will serve as the luncheon's host. Event sponsors include AIG; Collaborate Architects; Garcia, Hamilton & Associates, Goya Foods, Monty & Ramirez LLP and Possible Missions.

For additional details on UHD's community engagement initiatives, visit the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning's website or UHD's A+CE site.