• MIT was recently named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to disadvantaged youth for the success of its MIT@Lawrence project. This photo, taken in 2004, shows MIT student Claudia Canepa and Lawrence resident Rebecca Camargo as they map properties in the city's North Common neighborhood.

    Photo / Lorlene Hoyt

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Lawrence project puts MIT on U.S. service honor roll


The Corporation for National and Community Service has named MIT to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to disadvantaged youth. The Honor Roll recognizes colleges and universities that support innovative and effective community service programs.

The Honor Roll designation was granted in recognition of the success of MIT@Lawrence, a partnership between the Institute and a growing network of community-based organizations in Lawrence, Mass.

Initiated and administered by the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT@Lawrence focuses on affordable housing development, community asset-building and youth pathways to career and education. Participants from MIT work with Lawrence community leaders and residents.

"We are honored to receive this recognition and will continue to work as a team with the Lawrence community to make a true difference. Grounded in the Institute's motto, mens et manus (mind and hand), MIT@Lawrence is an ongoing experiment in linking rooted institutions in Lawrence to MIT with the aim of relating academic knowledge to the needs of the larger society," said Lorlene Hoyt, program director of MIT@Lawrence and assistant professor of urban studies and planning.

Students and faculty from departments, schools and groups across the Institute have provided more than 20,000 combined service hours to Lawrence residents and organizations through the MIT@Lawrence partnership, according to Honor Roll materials.

In addition to the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT@Lawrence collaborators include the Public Service Center, the Center for Real Estate, the MIT Media Lab, the MIT Sloan School and the Community Innovators Lab. Recently, the Center for Advanced Visual Studies, the Teacher Education Lab, the Special Program for Urban and Regional Studies and the MIT Museum have joined the partnership.

Partners in Lawrence include Lawrence CommunityWorks Inc., Groundwork Lawrence, Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity, Higher Education Resource Center, Arlington Community Trabajando and Lawrence Family Development Charter School.

Honorees for the award were chosen based on factors including scope and innovativeness of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 5, 2008 (download PDF).


Topics: Urban studies and planning, Awards, honors and fellowships, Cambridge, Boston and region, Volunteering, outreach, public service

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