Monday, September 29, 2008

UIS Certified Public Manager training program receives national accreditation

The Certified Public Manager Program of Illinois, a professional development program offered through the Institute for Legal, Legislative, and Policy Studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield, has received accreditation from the National Certified Public Manager Consortium.

Since 1979 The National Certified Public Manager Consortium has established accreditation standards, and monitored and reviewed the 36 state member programs. The National Consortium allows only one CPM Program per state, making this program a unique training resource for managers in Illinois. Accredited programs are authorized to award the CPM designation to candidates who complete the program.

Lorena Johnson, CPMPI program director at UIS, noted, "This professional development certification program provides public managers with the knowledge and skills needed to adapt to an ever-changing public management environment. CPMPI offers trainings in variety of areas, such as effective supervision, strategic planning, and performance measurement and evaluation. Everyone benefits -- the managers, their agencies, and the people they serve."

She continued, "Receiving national accreditation reflects UIS' commitment to excellence in teaching and learning and continues its public affairs tradition and mission by being a resource for professional development training and technical assistance for the public sector in the State of Illinois."

CPMPI also offers customized training and technical assistance designed to meet the unique professional development needs of local, state, and non-profit organizations and agencies. CPMPI Customized Training and Technical Assistance specializes in working with organizations in such areas as financial management, board development, data resource management, communication and leadership skills, organizational and human resource management, effective supervision, and building partnerships.

The following events -- all to be held on the UIS campus -- are scheduled for fall 2008: Human Resource Management (October 18); Introduction to Effective Supervision (October 23-24); Building Effective Partnerships in the Public Sector (October 30); Managing a Union Environment (November 13); Policy Analysis for the Non-Analyst (November 14); Succession/Orientation Planning and Mentoring (November 20); and Building Effective and Productive Cross-Cultural Teams (December 4).

Get more information, including application, registration forms, and a brochure, or contact Lorena Johnson by e-mail at ljohn04s@uis.edu or by phone at 217/206-6079.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

WUIS and Illinois Issues produce program on autism

Public Radio WUIS 91.9 and Illinois Issues magazine are joining together to present a special Illinois Edition focusing on autism. The program will air Friday, September 26, at 6:30 p.m. with a rebroadcast on Saturday, September 27, at 6:30 a.m. Amanda Vinicky (at left), WUIS Statehouse reporter, and Bethany Jaeger (below, right), Illinois Issues Statehouse bureau chief, produced the program, which takes a look at the progressive and unique life challenges that autistic children and their parents face.

During the program, three families affected by autism relate how they get schools to meet children's special needs, how they cope with awkward social situations, and how challenges change as the children grow and become adults. Listeners will also hear from an expert on special education law, who discusses new tools that may help kids transition through life phases, and a representative of the HOPE Institute/The Autism Program (TAP), who shares the effects of music therapy.

According to the Autism Society of America, "Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person's ability to communicate and interact with others." The effects differ from child to child, which is why the term 'autism spectrum' is often used.

"The Spectrum," an article on autism written by Jaeger, appears in the September 2008 edition of Illinois Issues.

Illinois Issues is a not-for-profit monthly publication dedicated to providing analysis of public policy in Illinois with a special focus on state government and politics. UIS is a listener-supported National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate with the mission of satisfying a curious, societally engaged audience through programming and community outreach. Both Illinois Issues and WUIS are units of the Center for State Policy and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

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Pat Austin receives second annual CARE Award at UIS

Pat Austin, administrative aide in the Office of Academic Affairs at the University of Illinois at Springfield, is the recipient of the second annual Chancellor's Award to Recognize Excellence in Civil Service. The award was presented at a luncheon held September 18 in the Public Affairs Center on the UIS campus.

The CARE Award, established jointly by UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen and the Civil Service Advisory Council, serves to "recognize the exceptional work of all civil service employees" and honors one employee each year.

The award is open to anyone who has held a civil service position on campus at least half time for at least three years. Criteria include demonstrated work ethic, attitude, commendable representation of civil service employees, and support of UIS. The recipient receives $500 for personal use, and an additional $500 is donated to a campus initiative of his/her choice.

Making the presentation, Chancellor Ringeisen observed that the award is made in recognition of "the wonderful things that people do to keep this campus operating every day."

"I'm very honored," said Austin. "People think I know everything, but I don't; I just know who to ask. I couldn't do my job without just about everyone in this room. Thank you"

Other nominees were: Sherri Boner, office manager, International Student Services; Sandy Bristow, office support specialist for the Legal Studies and Public Affairs Reporting departments; Kemy Brown, program administrative assistant for Project MSS and academic adviser for the Teacher Education department; Christi Crumly, business manager in the Athletics Department; Deborah Dove, chief clerk, Admissions; Cindy Ervin, transportation supervisor with Facilities and Services; Bobbie Fults, office support specialist for the Computer Science department; Karen Headrick, office support specialist, Business Administration department; Kathy Henry, food service worker; Jamie McGill, building service foreman; Normajean Niebur, office support specialist, Criminal Justice department; and Bev Weddle, office administrator in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

SGA election results

The Fall 2008 Student Government Association Elections were certified on September 19.

Results:

  • Senator – Capital Scholars Program: Kendra Chislom
  • Senator – Transfer Students: Whitney Kampwerth
  • Senator – Graduate Students: Sista Gautham
  • Senators at Large: Kalpesh Patel and Vanessa Sekardi

Many other leadership opportunities exist on SGA committees and all interested student are encouraged to become involved.

For information about election results or about student government, contact Cynthia Thompson, director of Student Life, at 6-6665.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cast Announced for Neil Berg's 100 Years of Broadway, coming soon to Sangamon Auditorium

The University of Illinois at Springfield's Sangamon Auditorium will open its 2008-2009 Performing Arts Season with Neil Berg's 100 Years of Broadway on Saturday, October 4, at 8 p.m. Sponsors are Friends of Sangamon Auditorium and WAND Newscenter 17.

Neil Berg's 100 Years of Broadway re-creates the biggest moments from the most spectacular shows of the century -- featuring the actual stars that helped make them famous. Select Broadway names light up the stage with revived arrangements of classic songs from Broadway hits like The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Aida, Little Shop of Horrors, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Jekyll and Hyde.

The performance at Sangamon Auditorium, UIS will feature Broadway stars Danny Zolli, Rita Harvey, Andrea Rivette, Charles Bergell, and Erick Buckley. Conductor/arranger Berg is the composer and lyricist of several musicals including the hit off-Broadway show The Prince and the Pauper and the forthcoming Broadway musical Grumpy Old Men.

A post-show discussion with Neil Berg will take place in the Auditorium immediately following the performance. Tickets for this event are $48 or $43 and are on sale now. To order tickets visit www.SangamonAuditorium.org or call the Sangamon Auditorium Ticket Office at (217) 206-6160 or toll free at 800-207-6960. Tickets can also be purchased in-person at the Ticket Office, which is open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Individual tickets to all Visiting Artist Series and Family Events are on sale now, and tickets to Broadway shows go on sale approximately six weeks prior to each event. Patrons can receive a discount through the Create Your Own Series option by simply choosing at least five events from the Visiting Artists Series, Broadway Series, and Family Events at UIS. Please call the Ticket Office for more information.

About the Cast

Danny Zolli is best known for his performances in the 20th anniversary national tour and the North American Resurrection Tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, where he won critical acclaim for his menacing portrayal of The High Priest Annas as well as for his poignant work in understudying and frequently performing the roles of both Jesus and Judas.

Rita Harvey recently took over the role of Hodel in the Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof starring Rosie O'Donell and Harvey Fierstien. She made her Broadway debut performing the lead role of Christine Daee in Phantom of the Opera after two years performing the role with the second national tour.

Andrea Rivette's Broadway credits include Emma Carew in Jekyll and Hyde with David Hasselhoff (performance filmed for HBO and DVD), and Ellen in Miss Saigon. This past year she had the honor of playing her dream role, Fantine, at Sacramento Music Circus in Les Miserables, directed by Glen Casale.

Charles Bergell had the privilege of performing the leading role of Jean Valjean in the Broadway and national touring companies of Les Miserables. He appeared as Mssr. Andre in the second national tour of Phantom of the Opera, directed by Harold Prince, and was a member of the 20th anniversary tour of Evita.

Erick Buckley has performed the roles of Marius and Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, Piangi in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera, Dave in The Full Monty, Roger in the Broadway revival of Grease! with Sheena Easton, John Secada, Rex Smith, and Adrian Zmed, and Gangster #1 in the Tony-winning Broadway revival of Kiss Me, Kate.

About Sangamon Auditorium, UIS

Sangamon Auditorium, located on the campus of the University of Illinois at Springfield, hosts more than 120 performances annually. Also home to the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and Springfield Ballet Company, it is the only auditorium of its kind and size in the Springfield area, with a seating capacity of 2,018. Sangamon Auditorium continues to fulfill its mission of presenting and supporting varied cultural and educational professional arts activities to audiences in Springfield, Sangamon County, and the surrounding areas. The auditorium administrative offices can be reached at (217) 206-6150 or by e-mail at onstage@uis.edu.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

UIS implements Global Studies major

By Courtney Westlake



When UIS made some changes to the general education curriculum several years ago, it opened the door for the addition of a new major focused on global awareness.

Since the early 1990s, UIS has offered a minor in international studies, and now, beginning in Fall 2009, UIS will offer a major degree in Global Studies within the College of Public Affairs and Administration.

“We decided to build into the new general education curriculum, a new goal that all students have to take course in global awareness, and students who came in at the lower division would have to take courses in comparative societies,” said Dr. Steve Schwark, who put together a proposal for the new major two years ago. “To do this meant adding new faculty who could teach those courses in a variety of topics. For the first time, we really had a faculty that could offer a full major in global studies.”

The implementation of a Global Studies major matches the direction that is occurring in global and international studies programs across the country, said Dr. Hilary Frost-Kumpf, who will teach courses in the major.

“These programs are very interdisciplinary and are pulling from topics like geography, political science, history, anthropology, women's studies and environmental studies because all of those disciplines are boundary-crossing,” she said. “So we're really tying into and looking at what's happening across the country in terms of these studies.”

The new program at UIS will consist of an introduction course called Introduction to Global Studies, taught by Frost-Kumpf, and six other core courses at the 200 level, Schwark said. The core courses will cover topics in political science, history, economics and a course that will require students to look at different cultures, such as world literature, cultural geography or world cultures.

At the next level, students will be able to choose a concentration in Globalization or Politics and Diplomacy.

“There is also a self-designed concentration that consists of four courses that might deal with a part of the world like Africa or Latin America, or students might choose to focus on a functional topic like human rights or women's issues,” Schwark said. “And then students come back together and take a capstone class in which they will put together a project or paper that will be a culmination over what they learned in previous semesters.”

Global Studies majors will be required to develop intermediacy competency in a foreign language and also encouraged to study abroad.

“The study abroad programs have expanded considerably on campus in the past 10 years. This is a way to build upon the direction and competencies that the university is already taking,” Frost-Kumpf said. “We’re very committed to the goals that the university has set to expand global awareness for UIS students and to be able to do that through an entire major is very exciting.”

Along with study abroad, another exciting aspect of the Global Studies program is the opportunity for students to obtain internships abroad, Schwark said.

“More and more students understand that we live in a global economy, that we live in a world in which it’s really important to have experience dealing with people who speak different languages and know about other cultures,” Schwark said. “If they can add to that and can say they had work experience, where they worked in London or Paris or East Asia, this adds an extraordinary amount to their resumé.”

While the focus right now is to establish the Global Studies program at the bachelor’s level, Schwark and Frost-Kumpf anticipate the degree possibly being offered online in the future. Both faculty members are excited about the possibilities to enrich the lives of students in the program and encourage global awareness.

“When prospective students see that we offer a Global Studies major, we think this will attract students to our honors program, as well as transfer students who will see for the first time that they can get degree in global studies,” Schwark said. “There are not that many of these in the state of Illinois, at least at state universities. Any student who understands that we’re becoming an increasingly close-knit, global community will be intrigued by this.”

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UIS implements Global Studies major

By Courtney Westlake




When UIS made some changes to the general education curriculum several years ago, it opened the door for the addition of a new major focused on global awareness.

Since the early 1990s, UIS has offered a minor in international studies, and now, beginning in Fall 2009, UIS will offer a major degree in Global Studies within the College of Public Affairs and Administration.

“We decided to build into the new general education curriculum, a new goal that all students have to take course in global awareness, and students who came in at the lower division would have to take courses in comparative societies,” said Dr. Steve Schwark, who put together a proposal for the new major two years ago. “To do this meant adding new faculty who could teach those courses in a variety of topics. For the first time, we really had a faculty that could offer a full major in global studies.”

The implementation of a Global Studies major matches the direction that is occurring in global and international studies programs across the country, said Dr. Hilary Frost-Kumpf, who will teach courses in the major.

“These programs are very interdisciplinary and are pulling from topics like geography, political science, history, anthropology, women's studies and environmental studies because all of those disciplines are boundary-crossing,” she said. “So we're really tying into and looking at what's happening across the country in terms of these studies.”

The new program at UIS will consist of an introduction course called Introduction to Global Studies, taught by Frost-Kumpf, and six other core courses at the 200 level, Schwark said. The core courses will cover topics in political science, history, economics and a course that will require students to look at different cultures, such as world literature, cultural geography or world cultures.

At the next level, students will be able to choose a concentration in Globalization or Politics and Diplomacy.

“There is also a self-designed concentration that consists of four courses that might deal with a part of the world like Africa or Latin America, or students might choose to focus on a functional topic like human rights or women's issues,” Schwark said. “And then students come back together and take a capstone class in which they will put together a project or paper that will be a culmination over what they learned in previous semesters.”

Global Studies majors will be required to develop intermediacy competency in a foreign language and also encouraged to study abroad.

“The study abroad programs have expanded considerably on campus in the past 10 years. This is a way to build upon the direction and competencies that the university is already taking,” Frost-Kumpf said. “We’re very committed to the goals that the university has set to expand global awareness for UIS students and to be able to do that through an entire major is very exciting.”

Along with study abroad, another exciting aspect of the Global Studies program is the opportunity for students to obtain internships abroad, Schwark said.

“More and more students understand that we live in a global economy, that we live in a world in which it’s really important to have experience dealing with people who speak different languages and know about other cultures,” Schwark said. “If they can add to that and can say they had work experience, where they worked in London or Paris or East Asia, this adds an extraordinary amount to their resumé.”

While the focus right now is to establish the Global Studies program at the bachelor’s level, Schwark and Frost-Kumpf anticipate the degree possibly being offered online in the future. Both faculty members are excited about the possibilities to enrich the lives of students in the program and encourage global awareness.

“When prospective students see that we offer a Global Studies major, we think this will attract students to our honors program, as well as transfer students who will see for the first time that they can get degree in global studies,” Schwark said. “There are not that many of these in the state of Illinois, at least at state universities. Any student who understands that we’re becoming an increasingly close-knit, global community will be intrigued by this.”

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fall enrollment shows transition taking place at UIS

The University of Illinois at Springfield has announced another increase in the number of freshmen this fall (311), and more students are living on campus than ever before (1,050).

While more undergraduates have enrolled at UIS this fall – a total of 2,889 compared to 2,861 last year – the number of graduate students, mostly part-time, has decreased, from 1,990 last year to 1,822 this fall. The total number of students enrolled at UIS is 4,711.

UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen said it is pretty clear that a transition is taking place. "We are beginning to see a change in our student body -- there are more full-time students," he said. "Historically, the university has had a much larger part-time student population, but now we are seeing more students taking larger course loads."

Ringeisen said UIS anticipated the change by building additional townhouses and a new residence hall that just opened this fall. There are 132 freshmen living in Founders Hall even as work to finish the building continues. A total of 218 freshmen and sophomores are living in Lincoln Residence Hall, completed in fall 2001 for the first class of freshmen at UIS.

The drop in graduate students is likely a phenomenon that is related to the struggling economy, according to Marya Leatherwood, Director of Enrollment Management. "Graduate students tend to study on a part-time basis and are more apt to be affected by what's happening with the economy. We can only assume that is true in this case," she said.

Ringeisen said UIS is approaching a time when "we'll be talking about having an ideal number of students, although we certainly want to bring our graduate student numbers back up to a higher level," he said. "Let's be very clear. We have an excellent number and variety of graduate programs and internships. We want to serve graduate students, and we do so very well in small classes and a caring atmosphere of excellence."

Online/blended learning grows in popularity

Online and blended learning enrollments are both up at UIS this fall. There are 1,200 students majoring in online degree and certificate programs, an increase of 11% compared to the 1,082 students enrolled online last fall.

According to Ray Schroeder, Director of UIS' Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning, online students represent just over 25% of the total number of students at UIS this fall.

He said that enrollments in blended learning classes, where the number of visits to the campus are reduced by students taking some of the regular semester class sessions online, total 232, up nearly 54% from last fall's blended class enrollment of 151.

UIS recently began offering a number of its degree programs in blended format where the number of on-campus sessions is reduced by half over the completion of the degree. Half of the sessions among the courses required for the degree are held online, reducing the need to commute to campus and cutting child care expenses by 50%.

"The growth in online and blended programs is consistent with national trends. Students are seeking to reduce the costs, in terms of both time and money, of commuting to classes on campus," Schroeder said. He noted that more than 135 UIS faculty members are teaching at least one online class this fall.

Slightly more than 38% of online majors have mailing addresses outside of Illinois, and nearly 85% of the Illinois online students live outside of Sangamon County.

The new blended learning program at UIS was funded in part by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

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UIS receives grant from Women for Women Giving Circle

On September 10 the Women for Women initiative of the Sangamon County Community Foundation awarded its first-ever grant of $10,000 to a joint mentoring program of the UIS Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center and UIS Athletics.

In the Girl to Girl DreamSpeakers Program, UIS female athletes will serve as mentors to approximately 120 female students in grades 8 through 10 in Springfield public schools.

Download a pdf file of a news release announcing the award.

WomenforWomenGrantAward.pdf

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

UIS makes history with first women's soccer game



History was made on Tuesday night, September 9, as the UIS Prairie Stars women's soccer team played its first game ever at the university.

The Prairie Stars took on the McKendree Bearcats in a game that resulted in a loss for UIS, but the excitement for the first women's soccer game was much more palpable than disappointment in the outcome.

UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen kicked off the event, literally, with the first soccer kick of the game. The Prairie Stars were announced and played a strong game before an enthusiastic crowd.

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Monday, September 08, 2008

UIS receives grant to purchase elemental analyzer

New equipment will boost research capabilities in several areas

The University of Illinois at Springfield has received a grant from the National Science Foundation for the addition of an instrument that will improve the quality of research, teaching and outreach in many of the university's science departments, including at UIS' Emiquon Field Station.

The instrument, called a Carbon-Hydrogen-Nitrogen (CHN) Elemental Analyzer, was obtained thanks to a grant proposal written by Drs. Hua Chen and Michael Lemke, assistant and associate professors, respectively, of Biology at UIS.

"It is very beneficial for our teaching and research to have this equipment," said Dr. Chen. "The departments of Biology and Chemistry can potentially use this instrument in several of their courses. Students will learn how carbon and nitrogen analysis is conducted, and they can then generate datasets."

Chen said that hands-on training on the CHN Elemental Analyzer will help students develop an appreciation of carbon and nutrient cycling, as well as enhance their skills in advanced environmental instrumentation analysis, all of which has implications for research in such fields as the effects of global warming and species change on ecosystems.

Faculty at UIS are currently conducting three state or federally funded research projects that require measurement of carbon and nitrogen content of soil and plant samples. Having direct access to the CHN Elemental Analyzer will mean that they will no longer need to send samples away for analysis.

"This will allow us to do analysis on additional samples for more comprehensive results," Dr. Lemke said. "We will also be able to use the equipment for outreach and train others to use it."

The equipment will benefit research going on at UIS’ field station at the Emiquon Preserve, one of the country’s largest river floodplain restoration sites located near Lewistown and Havana.

"One key topic here is restoration ecology," said Chen. "As Emiquon is transformed from a cropland back into a wetland, there will be many changes over time, and with our new piece of equipment, we will be able to examine the changes of carbon and nitrogen storage."

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UIS students selected for AmeriCorps program

Will complete nearly 5,000 hours of community service

A cohort of 16 University of Illinois at Springfield students -- 12 first-year students and four upperclassmen -- have been selected to participate in the 2008-2009 Midwest Campus Compact Citizen-Scholar (M3C) Fellows AmeriCorps Program, an initiative that creates opportunities for students to work together as agents of civic change in their local communities and on their campuses. UIS is one of only seven universities in the state (and the only U of I campus) that participates in this AmeriCorps Education Award program.

Students chosen for the program receive a $1,000 award to use toward educational expenses in return for 300 hours of community service. Selected students have demonstrated academic potential as well as an interest in service and civic engagement activities.

Kelly Thompson, director of UIS' Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center, noted, "We will be working with several local not-for-profit agencies that have agreed to be host sites for the students. When it's all said and done, this UIS group alone will have completed almost 5,000 hours of community service." Thompson said that UIS received a grant through Midwest Campus Compact and the Corporation for National and Community Service to fund the student awards.

"It's a wonderful way for UIS to be able to provide financial support to our students while also assisting the community," she added.

First-year students are required to meet with upperclassmen peer mentors once a week and with the entire cohort once a month. Each upperclassman mentors three first-year students.

Typical activities for AmeriCorps students include tutoring younger students; working with Habitat for Humanity; volunteering at Boys and Girls Clubs or Big Brothers/Big Sisters; working at animal humane societies; and serving at hospitals and healthcare centers. In addition to community service activities, the UIS group will participate in the Illinois AmeriCorps service day at the Capitol in October.

This year's group of first-year students, their hometowns and majors, are: Cierra Davis, Chicago, Business Administration; Monique Johnson, Chicago, Psychology; Erin Jones, Morton Grove, Liberal Studies; Jackson Kern, Kansas, Business Administration; Tia King, Windsor, Social Work/Criminal Justice; Xuan Pham, Chicago, Biology; Vanessa Pulido, Chicago, Social Work; Lawrence Salley, Belleville, Legal Studies; Denise Scott, Chicago, Criminal Justice; Whitley Simmons, Moro, Legal Studies; Shelva Stinson, Chicago, Legal Studies; and Rashonda Williams, Chicago, Business Administration.

Peer mentors are: Jaleesa Earthely, Chicago, Psychology (sophomore); Amy Hargis, Sparta, Biology (sophomore); Brittane Maddox, Calumet City, Psychology (junior); and Josephine Marquez, Round Lake Beach, Political Studies (sophomore).

Others Illinois campuses that participate in M3C Fellows AmeriCorps Program are Rend Lake College, DePaul University, Loyola University of Chicago, Rockford College, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, and Trinity Christian College.

The Midwest Campus Compact Citizen-Scholar Fellows Program is a 10-state initiative led by the Wisconsin Campus Compact and committed to integrating education with a lifelong commitment to active community and civic engagement.

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