Free Tax Preparation Service Helps UB Earn National Recognition

Release Date: March 28, 2010

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo has been named to the 2009 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

It is the third year in a row that UB has received the honor, presented by the Corporation for National and Community Service in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.

"UB is very pleased to receive this prestigious award, and we are proud of the students, faculty and staff who offered their time and talents to support the community in which they study, work and live," said Marsha Henderson, UB vice president for external affairs. "This award reflects UB's commitment to Western New York and its people, and to providing support and services that reach our entire community."

UB was recognized for several of its community service programs, including:

  • A free tax preparation service provided by students in the UB School of Management that saw 676 tax returns prepared in 2009 for low-income families, bringing nearly $640,000 in tax refunds back into the Buffalo community through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. More than $120,000 of the total was from the Earned Income Credit, helping those who need it the most.
  • The Center for Student Leadership and Community Engagement's "Saturday of Service" program, which featured two day-long service projects a month. Students volunteered with Habitat for Humanity on the first Saturday of the month, with other service locations chosen based on the social issue of the month determined through a workshop as part of the center's Social Issues Training and Education program.
  • UB's Lighthouse Free Medical Clinic on Buffalo's East Side and Refugee Health and Cultural Awareness Program, which provided health services to more than 1,500 patients.
  • The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) summer program, a partnership with the Buffalo Public Schools that provided learning opportunities to area middle and high school students.
  • Passport STEM, a four-day career and educational program that provided 50 students with access to hands-on science activities and opportunities to learn about careers and education pathways in STEM areas, as well as interaction with UB faculty, researchers and graduate students.
  • Community as a Classroom, a project of the UB Center for Urban Studies that showed inner-city students how to use classroom learning to change their neighborhood.
  • UB estimates that approximately 4,700 of its student, as well as hundreds of faculty and staff, participated in community service activities, contributing an estimated 323,000 hours of service to the Western New York community.

The Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the annual Honor Roll award, recognized more than 700 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from poverty and homelessness to environmental justice.

Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors including the scope and innovation 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.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

Media Contact Information

Contact
Jacqueline Molik Ghosen
Assistant Dean and Director of Communications
School of Management
716-645-2833
ghosen@buffalo.edu