UMF receives grant for Partnership for Civic Advancement

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FARMINGTON — The University of Maine at Farmington’s Partnership for Civic Advancement has been selected to receive a grant totaling $108,910 over the next two years from the Davis Educational Foundation, which was established by Stanton and Elisabeth Davis after Stanton Davis’ retirement as chairman of Shaw’s Supermarkets Inc.

In making this award, the trustees of the Davis Educational Foundation expressed their support for the project’s objectives of “increasing student engagement with faculty and campus and community-based experiential learning.”

The grant will provide funding to expand the capacity of the university’s Partnership for Civic Advancement in order to help students make the connection between liberal arts education and rewarding and successful careers, graduate education and civic leadership, as outlined in UMF’s strategic plan.

The partnership’s internship program, which was launched in the summer of 2012, has grown by more than 300 percent over the past three years. Two additional components of the partnership program, volunteerism and leadership education and training, were initiated during the past year.

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In the relatively brief time that the partnership has been active, “it has made a significant difference to individual students, community organizations and to the fabric of UMF,” UMF President Kathryn A. Foster said in a news release. “We are deeply grateful to the Davis Educational Foundation for their recognition of the importance and success of the partnership’s work.”

“This significant award from the Davis Educational Foundation will provide the support needed to integrate experiential learning effectively throughout the educational program at UMF,” Celeste Branham, UMF vice president for student and community services and director of the Partnership for Civic Advancement, said in the release. The grant will provide funding for community outreach, faculty development and curricular and project/program development.

The Partnership for Civic Advancement was designed to provide the foundational structure through which the university can effectively cultivate and sustain strong university-community relationships and, through those relationships, develop and support a wide variety of opportunities for student engagement in meaningful community-based experiential learning activities.

When fully implemented, it will provide the full range of experiential learning and student-community engagement formats, including internships, volunteerism, undergraduate research, service learning and leadership education and training.

All partnership activities are designed in collaboration with the Western Maine community to address community needs and economic and community development priorities, and with students and faculty to achieve specific learning objectives of the students.

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