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News & Media

The Ohio State University Wins C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award

November 12, 2013

November 12, 2013—The Ohio State University’s Young Scholars Program (YSP) is the 2013 recipient of the C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award for the creation of a comprehensive pre-collegiate and collegiate program to enhance academic, personal, and career development skills of students from low-income families. Executive Vice President and Provost Joseph Steinmetz and Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer Valerie B. Lee received the Magrath award—$20,000 and a trophy—today during an awards ceremony at the 126th APLU Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.

The award, made possible by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, recognizes four-year public universities that have redesigned their learning, discovery, and engagement functions to become productively involved with their communities. It is named for C. Peter Magrath, former APLU, (NASULGC) president from 1992-2005 and leading advocate for outreach and community engagement. The Magrath recipient is chosen from a pool of four regional winners of from the Outreach Scholarship/W.K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Awards, which are presented each fall during the National Outreach Scholarship Conference. 

"The Young Scholars Program is a clear example of the outstanding things that can happen when universities and communities work together to give young people an opportunity to succeed,” said Joseph A. Alutto, interim president of The Ohio State University. “In its 25th year, this program is one of the many initiatives in place at Ohio State to ensure that we fulfill our land-grant mission of providing access to excellence to all deserving students."

Three Magrath Award finalists were also recognized during the program: Penn State's Humanitarian Engineering Social Entrepreneurship (HESE), a program that brings students and faculty together across various disciplines to address compelling challenges facing the developing world and marginalized communities; University of Idaho's McCall Outdoor Science School, which facilitates place-based, collaborative science inquiry within the context of Idaho's land, water and communities; and the University of Texas at El Paso's Nuestra Case Initiative for its advocacy and awareness efforts to prevent the spread of tuberculosis in Mexico and U.S.-Mexico borderlands.

Founded in 1988, Ohio State’s YSP identifies academically talented first-generation middle and high school students from Ohio’s nine largest urban school districts: Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Lorain, Toledo, and Youngstown.  Now it its 25th year, YSP has made it possible for nearly 800 students to become first-generation college graduates. From 2008-10, 15 percent of all Ohio State students admitted from the YSP districts were YSP graduates. Overall, YSP supplied 27 percent of African American students admitted from Ohio’s urban districts and over 50 percent of the African American students admitted from Canton, Lorain, and Youngstown during this same period.

Through exemplary community engagement, YSP works with superintendents, principals, and counselors to significantly improve student performance and district graduation rates. In addition to supporting the mission of statewide public school districts, YSP helps parents become more involved in their children’s learning. The anticipated and achieved benefits were an increase in the recruitment and retention of African American and years later, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, and low-income white residents at four-year universities and colleges. The urban school districts continue to benefit because 100 percent of students who participate in YSP graduate from high school. Those students who enroll at Ohio State receive full financial packages, increasing the racial, ethnic, economic, and cultural diversity on campus and in America’s workforce.

The award selection panel included: Mark Huddleston, president of the University of New Hampshire (chair); Judith Ramaley, president emerita of  Portland State University; James Zuiches, former vice chancellor of North Carolina State University; and Mortimer Neufville, president of Coppin State University and former executive vice president of APLU.

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