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Washington Monthly Ranks UC San Diego 1st in the Nation for Commitment to Service

University is honored for producing cutting-edge research, wise and knowledgeable citizens and workers who focus on giving back

Aug 23, 2010

By Christine Clark

top 10 rankings

As the University of California, San Diego celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year, the university’s legacy of community service has been recognized by the Washington Monthly as the top college in the nation according to new rankings measuring “what colleges are doing for the country.”  The publication announced in its September “College Guide” that UC San Diego is ranked first in the nation for service.

Washington Monthly notes “public institutions that serve a diverse population of students fare much better by our measures. Thirteen of our 20 highest-ranked universities are taxpayer supported, including the top-ranked University of California, San Diego.”

UC San Diego was honored by Washington Monthly for its cutting-edge research that drives economic growth, provides upward mobility to people from low-income communities and molds the characters of tomorrow’s leaders.

“It’s an honor for our university’s dedication to service to be recognized,” said Chancellor Marye Anne Fox. “UC San Diego strongly upholds our commitment to community engagement and public service as we move forward to advance the health and well-being of our region, state, nation and the world.”

Guide Cover
To access the complete Washington Monthly rankings, View here

UC San Diego was recognized as the top university by the Washington Monthly based on three criteria: social mobility, research and service—which includes how many students participate in the Peace Corps.  UC San Diego and the Peace Corps, both turning 50 this year, have partnered to bring 630 UC San Diego alumni as overseas volunteers.  Currently, 46 alumni serve in the Peace Corps, playing a vital role in solving real-world problems and improving the lives of people around the world through advanced healthcare, continuing education and public programs.

“Giving back” is a philosophy embraced in Fox’s Volunteer50: The Chancellor’s Call to Service, a key component of the university’s 50th Anniversary celebration.  The initiative encourages the entire campus community, including students, faculty, staff, alumni and university friends, to perform 50 hours of volunteer service during the 2010-2011 academic year. Fox has set a goal of reaching at least 50,000 cumulative volunteer hours during this milestone year.
 The contributions of UC San Diego’s students to local, national and global communities on issues range from poverty to homelessness and environmental justice.  UC San Diego has more than 500 student organizations—with nearly 14,000 students engaged in a form of community service in 2009.  “Our service programs have grown significantly over the years,” said Emily Marx, director of the campus Center for Student Involvement.  “We currently have 92 student organizations dedicated to service, which is more than any other category and the campus continues to expand our community service initiatives.”

Photo of Jenna

“Giving back” is important to Christopher Yanov, a 1999 UC San Diego graduate who has dedicated his life to service and successfully improved the lives of youths in underserved communities.  Since graduating, Yanov has raised more than $1 million in scholarship funds for high-risk students to attend top-ranked universities such as UC San Diego.  He is the founder and executive director of Reality Changers, a San Diego organization dedicated to supporting highly-motivated, inner-city high school students with the academic and financial resources to become the first in their families to attend college.

Yanov noted that while a student at UC San Diego, “scholarships helped free up my time so I could volunteer with inner-city youth.”  He added, “Now service is the driving force in my life.” 

Media Contact: Christine Clark, 858-534-7618, ceclark@ucsd.edu

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