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MLAB finalist for Global Citizenship Award
MLAB finalist for Global Citizenship AwardApril 22, 2009Susan Feightnersfeightn@syr.edu
The Mobile Literacy Arts Bus (MLAB), a project of the Partnership for Better Education (PBE) at Syracuse University, was selected as a finalist for the MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship, from more than 67 nominations from 40 universities in 19 countries. The MacJannet Prize recognizes exceptional student civic engagement initiatives based in Talloires Network member universities around the world and contributes financially to their ongoing public service efforts. Award winners were announced recently and are listed on the MacJannet Prize website (http://www.macjannetprize.org/).
“We were very impressed with the MLAB program and admire your dedication to Scholarship in Action and community outreach through such an innovative program,” says Tammy Zborel, representing Talloires Network and Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service. “This program is an excellent model for university-based community engagement.”
Ten art and architecture students in SU’s “Social Sculpture” course transformed the used, 1984 recreational vehicle bus into the MLAB last year. Upon completion, MLAB began traveling to Syracuse City School District high schools, beginning with Fowler High School last fall and Nottingham High School this spring. MLAB serves as a mobile classroom, digital photography lab, art and poetry library, and alternative gallery space that provides both needed working space and technology for students participating in PBE art, literacy and technology (ALT) programs. MLAB also looks to serve the greater Syracuse community and is currently programming limited engagements with other community institutions in Syracuse.
“We are thrilled to have been recognized as a finalist for this distinguished award,” says Marion Wilson, director of community initiatives in SU’s College of Visual and Performing Arts and instructor of the “Social Sculpture” course. “Ultimately, we wanted to create an environment that changes the culture of learning, focusing on the individual and creativity in an intimate, multi-functional and transmutable space. It’s very rewarding that others value our vision.”
The MacJannet Prize is a program of The MacJannet Foundation, committed to building a community of global citizens, and the Talloires Network, dedicated to promoting the civic roles and social responsibilities of higher education. Initiatives meriting the MacJannet Prize creatively address an important social issue that is local, national or global in scope (e.g. poverty, health, education, peace, etc). Programs must have had a significant and positive effect on the issue and on individuals or communities.
For more information about the MLAB project or the Partnership for Better Education, visit http://www.partnership.syr.edu.