College of Community and Public Service

CCPS Reps Present at President Obamas Interfaith Campus Challenge

Date: October 22, 2013

Dean Grant & Aaron Haight present at President Obama’s Interfaith Campus Challenge
Grand Valley State University has been a participant in the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge for the last few years. describes the initiative:
“Since his inauguration, President Obama has emphasized interfaith cooperation and community service – “interfaith service” for short – as an important way to build understanding between different communities and contribute to the common good.
Interfaith service involves people from different religious and non-religious backgrounds tackling community challenges together – for example, Protestants and Catholics, Hindus and Jews, and Muslims and non-believers -- building a Habitat for Humanity house together. Interfaith service impacts specific community challenges, from homelessness to mentoring to the environment, while building social capital and civility.
American colleges, community colleges, and universities have often been at the forefront of solving our nation’s greatest challenges. In response to the first year of the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge, this year over 250 institutions of higher education are making the vision for interfaith cooperation and community service a reality on campuses across the country.”
During the Summer Convening of the colleges and universities this year, our own Dean George Grant, Jr. and Aaron Haight, Director of Judicial and Special Programs in the Dean of Students Office, presented two sessions on the work Grand Valley has done in the initiative.
Aaron Haight explains: “It was a great trip. Dean Grant and I were able to connect with many people from the White House, Department of Education, and other institutions.” 
Some more highlights from their experience included getting the chance to speak on a panel with other high achieving schools and getting selected to meet personally with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. 
The work Grand Valley does in this arena allows our College to engage with it’s community at a greater level of impact than through class discussions and scholarships alone. 
For more on the challenge and the upcoming year:

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