West Virginia Universitys Office of Service Learning is sponsoring two essay contests to increase awareness of community service.

The first is a WVU student essay contest on civic engagement.

“The purpose of this contest,”said Susan Hunter, Service Learning director,”is to increase awareness among students of WVU s triple mission of teaching, research and service and its goal of civic engagement through rewards to students and faculty who participate in this mission.”

To be eligible to participate in the essay contest, students must: engaged in a service-learning or service activity submit five-eight double-spaced, typed pages describing the service-learning or community service activity and the way in which the students actions impacted the community. This description should include the name, title and address of the placement supervisor, either community or faculty describe the students understanding of civic responsibility and the role of the service activity in developing that understanding discuss the ways in which civic awareness could be enhanced among the WVU student body.

The second contest recognizes the essential role played by community mentors in any off-campus teaching/learning experiences.

“The off-campus community mentor/supervisor is responsible for teaching students practical applications of their classroom learning, but is also responsible or civic education �€how individual actions contribute to community life,”Dr. Hunter said.

“This award,”she added,”recognizes community members who are exemplary instructors in both aspects of student education and who support WVU s missions of teaching, research and service through these efforts.”

Students and faculty may nominate any community member or organization. The nomination must provide a detailed description, not to exceed five double-spaced typed pages, of the type of mentorship provided, the activities undertaken and the way in which this relationship has aided student learning and community betterment.

Nominations must include the name, telephone (or e-mail) and address of the person or organization nominated and the role played in the educational process.

Essays for both activities must be submitted by Feb. 20 to the Office of Service Learning, 109 White Hall, P.O. Box 6412.

Winners of each contest will receive $250.

For more information, contact Mary Lou Payne, 304-293-8761, ext. 4481.