The Michigan Campus Compact has awarded its 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award to Anne Ritz for her contributions to the growth of service learning and civic engagement at Alma College and her contributions to MiCC membership.
Ritz has worked for the past 19 years as Alma College’s service-learning coordinator, connecting students to service opportunities on campus, in Gratiot County and beyond.
Providing life-changing experiences
“In her characteristically unobtrusive way, Anne Ritz has worked assiduously not only to ensure that top-flight service learning opportunities are available to Alma College students, but also that faculty — in collaboration with community partners — are able to facilitate learning through high-impact pedagogies, experiences that are often life-changing,” says Joanne Gilbert, professor of communication at Alma College.
“Anne’s tireless contributions to service-learning initiatives have enriched our campus and greater Alma community immeasurably, and for that, we are deeply grateful,” says Gilbert.
Alma students participate in community-oriented projects each year in service-learning courses that allow students to apply classroom learning to real-life situations. Each term, between 25 and 35 courses include service-learning components.
Reaching new heights
Student participation in service learning during their undergraduate program has increased from 72 percent of the 2004 graduating class to 88 percent of the 2015 graduating class.
“Anne has taken service-learning at Alma College to new heights,” said Robin Lynn Grinnell, executive director of Michigan Campus Compact. “Her professionalism and expertise are highly respected in the network, and her tireless dedication to creating positive experiences for students inspires all of us to go a little farther in our work.”
Ritz’s efforts have contributed to national recognition for Alma College, which has been selected for seven consecutive years to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for engaging students, faculty and staff in meaningful service.
“Anne really serves as our eyes and ears related to the needs of the community,” says Sallie Scheide, assistant director of the Responsible Leadership Institute. “Her focus is on building relationships that benefit students as well as the organizations and clients with whom we serve. Anne is the catalyst for our work, but rarely the one who is recognized.”
Michigan Campus Compact is a coalition of college and university presidents who are committed to fulfilling the public purpose of higher education. MiCC promotes the education and commitment of Michigan college students to be civically engaged citizens, through creating and expanding academic, co-curricular and campus-wide opportunities for community service, service-learning and civic engagement.