October 10, 2008

Community Service in a Virtual World

On Second Life by the University of Texas and the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Partnership Foundation

The Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Partnership Foundation has announced that the University of Texas will hold the first Carter Academic Service Entrepreneur (CASE) grant program for an online virtual world project that serves the community and contributes to student learning. This competition will seek to find the most innovative way for students to serve the community online in the virtual world Second Life.

“Our CASE grant model has proven extremely successful offline, this project will be a demonstration that community service can be a new horizon for online virtual worlds,” said Foundation President Sue Sehgal. The Carter Academic Service Entrepreneur (CASE) grant program provides a $1,000 grant for a student to implement a community project, a $500 scholarship upon completion of a final report and certificates of merit signed by President and Mrs. Carter for the student and his or her faculty advisor. Example projects are at www.servicebook.org/content/view/338/155/.

At Texas, the competition for the most innovative community service activity in a virtual world will be held in conjunction with Mr. Joe Sanchez’ course on “Working in a Virtual World.” “Our students are excited about developing ideas for online VW activities that are fun, educational and valuable to the community,” said Sanchez. “This grant competition adds a substantial new dimension to an already challenging and energizing course.”

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The Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Partnership Foundation provides awards and grants to students for the most innovative new ideas in community development, linked to the students’ academic programs. The Foundation helps service-minded students create exemplary, press-worthy accomplishments to encourage other students to dedicate a portion of their time, talents and resources to strengthening the communities they live in, online and offline.

The School of Information is a top-ranked national graduate program at the University of Texas that educates leaders for the information professions. It's research mission is to advance knowledge of the role of information in society, across its lifecycle from creation, through use, to curation. Its focus on information in its social context, from a single user searching for a document to a government determining the access of its citizenry to public records, reaches into schools and corporations, design companies and libraries, museums and archives, wherever people search for, read and store documented knowledge.

Read the full news release.

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