Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2008

Capstone Advisor

Dr. William Coplin

Honors Reader

Dr. Susan Stearns

Capstone Major

International Relations

Capstone College

Citizenship and Public Affairs

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Social Sciences

Subject Categories

Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation | Policy History, Theory, and Methods | Public Policy


This Honors Capstone Project focuses on community service projects of medical students. Extensive research was done on the types of community service programs that exist in medical schools. The types of programs were divided into four different categories representing the various ways that schools conduct their community service initiatives. Schools may have multiple types of programs, and a combination of any of these programs is offered at many institutions. This project also examines nationally recognized programs and the awards received for excellence in community service initiatives.

The study was completed in collaboration with SUNY Upstate Medical University (UMU). A close examination was made of UMU’s community service initiatives. The students’ interests and experiences have been captured through two surveys administered eight months apart. The surveys asked first and second year students questions relating to their awareness, interest, and involvement in volunteer activities. The two surveys were identical with the exception of four additional questions on the second survey relating to community service initiative informative activities put on by Upstate within the eight months. The information obtained from the surveys will be given to UMU in order to evaluate the effect of their community service programs.

Overall, there was only a small change between the responses from the first and second survey. There was an increase was observed in students’ awareness of volunteer opportunities. A slight increased interest in volunteering was found between the first year class in 2007 (class of 2010) and the first year class who completed the survey in 2008 (class of 2011). A majority of students who took either survey expressed interest in more volunteer opportunities being offered at UMU. A little over two thirds of the students who completed the surveys volunteer their time while at Upstate. There was a small increase in volunteering found between the eight months indicating success of the community service initiatives program.

Based on the findings and comments made by students, a list of recommendations for UMU has been complied in order to suggest ways to enhance the community service initiatives offered. These recommendations include: a website, community service initiative presentations at orientations and pamphlet mailings to new students, speaking about community service initiatives during interviews of perspective students, and eventually integrating community service into the curriculum.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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