Distinction in Service to the Community

DISC- Graduation with "Distinction in Service to the Community"

This prestigious and rigorous program is intended to support and recognize Robert Wood Johnson Medical School students who have shown exceptional interest, leadership and commitment to volunteering in the community and working with underserved populations. Students will distinguish themselves by assuming a significant level of responsibility in the collaborative planning, implementation, evaluation and dissemination of a focused, sustainable community health initiative. Students who are accepted into this program and who fulfill all requirements as certified by the DISC committee will receive diplomas at Commencement stating that they have graduated with "Distinction in Service to the Community."  

Students who are interested in improving the public health and eliminating health disparities are ideal candidates for DISC. The work students do through community service-learning projects in collaboration with community partners, will contribute to the growing movement to promote evidence-based population-oriented health interventions.

Service-learning will be guided by faculty and community mentors, drawing on the relationships the school has built with community organizations in central New Jersey. We expect that students' projects will address local community health needs identified through Healthy New Jersey 2020 and locally focused priorities such as Healthier New Brunswick Imitative.  

Students will be encouraged to work in pairs or teams and their work must be guided by the following principles of community engaged scholarship.  Projects will be based on community-identified needs and built on community resources and strengths. Community partners and academics (faculty, staff and students) will contribute their unique expertise and share responsibility and ownership of the project. Projects will be developed through a collaborative approach that equitably involves community members and academics in assessment, defining goals and expected outcomes, program planning, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination. Assessment tools and interventions will be used that reflect the culture of the community. Assessments will be expected to lead to action to improve community health. Interventions will be designed to be sustainable and project results will be shared with all community partners who may be involved in the project. Students are encourage to start developing a project in the summer following their first year through community-based opportunities available at the medical school.

For students accepted into the Distinction in Service to the Community Program, below are the forms for your initial committee meeting, interim committee meetings and final approval. Completed forms must be submitted to the Office of Student Affairs, Piscataway.

For more information:

J. Anna Looney, PhD
Asst. Professor
Dept. of Family Medicine
675 Hoes Lane  N107
Piscataway, NJ 08854
732 235-4200

Susan Giordano
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
HIPHOP Program Coordinator
Office of Community Health
675 Hoes Lane, Room N-115 & 116
Piscataway, NJ 08854




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