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    Pacific’s MOVE Program Wins National Award

    Feb 8, 2010

    The Mountains Ocean Valley Experience (MOVE), a University of the Pacific program for new students, was selected for NASPA's Excellence Award Gold Winner for first year programs. It's the highest award given by the organization for a student program. Pacific will be recognized for this achievement during NASPA's annual national conference in March. NASPA is the largest organization in the United States for college and university student affairs employees.

    Two Pacific students help remove evasive blackberry bushes that are slowly taking over the Yosemite National Park Valley floorMOVE is a program for all incoming freshman. Students have the opportunity to explore various regions of Northern California, participate in service projects, develop relationships with their fellow students, faculty and staff, and learn about the values of the University.

    "MOVE was one of my first experiences at Pacific. I was impressed how the program helped our entering students form close friendships while contributing to one of our University's values: to give back to our community and steward our environment," said Pamela A. Eibeck, President of Pacific, who was notified of the award Tuesday afternoon. "I am very proud of our talented Student Life staff for making this ambitious and powerful program such a success."
    MOVE, which is held the first weekend prior to the start of the fall semester, is designed to welcome new students to the Pacific Community through a curriculum that incorporates the concepts of social and emotional competence, responsible leadership, and environmental sustainability. Students will work with service organizations from the Central Pacific Coast, the Sierra Nevada and Coastal Mountains, and the Sacramento, Coloma, and San Joaquin Valleys.

    MOVE was established three years ago, initially as a two-day exploration and volunteer experience in Yosemite National Park. That first year, approximately 95 students cleared invasive, non-native plants from the Valley floor, took water samples, and helped measure giant sequoia trees. It was such a success, that MOVE was expanded to include volunteer work in Stockton and the Marin Headlands in 2008, as the number of participating students doubled to 182. Mt. Diablo State Park, the American River, Point Bonita, and additional sites in the San Joaquin Valley were added last year and the number of students increased to nearly 820. This year, 12 locations throughout Northern California will be offered to students in the MOVE program.

    For more information about MOVE, visit the program's Web page at http://www.pacificmove.org/.