The Center for Civic Engagement supports teaching, research, scholarship, art, and other university-based activities that benefit communities. Working collaboratively with community organizations and other institutions, we develop sustainable partnerships that can help both Drew and its partners meet their goals. In keeping with this priority, the Center has developed some key partnerships with the potential to achieve significant gains in addressing community needs and building community assets.
National and Regional Initiatives
Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life
A consortium of 89 colleges and universities, and their partners, Imaging America emphasizes the possibilities of humanities, arts, and design in knowledge-generating initiatives. Such activity can span disciplines through collaborations with public health, environmental issues, community education, neighborhood development, and others. The mission of Imagining America is to animate and strengthen the public and civic purposes of humanities, arts, and design through mutually beneficial campus-community partnerships that advance democratic scholarship and practice.
As a member institution, Drew University enjoys multiple benefits, including conference registration and prioritized proposals for the annual conference. With over 400 attendees each year, Imagining America’s national conference features innovative campus-community partnerships that advance democratic scholarship and practice. We also benefit from opportunities to participate in national research and policy initiatives on topics of concern to the consortium.
The Imagining America Engaged Undergraduate Research Group
Imagining America’s Engaged Undergraduate Research Group explores civic professionalism as a new paradigm for undergraduate liberal arts education. “Civic professionalism” is a value and framework that integrates the traditional strengths of liberal arts, the needs and goals of a vocational path, and the skills of being effective citizens in a democracy. As a bridge between intellectual and practical learning, and between individual vocational goals and the common good, civic professionalism offers a new language for thinking about arts and humanities in the context of a liberal arts education.
Principal Investigators, Amy Koritz (Drew University) and Paul Schadewald (Macalester College), head up a team of research fellows from Auburn University, Syracuse University, University of Miami, Fordham University, and Millsaps College. This project is supported by funding from the Teagle Foundation’s Faculty Work and Student Learning in the 21st Century Program.
New Jersey Campus Compact
New Jersey has joined 33 other states in forming a state affiliate of Campus Compact, a national organization dedicated to furthering the civic mission of higher education. The presidents and chancellors of 17 NJ colleges and universities have joined the new organization, New Jersey Campus Compact (NJCC), which seeks to have a demonstrable impact on pressing issues facing the state and its communities.
NJ Campus Compact’s mission is to increase the resources, knowledge and infrastructure of its member institutions to educate effective, socially responsible citizens for a just and sustainable democracy. The state-based support provides a mechanism and incentive for campuses to share information and strategies regarding successful programs, innovative community partnerships and more.
The NJ Campus Compact member institutions include Bergen Community College, Berkeley College, Brookdale Community College, Drew University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Georgian Court University, Monmouth University, Montclair State University, New Jersey City University, Princeton University, Ramapo College, Raritan Valley Community College, Richard Stockton College, Rutgers-Newark, Union County College, University of Medicine and Dentistry and William Paterson University.
Drew University is honored to be a member of Project Pericles, a consortium of 30 colleges and universities committed to incorporating civic engagement into their core educational mission.
Project Pericles is a not-for-profit organization that encourages and facilitates commitments by colleges and universities to include education for social responsibility and participatory citizenship as an essential part of their educational programs, in the classroom, on the campus, and in the community.
This learning experience is intended to provide students with a foundation for social and civic involvement and a conviction that democratic institutions and processes offer each person the best opportunity to improve the condition of society. Learn more about Project Pericles at http://www.projectpericles.org.
Periclean Faculty Leadership Program
Project Pericles requests nominations from Periclean colleges and universities for faculty participants in the Periclean Faculty Leadership Program. This program provides special funding for tenure-track and tenured faculty members of any academic rank who teach full-time at Periclean colleges and universities. The current Periclean faculty leader at Drew is Dr. Jennifer Olmsted, Chair and Associate Professor of Economics.
Debating for Democracy
Debating for Democracy (D4D) is a distinctive campus-based program that represents the mission of Project Pericles in action. On each campus, Periclean students research, develop, and advocate their opinions and positions on current public policy issues. The goal of the National Office of Project Pericles and the faculty and administrators who are working with the students at the Periclean campuses is to inspire and encourage all D4D participants to become successful and resourceful advocates in their community.
Community Partnership Initiatives
Partnership with United Way of Northern New Jersey (UWNNJ)
The Center for Civic Engagement has established a partnership with Drew’s local United Way in order to facilitate sustainable collaborations across multiple agencies, engage college students more effectively in service projects such as Alternative Spring Breakand Day of Caring events, and build the capacity of students and faculty to collaborate with community organizations.
Since 2011, Political Science professor Patrick McGuinn has partnered with UWNNJ of Morris County in teaching POLI 12: Public Policy and Administration. This is a Community-Based Learning course requiring collaborative research, service, and learning in partnership with the United Way of Northern NJ, Morris County and affiliated community organizations. Each student is assigned to a project team focusing on one of the United Way’s three core policy areas–Education, Income, and Health. Each team researches, writes, and presents a policy report that can help inform the United Way’s education, outreach, and advocacy efforts.
Partnership with Morristown Neighborhood House
Drew students and faculty work with Neighborhood House in many ways. Civic Scholars support afterschool programs for youth. Along with other Drew students, they also act as interns for Neighborhood House staff.
Pathways to Work
In order to assist Neighborhood House in evaluating the impact of its Pathways to Work program for day laborers in Morristown, a team of Drew professors is gathering and analyzing information about attitudes towards and the experience of day laborers in Morristown. Pathways to Work provides a mostly Hispanic day labor workforce with help locating work, protecting their safety on the job, and learning skills needed to achieve steady employment. Professors Otto Maduro (Theo), Maliha Safri (Econ), and Elise DuBord (Spanish) are currently working on this project.
English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
Beginning with Professor Elise DuBoard’s students, and with the assistants of Drew ESOL director, Kathy Brown, Drew students have been helping Neighborhood House increase its capacity to teach English to adult immigrants in the Morristown community. In Spring 2012, Professor Sarah Wald’s English class on Latino/a Literature continues Drew’s support for this program.
With funding from the Van Houton Foundation, the Drew University Economics Department was able to assist middle schools students in Neighborhood Houses All Stars after-school program learn important financial planning skills. Professor David Anderson taught his Drew students personal finance basics they need to become responsible and financially secure adults. These Drew students then passed their new knowledge on to the middle school students.
Partnership with the Marion A. Bolden Student Center
This partnership builds on the power of the arts as a vehicle for youth mentoring, academic preparation, and personal development. Spearheaded by a collaborative theater-making enterprise between Drew theater professor Chris Ceraso and Newark actor and teaching artist Rodney Gilbert, Drew undergraduates and Newark public high school students wrote, directed, and performed Private Lives, Public Spaces in spring 2010. Professor Lisa Brenner led the Drew students in the spring of 2011. Together with Bolden Center students, this class created and performed Anyone Like Me. Students travel to and perform at both Drew and the Bolden Student Center in Newark. Drew’s Theater Department has made a multi-year commitment to continuing this project.
Engagement at Drew goes beyond academic programs and Center-sponsored projects. To learn more about Drew’s range of programs, take a look at the list below.
Communities of Shalom
Communities of Shalom exists because so many communities are torn and frazzled from extreme poverty, cultural barriers, racial divides, and social conflict. Yet there are hidden assets in every community that can be uncovered and aligned. Congregations and communities can work together to re-weave the textures of shalom in their midst, and raise the quality of life in their immediate neighborhood. Communities of Shalom seek to transform the world one community at a time. Contact the director, Michael Christensen for more information.
Disaster Relief Project
Drew Disaster Relief Project, in partnership with Centenary College, has spent the past four winter breaks helping the people of New Orleans get back into their homes. We are committed to helping as many people as possible affected by disaster return to normal life. We’ve worked side by side with the home owners as we help them take the next step in getting back into their homes. Contact the director, Shawn Spaventa for more information.
The Sustainability Initiative aims to move the campus towards climate neutrality and transform Drew into a more ecologically-aware community. Currently, this program is focused on analyzing Drew’s greenhouse gas footprint and starting to tackle a climate action plan. Contact the Sustainability Coordinator, Christina Notas for more information.
The Summer College program is a special opportunity for public school students from New York City to learn about the realities of the college experience, including the benefits, challenges, pressures and opportunities of being a college student and a college graduate. Drew students involved in the programs as tutors and summer mentors learn in a number of ways from their experiences with the participating high school students. They become more intentional and reflective about their own college educations as they help those students imagine what it would be like to be a college student. Drew Today describes the program in a news piece that ran the week of February 27, 2012.