About the Center for Civic Engagement.
The Center for Civic Engagement serves Drew University and our communities as a resource, convener, and partner committed to connecting knowledge with action to improve our shared world. Working collaboratively with community organizations, we develop and support impactful partnerships. We invite you to explore, engage and build with us.
The Center for Civic Engagement at Drew University was established in 2008 to infuse civic engagement as a value and practice throughout the university. The Center connects community-focused, experiential education across all of Drew’s Schools, while also strengthening student-led community engagement outside the classroom. We believe that well-informed civic participation and the active pursuit of a just and humane society are crucial to a strong democracy and the vibrant communities that make up its fabric. Further, we believe that higher education has a responsibility to educate not only productive workers, but also engaged and effective citizens. This responsibility is met at Drew through integrated and collaborative programs that connect the educational mission of the university with action for the public good.
Reciprocity: civic engagement builds on the work of many constituencies, both inside and beyond Drew’s campus. Successful engagement is reciprocal, attending to the goals of all participants through transparent and collaborative planning and implementation.
Respect: the time, priorities, and diverse missions of our partners and communities demand our respect, and we expect the same from our partners. Civic engagement cannot thrive without civility, decency, and trust.
Efficacy: true civic engagement creates and increases the power to act knowledgeably and effectively in the world
Impact: without demonstrable impact, civic engagement cannot succeed. We chose our projects and partners carefully in order to ensure true benefit to all participants in whatever we undertake
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.
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.
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.
Drew’s motto is “Freely you have received; freely give.” This is evident in the awards and recognition Drew has received for its civic engagement work.
Drew University’s deep commitment to civic and community engagement has been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, which listed Drew among 240 colleges and universities to receive its coveted Community Engagement Classification in 2015. The classification follows a rigorous process that involved a 60-page application listing not only the ways Drew students in all three colleges and faculty and staff engage with the outside world, but also the ways that the university has built bridges with the borough of Madison, non-profit organizations, and other communities.
In recognition of its substantive engagement in its community, Drew has been named four times to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Drew’s designation was based on several factors, including its community-based service learning, volunteer work and the impact Drew has on its community partners.
The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, launched in 2006, annually highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement by recognizing institutions that achieve meaningful, measurable outcomes in the communities they serve.
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Amy Koritz is Professor of English and Director of the Center for Civic Engagement at Drew University. She is the author of Gendering Bodies/Performing Art (U Michigan P 1995) and Culture Makers: Urban Performance and Literature in the 1920s (U Illinois P, 2009). With George Sanchez, she is co-editor of Civic Engagement in the Wake of Katrina (U Michigan P, 2009) and has written about civic engagement in the humanities in Diversity Digest, the Modern Language Association’s Profession and elsewhere. Before coming to Drew in 2008, she was Professor of English at Tulane University where she also served as Associate Director for Community and Culture at the Tulane/Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research.
As Director of the Center for Civic Engagement, Dr. Koritz is responsible for setting the Center’s priorities, managing its resources, developing and sustaining strategic partnerships, leading civic engagement collaborations across the university, and communicating about Civic Engagement at Drew with internal and external stakeholders.
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Amy joined the Center for Civic Engagement in 2012. In her role at the Center, she supports the Civic Scholars Program in all its dimensions including recruitment, retention, advising and program coordination. She also develops and stewards partnerships between Drew and community organizations to provide civic engagement and internship opportunities for Drew students and for faculty members teaching community-based learning courses. Prior to this position she held two others at Drew, beginning in 2001, and former administrative posts at M.I.T. and Harvard Business School. Amy holds a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Connecticut.
Alyssa Keifer is responsible for the managing and updating the website. She also assists with the tracking and logging of service hours completed by students. Alyssa also assists in researching community internship, job, and volunteer opportunities. Her background includes experience in event planning, staff support, and administrative skills.
Victoria Adams C’21
Victoria updates and maintains website content for the Center for Civic Engagement’s website.
Assistant Director Amy Sugerman helps train Linus and his son Griffin for their future careers as Seeing Eye dogs.