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Our Mission

To connect education and action for the common good.

About the Center

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.

More About the Center

OUR MISSION: TO CONNECT EDUCATION AND ACTION FOR THE COMMON GOOD

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.

OUR VALUES:

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

National and Regional Partners

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 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.

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.

PROJECT PERICLES

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.

CARNEGIE FOUNDATION COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT CLASSIFICATION

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.

Student Fellowships and Awards

The Center for Civic Engagement offers several fellowships and awards. Please contact the Center for Civic Engagement at engage@drew.edu for more information or to apply.

Mary A. Hepburn Civic Engagement Fellowship

2020-21 Fellow, Kate Fulton-John

The Mary Hepburn Civic Engagement Fellowship is awarded to a senior who demonstrates interest and experience in civic engagement. This Fellowship was established in 2013 by Mary A. Hepburn, an alumna of the College of Liberal Arts, in recognition to the value of civic engagement in the undergraduate education of the College. The recipient will devote a minimum of eight hours per week of the academic year furthering the mission of the Center for Civic Engagement. A stipend of $2500 will be awarded.

Patrick J. Grant Investors Bank Civic Leadership Award

2020 Investors Bank Scholar Stephanie DeFronzo

The Patrick J. Grant Investors Bank Civic Leadership Award has been established by Investors Bank Foundation. It is awarded annually to outstanding students who participate in Drew University’s Civic Scholar Program and have demonstrated both dedication and exceptional contributions to community service during their years at Drew, as well as a continuing commitment to undertaking a leadership role in performing community service. The recipient fulfills the following criteria:

  • Junior or senior who participates in the University’s Drew Civic Scholar program
  • A grade-point average of at least 3.0
  • Completed an application to the Director of the Center for Civic Engagement

The fund will provide a grant of $1,000 to each recipient to support his or her planning, implementation, and leadership of a year-long comprehensive community service project which will involve Drew students and faculty, as well as representatives from Investors Bank Foundation and relevant community partners organizations.

Our Staff

Sean Hewitt, Director, Center for Civic Engagement

(973) 408-3069 | shewitt@drew.edu

Sean joined Drew’s Center of Civic Engagement in January of 2022 as  Assistant Director. He is now the Director of the Center for Civic Engagement. In his role at the Center, he supports the Drew Action Scholars and Civic Scholars Programs, as well as Civic Engagement events, Immersive Experiences, student civic projects, and community partnerships. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management and his Master’s in Public Administration; currently, he is completing a Master of Social Work degree. Sean is an experienced nonprofit director, mentor, and community advocate.  In addition to over fifteen (15) years of nonprofit management experience, Sean has led workshops on youth leadership, ethics, cultural competency, wellness, and community engagement in both university and industry settings. Sean’s advocacy work extends to collaborating with public and private sector agencies, as well as healthcare providers, to support underrepresented youth and families.


Mecca K. Madyun, Faculty Director of Civically Engaged Teaching & Learning Assistant, Professor of Civic Engagement

mmadyun@drew.edu

Madyun is a passionate advocate for humanity in all its forms. With a profound appreciation for the intricacies of the human experience – the flaws, the potential, and everything in between – she has dedicated her life to the principles of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Access (EDIA).  This commitment to EDIA permeates every facet of her life, from raising her children and co-parenting to her professional endeavors in dance and arts administration. Central to Madyun’s approach is the emphasis on personal and cultural identity, cultivating awareness practices and the authentic self, and harnessing the power of arts engagement to bridge divides. Through her work in EDIA consulting, arts administration, dance education, and both creative and professional development, she endeavors to nurture the discovery of one’s authentic self. Madyun firmly believes that individuals reach their peak potential when they are true to themselves in every aspect of life. This philosophy shapes her approach, emphasizing trust-building, vulnerability, open dialogue, creativity, and empathy. In her view, these principles are the foundation for holistic personal and interpersonal relationships, collaboration, and mobilization. Madyun thrives in guiding others on their journey to self-discovery, supporting their cultivation of personal awareness practices. Such practices, she believes, empower individuals to recognize their roles in anti-oppression efforts, drawing connections between private and public realms – from homes and communities to workplaces and broader society. Madyun champions that forging healthy, diverse, and equitable relationships in these spaces is essential for success. With over two decades of experience, Madyun’s expertise spans a broad spectrum. Mecca received a BA from University of Pennsylvania in Fine Arts (Graphic Design) and a BFA from University of Colorado Boulder in Dance and Somatics (Body Mind Centering Certificate). From dance education administration, design, and instruction with Brooklyn Academy of Music (2019-2023) to EDIA facilitation and consulting, Mecca has procured a diverse list of clients such ranging from government agencies to cultural institutions to community based organizations and communities, supporting holistic cultural shifts. She excels in holistic, EDIA-centric curriculum development and responsive education practices, community and interpersonal relationship building, strategic planning, program management, restorative practices, service leadership, and effective communication practices. Her skills further extend to grant writing, budget management, event planning, and artist consultation, to name a few. As Madyun continues her journey at Drew as Faculty Director of Civically Engaged Teaching & Learning at the Center for Civic Engagement and tenure track Assistant Professor of Civic Engagement, she eagerly anticipates building, expanding, and deepening community, partnerships, curriculum, Drew Action Scholars Program, and her research framing the interdependence of EDIA and Civic Engagement work as foundational to holistic collective changemaking.


Dr. Jonathan Golden, Director of the Center on Religion, Culture and Conflict & Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Anthropology | Global Impact Faculty Lead

jgolden@drew.edu

Global Impact develops international and intercultural perspectives and skills needed to be successful in our global cultures and economies.

Dr. Golden holds a PhD in Anthropology (University of Pennsylvania), specializing in the study of ancient and modern cultures of the Middle East. His research interests include religious and ethnic conflict, terrorism, and interfaith studies.

Dr. Golden teaches courses on interfaith leadership, peace and conflict studies, and the Middle East. He is the author of Ancient Canaan and Israel: New Perspectives and Dawn of the Metal Age, as well as numerous articles.

Student Staff


Angelae Wunderle, Hepburn Civic Engagement Fellow

awunderle@drew.edu

Ange is a senior Action Scholar at Drew majoring in Mathematics with minors in French, Dance, and Teaching. Throughout her four years, Ange has been greatly involved in civic engagement, especially through Volunteer without Borders (VWB) a student-run organization focused on providing non-disruptive alternative Winter, Spring, and Summer break trips to Drew students.

After the requirements of the two-year Action Scholars program ended, Ange wanted to stay involved and connected with the CCE. In her Junior year, she was an Action Scholar Mentor and is currently the Mary Hepburn Civic Engagement Fellow. This opportunity has allowed her to deepen her connection with Drew’s civic engagement opportunities both on and off campus, something she is extremely grateful for. In addition to her work with the CCE, Ange is actively involved in the dance department on campus and is the secretary of the Rangerettes Dance Team. She also works in Admissions and as a peer tutor at the Center for Academic Excellence. After graduation, Ange plans to continue her education and receive her Master of Arts in Teaching.


Eniyah Garner, MVAC Cadet Program Coordinator

egarner@drew.edu

Eniyah is a junior Action Scholar at Drew University studying Biology with a minor in Public Health. Eniyah became a Nationally certified EMT in 2020 before joining MVAC as a member in 2022. Eniyah took over as the coordinator of the MVAC cadet program in 2023. Her roles include advertising, coordinating with MVAC for training and scheduling, and overseeing the Cadets throughout the semester. 

In addition, Eniyah works as a beach EMT and lifeguard in the summer, is a member of Drew University’s field hockey and lacrosse teams, is the Vice-President of Drew’s Empowerment in STEM club, and is a member of McKittrick’s research lab where she studies neurophysiology. After graduation, Eniyah plans to continue her education in dental school. 


Eden Linton, Media and Communications Student Assistant

elinton@drew.edu

Eden is a 3rd year action scholar, Known around the center as the “man of many talents”. Eden is a Media and Communications  major and Photography minor. He tends to wear many hats on campus, Working with the Communications team, Launch team and The Art department while volunteering anywhere that he can. Eden has a wide range of talents  that he uses to help serve the community. Eden is an integral member to the CCE team.


Benjamin Chomon-Collins, Social Media, Marketing, and Events Student Assistant

bchomoncollins@drew.edu

Ben is a sophomore Action Scholar (C’25) from San Francisco, California, and is majoring in Media & Communications while minoring in Italian Studies. He joined the Center for Civic Engagement staff in the Spring of 2022, where he now helps manage CCE’s Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, as well as photograph events put on by CCE and assist with marketing.


Takundanashe Chinogwenya, Food Pantry Coordinator

tchinogwenya@drew.edu


HONORABLE MENTION

Linus, Therapy Dog, Center for Civic Engagement

Linus arrived in 2015 only eight weeks old, and spent the next 15 months at Drew, learning to navigate busy hallways and paths, attend classes with students while resting quietly, to navigate around loud landscape equipment, and of course, to refrain from chasing squirrels. At 18 months, he returned to The Seeing Eye (TSE) for formal guide dog training and was then chosen for their breeding program to be “of service” siring seven litters of future TSE guide dogs. Afterwards, he “retired” to Amy’s home to live a life of leisure but spends his days at work with her in Davies House and is a certified Therapy Dog, providing comfort to Drew students on a daily basis and at special events on campus and at the Acorn Academy resting quietly while the children read stories to him.

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