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 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.
The Center for Civic Engagement offers several fellowships and awards. Please contact the Center for Civic Engagement at email@example.com for more information or to apply.
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.
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:
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.
(973) 408-3208 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
(973) 408-3069 | email@example.com
Sean joined the Drew’s Center of Civic Engagement in January of 2022 as Assistant Director. 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.
AmeriCorps consists of local, regional, and national organizations committed to using national service members to address critical community needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment. This position falls under the Corporation for National Community Service, a federal agency, which works to eliminate poverty in partnership with the state of New Jersey.
Gionna’s major duties and responsibilities include increasing Drew students’ participation in community service and civic engagement, supporting existing, and creating new, community service opportunities and promoting these to students in ways that are inclusive. She coordinates students’ scheduled volunteer hours, maintains records of their volunteer hours and actions, and works with his supervisor to maintain program compliance.
Gionna is from Whippany, New Jersey, and graduated from Drew in May 2020 with a degree in English and Political Science. She was also a member of the student-led service organization Drew Honduras Project (DHP), and she served as board member and is now an Alumni Liaison. Gionna was a Civic Scholar, Changebuilder, and member of the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega (APO). Through these four organizations, she developed relationships and worked with local nonprofits, including Morristown Neighborhood House (NABE), EPOCH, and Habitat for Humanity; as well as, Gionna and had the opportunity to travel to and support a children’s home in the Dominican Republic. Through the past four years of experiences she connected with her peers and professors at Drew as well as the community members of the surrounding towns. Gionna was also able to develop as a leader and shape her career path around leadership and service. Gionna is excited to remain an active member of the Drew community in this new capacity as the Changebuilder Coordinator.
Labenyimoh is a Master of Divinity Student at Drew Theological school. Labenyimoh holds a Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science from Africa University Zimbabwe. He is an executive for the Black Ministerial Caucus at Drew Theological School. He serves as a student intern at Covenant United Methodist Church in Plainfield, New Jersey. Labenyimoh’s role includes providing support to the staff of the Center; creating content for and updating the CCE website and the Launch Social Impact Career Community; assisting with the promotion and tracking of Community-Based Learning (CBL) courses; assisting in the stewardship of community and Drew partnerships for Action Scholar placements; mentoring less-experienced CCE student staff, including Drew Action Scholars (DAS) Mentors; assisting with CCE data collection; providing support to the Launch Social Impact Career Community, and providing support to the Center staff as needed.
Bri is a Senior at Drew University studying Media & Communications and English with a minor in Applied Leadership and Film Studies. In Bri’s role as the Hepburn Fellow for the Civic Engagement Center she helps with the planning of civic engagement events, the organization of the Civic/Action Scholar Advisory Committee and the planning of service trips.
Bri came to Drew to follow her passion for community service. Bri currently is the president of Volunteer Without Borders, an organization that leads three service trips a year and she is also a member of the Drew Honduras Project (DHP). Bri is a Civic Scholar that has volunteered at Morristown Neighborhood House (NABE), EPOCH, Habitat for Humanity, and she started a dance program for the non-profit organization Kids2Kids. Bri is currently working with professor Jermey Blatter to create a new course at Drew called Civic Media. This course is in partnership with CinemaEd—a local non-profit focused on providing filmmaking education and mentorship opportunities for high school students—this class will work collaboratively on the design and implementation of a Civic Media Workshops Series at Orange High School (OHS) in Orange, NJ.
Gabrielle is from Plainfield, New Jersey. She is a senior civic scholar majoring in art and history and minoring in art history and museum studies. In 2018, she began as an office assistant at the Center for Civic Engagement. Now Gabrielle’s role includes overseeing the CCE website and producing social media content for Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to promote department programs and affairs. She also assists with events and performs additional administrative duties supporting the staff. After graduating from Drew, Gabrielle looks forward to continuing her education, ultimately so she can pursue a career in museum work, which combines her love of art and history.
Trisha is a junior civic scholar who is majoring in biology with a minor in public health, from the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. She joined the Center for Civic Engagement staff in 2019 where she worked as an office assistant. Today, Trisha’s role includes managing public relations, communications, development and coordinating events. She is also the Treasurer of the Pre-Health Society and a member of the field hockey team at Drew. After graduating from Drew, Trisha plans to continue her education to pursue a career as a Physician Assistant.
Jamie is a senior at Drew University studying Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a minor in Public Health. Jamie participated in the Madison Volunteer Ambulance Corps (MVAC) Cadet program as a freshman in 2019 before becoming a Nationally certified EMT and joining MVAC as an official member. Jamie took over as the coordinator of the MVAC cadet program in 2021. Her roles include advertising, coordinating with MVAC for training and scheduling, and overseeing the Cadets throughout the semester. Jamie also works at MVAC weekly in an EMT capacity.
In addition, Jamie works as an organic chemistry tutor and a writing fellow. She is also a member of the Barker-Dunaway research lab, where she studies the immune system. After graduation, Jamie plans to continue her education through a dual MD/PhD degree.
Ben is an 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.
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.