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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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) 408-3069 | email@example.com
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.
Dr. Susan Rakosi Rosenbloom (Dr. RR) completed two years of public service with AmeriCorps Project SafetyNet on the Lower East Side while a doctoral student at New York University (PhD. Sociology). She teaches courses in Urban Education, Public Sociology, Digital Society and Childhood/Youth. Partnering with the Center for Civic Engagement, she trains Drew Action Scholars by teaching Innovation Action Lab, Senior Civic Workshop and Thinking Through Social Problems. She expertly guides civically engaged students designing collaborative projects from idea to project implementation and assessment.
As the co-Principal Investigator of “Neighbors in Need”, a multi-year community based research grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service, she led a team of community stakeholders to improve voucher use among the homeless in Morris County, NJ. Partnering with the Orange Public Schools, Newark Public Schools and too many housing agencies to name, Dr. RR implements community based learning classes to engage students in capacity building in under-resourced neighborhoods. In these contexts and the classroom, she’s interested in how new digital technologies shape all aspects of research, civic engagement, community storytelling, teaching and communications.
Her professional research, community based research, education and digital projects have been funded by Corporation for National and Community Service, AmeriCorps, William T. Grant Foundation, Spencer Foundation, American Sociological Association, Murray Research Center at Radcliffe, Mellon Drew Digital Humanities Grant and the Morris County, NJ Continuum of Care.
She is the author of The Multiracial Urban High School: Fearing Peers and Trusting Friends (2010), a four year study about how school shapes teens’ friendships. Other published research includes topics such as: racial/ethnic discrimination among minority youth (Youth and Society), peer group dynamics (Sociological Studies of Childhood/Youth), school choice policy (Urban Review), the emotional content of social movement protest (City Limits) and the complexities of classroom self-disclosure (Teaching Sociology). She also researches strategies to prevent homelessness through voucher use (Finding Housing in Morris County, NJ: Report), child soldiers as a new social problem (Qualitative Sociology) and vaccination decision-making among emerging adults (American Journal of Sexuality Education).
In addition to her academic work, she is raising two children and a pitbull, caring for an elderly parent, learning hydroponics, and trail running in the Ramapo Mountains of NJ.
AmeriCorps is the federal agency for community service and volunteerism. The Drew University Community Engagement Coordinator position falls under AmeriCorps’s New Jersey Covid Service Corps, which works “[help] community members who have been most affected by the economic, physical, and mental repercussions of the pandemic” (AmeriCorps).
As Community Engagement Coordinator, Alyssa is responsible for maintaining the Drew Food Pantry, as well as running the Changemakers program, a cohort of volunteers of all majors and class years. Alyssa is serving in the New Jersey Covid Service Corps because she is passionate about public health as an accessibility and civil rights issue.
Alyssa was born and raised in South Jersey and is happy to call Morris County her new home after attending Drew University and graduating in May 2022 with a Bachelor’s Degree with specialized honors in Theatre Arts. As her Drew Civic Scholar program taught her, she “thinks globally, acts locally” by increasing community capacities for restorative, artistic, and accessible practices. Her theatrical training is in playwriting, dramaturgy, and applied theatre. During her time at Drew she bridged her love for the stage and community engagement by becoming a self-taught captioner and audio describer and founding the Drew Performing Arts Access Coordinators. She’s also a mentor, tutor, academic coach and administrator.
Trisha is a senior 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.
Eniyah Garner, MVAC Cadet Program Coordinator
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 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.
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.
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.