Center for Community Engagement

Simple ideas, big impact: TEDxAmherstCollege to take place in November

TEDxAmherstCollege Team Photo.jpg
September 2013—story by Jenny Morgan. The TEDxAmherstCollege team. From left to right, front row: Diego Recinos '16, Nicole Chi '15, Tabeth Nkangoh '15. Second row: Kasope Alesh '14, David Berón '15, John He '16, Shane Zhao '14.

When Rosanne Haggerty ’82 first began working on homelessness, she wasn’t interested in stopgap solutions. “Shelters don’t cut it,” she says. Haggerty observed that people weren’t being connected to community-based resources and guessed that, by creating access to these resources and offering permanent housing, rates of homelessness would drop—dramatically.

She was right.

‘Cac Gives Back to the Amherst Survival Center

November 2013Chris Tamasi '15 at the Amherst Survival Center. Story by Lindsay Ewing ’15, CCE Athletic Liaison

During a Student Athletic Advisory Committee Meeting discussion the last winter, students voiced concern that excess food is often left over after tailgates for athletic competitions. Student-athlete Chris Tamasi ’15 left the conversation concerned and intrigued. He had an idea. The junior football player began to envision a system where this food could be collected and distributed around the community.

As summer is underway, interns anticipate learning, growth

July 2013—With nearly 130 students interning across the Center for Community Engagement's three internship programs—Civic Engagement Scholars, Pioneer Valley Citizen Summer, and the Vela Summer Scholars—the summer season appears poised to be a time of intellectual, professional, and personal growth for students around the country and internationally. CCE staff writer Jenny Morgan spoke with four interns during their first days on the job to learn more about what they're doing and what they hope to take away from this summer.

A deeper sense of community: The Pioneer Valley Citizen Summer program

Pioneer Valley Citizen Summer Interns
September 2013—story by Jenny Morgan. This year's Pioneer Valley Citizen Summer interns.

Spend any amount of time on the Amherst College campus and you’ll likely hear mention of something called ‘the Amherst bubble.’ It’s a ubiquitous term used by students to describe, and often lament, the sense that reality seems to exist only within the confines of the campus perimeters.

Not so for students who’ve participated in the Pioneer Valley Citizen Summer (PVCS) program.

Engaging with complexity

July 2013—story by Jenny Morgan, photo courtesy Samuel A. Masinter '04.

Kate Berry ’12 has never been one to shy away from complex questions.

In fact, Berry’s willingness to engage with complexity is one of the most noticeable qualities of the 23 year old from Woodinville, Washington. In no small way, this willingness has led Berry to exactly where she is today—working full-time for the anti-human trafficking organization, Polaris Project. From a Civic Engagement Scholars internship with Polaris to an honors thesis, Berry has been grappling with the complexities of human trafficking for some time now.

Then and now: A lasting big brother relationship

Joe and Jack
September 2013—story by Lindsay Ewing ‘15, photos courtesy of Jack Angiolillo ’08

After four years at Amherst College, most students leave campus with an education, enduring friendships, and an inordinate amount of purple clothing. It’s decidedly less common for a recent graduate to leave with a new sibling—but that’s exactly what Jack Angiolillo ’08 did.

Going Public Goes Public

Going Public, an original play by Elias Johansson-Miller ’12, opens Thursday night in Kirby Theater

April 2012—story by Jenny Morgan, photos by Katherine Berry '12

In August of 2010, the Los Angeles Times brought summer vacation to a screeching halt with an unprecedented online publication. The newspaper published names and rankings of some 6,000 public elementary school teachers in a searchable, online database. The ranking tool, called the “value-added analysis,” uses students’ standardized test scores to calculate how much value each teacher adds to, or detracts from, student performance.  Overnight, the story ignited a controversy and sparked a national conversation on teacher performance and standardized testing.


The story also inspired the focus of Elias Johansson-Miller '12’s thesis, Going Public, an original play that explores public education through the real stories of teachers and administrators, including many who were involved in the 2010 Los Angeles teacher-ranking story.

Educate!’s Eric Glustrom ’07 and Boris Bulayev ’07 win 2011 Grinnell Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize for youth empowerment in Uganda

 Eric Glustrom '07 and Boris Bulayev '07

April 2011—story by Jenny Morgan, photo courtesy of Eric Glustron '07

As a seventeen-year-old high school junior, Eric Glustrom ’07 (pictured left, front row) received his first grant rejection early— and he remembers the story well.