Center for Community Engagement

In the News

Women's Soccer and Women's Lacrosse teams partner with Birthday Wishes

College Women’s Soccer and Women’s Lacrosse teams raise money for Birthday WishesThe Amherst College Women’s Soccer and Women’s Lacrosse teams recently partnered up to raise awareness and funds for Birthday Wishes, a local organization in South Hadley whose mission is to provide birthday parties for homeless children in the community. Read more

Real relationships with real people

Charlie Gill '16 and Khushy Aggarwal ’16If there’s one thing that seems to be in perpetual short supply on the Amherst campus, it’s time. For Amherst’s student-athletes⎯who make up about a third of the campus⎯the time crunch can mean that there’s little else outside of classes, practice, and games. That doesn’t seem to be the case for the students behind the now one-year-old Athletic Team Engagement Leader (ATEL) program. Read more

Pink in the Rink

Pink in the RinkThis Valentine’s Day, the Amherst Women’s Hockey team hosted their second annual Pink in the Rink event. During their game against Trinity College, the Amherst Women’s Hockey team decorated Orr Rink from goal to goal in pink while hosting a series of raffles, and games to raise funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer. Read more

‘Cac Gives Back to the Amherst Survival Center

Chris Tamasi at the Amherst Survival CenterDuring 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. Read more

Amherst LEADS, first-year initiative program, presents “Caring Deeply”

On March 26, Amherst LEADS hosted “Caring Deeply,” an event as part of its First-Year Initiative Program. Over 150 student-athletes sat captivated in O’Connor Commons as two-time Ugandan Olympic runner Julius Achon shared his powerful life story of struggle, strength, and athletic accolades. Perhaps his most admirable accomplishment, however, is the Achon Uganda Children's Fund (AUCF), a charity which the humanitarian founded that runs an orphanage and medical center in the Otuke District of Northern Uganda. Read more

Amherst students and teams bowl for Big Brothers Big Sisters

On March 2 and 3, members of the Amherst College community bowled for a cause during the 18th annual Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids’ Sake Bowl-a-Thon at Spare Time Lanes in Northampton, MA. Bowl for Kid’s Sake is Big Brothers Big Sisters’ biggest annual fundraiser, and raised more than $62,000 this year. Amherst students, coaches, and student-athletes represented the school with pride as they rallied to support one of the CCE’s most impactful community partnerships. Read more

Skating with an “Attitude of Gratitude”

The Amherst Women’s Ice Hockey team competed with fervor this season and finished the year third in the NESCAC. Like any successful team, the student-athletes skated with tenacity, skill, and teamwork. Yet it was their “attitude of gratitude” that set coach Jeffrey Matthews and his student-athletes apart. The Lady Jeffs organized two days of “Junior Jeffs” hockey clinics for aspiring female players—the first in Amherst and second in West Springfield—during their only weekend off. Just days later, the student-athletes teamed up with rival Williams during a home contest to fight breast cancer with the college’s inaugural “Pink in the Rink” event. Read more

Pitching in during the offseason: Amherst Women’s Softball and Girls Inc.

As a student-athlete, full days of classes, practices, and extracurricular activities make it dangerously easy to get caught in the “Amherst bubble.” Despite busy schedules, however, the Amherst College Women’s Softball team avoids this trap. This year, the Lady Jeffs formed a partnership with Girls Incorporated of Holyoke (Girls Inc.). Through interaction with some of the Pioneer Valley’s vibrant young women, the student-athletes expanded their knowledge of the surrounding community and learned lessons of collaboration and leadership. Read more

Athletics Liaisons launch Athletic Team Engagement Leader program with 24-hour retreat

On January 22 and 23, the CCE Athletics Liaisons facilitated a 24-hour retreat to train nineteen new Athletic Team Engagement Leaders (ATELs) to effectively lead the community engagement efforts on their respective teams. The Athletics Team Engagement Leader (ATEL) Program is the result of the combined efforts of the Athletics Liaisons, the Center for Community Engagement, and the Athletics Department. Read more

Then and now: A lasting big brother relationship

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. During his first year at Amherst, Angiolillo started to volunteer as a “big brother” in the Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Hampshire County program. By the time he graduated from the college, however, it was clear his relationship with his “little” brother, Joe, was only beginning. Read more

Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving teams take on seventh annual Hour of Power

Even for seasoned swimmers, the Hour of Power is a grueling team workout: an hour of continuous relays, using a variety of strokes, intended to end in complete exhaustion.  On November 13, over 8,000 student-athletes nationwide dove into the pool to participate in the Ted Mullin Hour of Power Relay for Sarcoma Research.  That translates to 180 teams—at the high school and collegiate level—that aid in the Ted Mullin Fund’s biggest annual fundraiser.  Amherst was one of those teams, and has been since the event was created seven years ago. Read more

Men’s Cross Country prioritizes in-season community engagement

The men’s cross country team is well into a very competitive fall season–but have taken the time to work on two community engagement projects between races and practices. At the beginning of their pre-season training, the team gathered on August 31 to help clear the Emily Dickinson trail that runs between the Bike path and Groff park and the Robert Frost trail at the end of the bike path.  Armed with an array of landscaping tools, the team took the time between their morning and afternoon workouts to clear the community’s running trail of overgrowth and fallen trees. Read more

Jog for Jill coming to Amherst to raise awareness, funds for lung cancer foundation

Hillary Densen ’13 is standing up to lung cancer—and organizing other student-athletes at Amherst to do the same.  Densen is teaming up with her lacrosse teammates and Jill’s Legacy, a lung cancer awareness organization, to produce a 5K race to raise funds and awareness about a severely underfunded and misrepresented disease. Read more


Women’s Golf hosts clinic for Girls, Inc.

On Saturday, March 31, the women’s golf team hosted seven girls from Girls, Inc. of Holyoke to teach golf skills and share the importance of learning new things and practicing hard.  Girls, Inc. is a national non-profit made up of a network of local organizations that work to empower young women and, as their tagline explains, inspire them to be “strong, smart, and bold.”  They are also one of the Center for Community Engagement’s biggest community partnerships, with almost 50 Amherst College tutors participating each week. Read more

Women’s Soccer organizes variety show to raise funds for American Cancer Society

On the evening of April 5, the women’s soccer team produced a variety show in Valentine Dining Hall to fundraise for Relay for Life. Relay for Life is a 24-hour walk/run headlined by the American Cancer Society that raises money and awareness for cancer research, celebrates survivors, and remembers those who have lost their lives.  The team then participated in the event on Friday, April 13 on the Amherst College track. Read more


Men's and Women's Basketball team up with Project Coach

Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams enjoyed very successful seasons this winter. But perhaps more impressively, both teams took a time out while in season to work together on a community engagement project. On February 13, the men's and women's teams held a basketball coaching clinic for the second time with members of Project Coach. The aim of Project Coach is to train high school and middle school students to be coaches of youth sports teams. Read more

Amherst LEADS holds 'Caring Deeply' community engagement event aimed at first-year student-athletes

On Tuesday, March 29, the Amherst LEADS program hosted an event to encourage student-athletes to engage in their community.  The event, called “Caring Deeply,” is the fifth part of a year-long series of events directed at first-year student-athletes as part of the First-Year Initiative program. “Essentially what we were trying to get at in this segment was the idea that we need to expand our idea of leadership from within athletics to outside of that sphere,” Gregg DiNardo, director of Amherst LEADS, commented. Read more

Amherst Athletics supports Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County

Earlier this month, Amherst College students, student-athletes, and coaches rallied around the seventeenth annual “Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids’ Sake Bowl-a-Thon,” the organization’s biggest annual fundraiser. Two athletic teams–women’s soccer and men’s track–were represented at the bowl-a-thon, which raised over $65,000 this year (exceeding its fundraising goal). Read more


Amherst Athletics celebrates five years of Friends of Jaclyn

This spring will mark the fifth year that Amherst has partnered with the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation and the fourth annual Friends of Jaclyn Walk/Run to raise funds for the foundation.The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation works to “improve the quality of life for children with pediatric brain tumors and their families by pairing them with college and high school athletic teams.” Read more


Amherst College teams up with Crocker Farms Elementary School

On January 18, Amherst College students, student-athletes, faculty, and coaches traveled to Crocker Farms Elementary School to participate in the second annual Amherst College Day. “The thrust of Amherst College Day is to tell kids from grades 3-6 that college is more than just a possibility,” event organizer Angela Mills explained. Read more


Sarah Leyman ’11 reflects on years of organizing Amherst athletes

As a first-year student and athlete, Sarah Leyman was serendipitously invited to represent the women’s basketball team on SAAC, the Student -Athlete Advisory Committee that represents all of Amherst’s athletic teams to the college. Under her leadership, every single athlete on every Amherst team participated in a community engagement activity—both this year and last. Read more