Center for Community Engagement

Current ATELs

  Current ATELs

Baseball - George Long '17
Women's Basketball - Hannah Hackley '18
Field Hockey - Catherine Downey '16
Football - Rory Walsh '17 and Reece Foy '18
Men's Golf - Sam Procter '18
Women's Golf - Jenny Xu '16
Men's Ice Hockey - Adam Ellison '17
Women's Ice Hockey - Camille Herzog '17
Men's Lacrosse - Jake Wasckowitz '17 and Cody Tranbarger '17
Women's Lacrosse - Dakota Foster '18
Purple Pride - Ornella Noubissie Wafo '16
Men's Soccer - Lee Owen '18
Women's Soccer - Sarah Frohman '17
Softball - Alena Marovitz '17
Women's Squash - Khushy Aggarwal '16
Men's Swimming and Diving - Gregory Han '17
Women's Swimming and Diving - Destin Groff '17
Men's Tennis - Ben Birkenfield '18
Women's Tennis - Megan Adamo '17
Men's Track & Cross Country - Raymond Meijer '17
Women's Track & Cross Country - Sarah Foster '17E
Women's Ultimate - Noelle Nelson '16
Volleyball - Nicole Gould '17
Water Polo - Alex Dreisbach '17
Wrestling - Jarron Bolingbroke '17

Meet an ATEL

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.  The ATEL Program seeks to increase passionate, sustainable community engagement in the Athletics department by training one young person on each team to focus on the interests of their respective teams. The ATELs are a vibrant group of enthusiastic student-athletes with a passion for community engagement.

Alena Marovitz ’17

Alena Marovitz '17 is a student-athlete from Northbrook, Illinois, an Environmental Studies and Economics double major, and the 2015-2016 ATEL for the softball team. Below find some of her thoughts about everything from breakfast preferences to the importance of community engagement.

Alena Marovitz ’17

Alena Marovitz '17, pictured left, with a participant at the Amherst Senior Center bingo night.

What is your favorite cereal?
Apple Cinnamon Cheerios mixed with Honey Bunches of Oats.

What is your spirit animal?
Gorillas because they know they have swag and do not have to flaunt it.

Where do you want to live when you grow up?
Given that my parents will probably read this, I will say Chicago so I can stay close to my family J.  But Chicago truly is a fabulous area and has rich culture, countless quality restaurants, and of course, the Midwest friendliness.  But, when I retire, I hope to live in Colorado.  I love all of the outdoor activities that the state boasts and the fresh environment. 

Who/what caused you to become involved with community engagement?
I first became involved in community engagement when I was thirteen years old and baked with kids staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Chicago.  While at first I went only to fulfill the requirement of my Bat Mitzvah project, I began to treasure my time with the kids and the experience made me realize how lucky I am to live each day without chronic illness.  To be able to laugh with kids who were scheduled for surgery the next day touched me and pushed me to pursue other engagement opportunities in my community.

Why do you think community engagement is important?
Especially as college students, we can often become trapped in our daily routines.  Community engagement makes us realize the minuscule size of our problems when compared to the struggles of other people.  Additionally, high quality community engagement will fulfill a specific community need for which the organization will be grateful. 

What would you say to someone who is “too busy” for community engagement?
Community engagement does not need to be an elaborate event.  A recent and wonderful source of engagement for time pressured individuals was a Dr. Seuss reading event at a local middle school as part of the nationwide “Read Across America Day.”  Each college student read their own book for only a half hour, but the kids raved about the event and students experienced the joy that they brought to the school. 

What is your favorite community engagement moment/project/activity?
Every week I visit with a senior in the Amherst community and we usually just chat about news in our daily lives.  She is super crafty, so one week we made pens that have vibrantly colored flowers and ribbons attached at the end.  Whenever I’m feeling down, I look at my flower pen in my room and think how lively she is for a 70 year old lady and how much she treasures each day.  Whenever I am about to leave her home, I can always expect her to say “have a FABULOUS rest of your day.”

What have you learned about the Amherst community through your engagement projects?
Through my engagement projects, I have realized the diversity of the Amherst community and how there are so many ways to become involved.  When I was younger, I thought “community service” meant running a 5K for charity and eating all of the snacks at the end of the race.  Wrong.  There are an abundance of high quality ways to engage with the community, whether it is starting a diaper drive for the Amherst Survival Center, packing birthday boxes for the Birthday Wishes program, adopting a child through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, or throwing a pizza party/bingo night at the Amherst Senior Center. 

What have you learned about your teammates through community engagement projects?
Though we may all be tired from practice, academics, and extracurricular activities, once we begin an engagement project, we all desire to support the community.  When we volunteered at Book and Plow farm, it was bright, early, and windy on a crisp Saturday morning when my teammates wished to be sleeping.  But, after hauling in 650 pounds of potatoes, my teammates and I realized how much we helped Pete and Tobin, as there was no way they could have accomplished that much in just a few hours.  My teammates and I took ownership of the project, especially after seeing Val serving the roasted potatoes for dinner that evening.  “Yeah, I picked that potato you are eating” became a saying of pride among the softball team that night.

What impact do you think community engagement has had on your life?
Through community engagement, I have learned that even if I feel alone or my struggles seem overwhelming, there are always others who have experienced worse and still manage to go through the day with smiles on their faces.  If I am feeling in a rut, I know that it is time for me to meaningfully engage with the community in order to bring me back to reality.  Many tout tennis, golf, and running as lifetime sports, but they should be emphasizing community engagement as a true lifetime activity. 

Reece Foy '18

Reece Foy '18 is a student-athlete from Honolulu, Hawaii an intended Political Science major, and the 2015-2016 ATEL for the Football team. Below find some of his thoughts about everything from breakfast preferences to the importance of community engagement. 

Reece Foy '18 Student-athlete Reece Foy '18 embraces a homeowner in New Orleans whose house he helped rebuild.

What is your favorite cereal?
Cinnamon Toast Crunch

What is your spirit animal?
I am not sure, but my favorite animal is a White Tiger and Jesus leads my spirit. 

Where do you want to live when you grow up?
Honolulu, Hawaii

Who/what caused you to become involved with community engagement?
From the time I was young, I loved seeing others happy. Once middle school came around, I started to organize groups and by high school I was blessed to be President for numerous community organizations. I also volunteered and worked with programs outside of my school. I would say that my passion for Community service stems back to my love of being a servant for others, just as Christ was a servant for us.

Why do you think community engagement is important?
I believe that community engagement is essential to growth as a person, community, and world. When you serve others, you help them accomplish tasks that on their own would either take very long or be unattainable. The person who initiates the engagement learns more about himself or herself while gaining experiences that will improve them as a person. The community benefits because people and organizations are having needs met, which results in a better functioning community. Hopefully the community engagement also sets the community on a path for greater good of everyone who lives and functions within the community. If everyone in the world were to adapt an attitude of serving others first, I believe that this world would be an exponentially safer and happier place than what it is today.

What would you say to someone who is “too busy” for community engagement?
I would say that those who are too busy are typically too worried about themselves. It is important to serve others, and to not always be centered on your own needs. This mind set of self centered-ness only breed’s greed and selfishness. Rather, if you care about others and are willing to humble yourself in service, you will find that there is always time for community engagement. It doesn't have to be a major project; sometimes the smallest of acts mean the most and are the most important. 

What is your favorite community engagement moment/project/activity?
I have been so blessed with amazing experiences in my short life, that picking a single greatest moment of community service would be impossible. However, I recently went to New Orleans to build houses for Katrina victims and engage in conversations about the Christian gospel. It was amazing to speak with those people who had been affected and lived through Katrina. Hearing their stories made me realize how blessed I truly am, and my heart desired simply to help and give hope to these people who have been devastated. In addition to building houses and speaking with locals in the community, I was able to talk about Jesus with some of the members on the trip who were not Christian. This was definitely a memorable experience for me, and I am very grateful that I was able to do this.

What have you learned about the Amherst community through your engagement projects?
Through my engagement projects, I have learned that the Amherst Community needs more help than most people realize. About 1/5 of the Amherst population lives below the poverty line, and our community is also an older community. Because so much help is needed, everyone who wishes to can definitely make a positive impact on the community.  

What have you learned about your teammates through community engagement projects?
I have learned that my teammates have very soft, loving hearts and aren’t the rough and tough football players that many people see on the field. My teammates have been enthusiastic in helping the community and have even asked me to help them to continue engaging and serving in surrounding communities. To have teammates who want to make a difference and are on board with community engagement makes my job as the teams’ Athletic Team Engagement Leader so much easier, and I am very grateful to have teammates like them. 

What impact do you think community engagement has had on your life?
Community Engagement has humbled me, made me grateful for everything I have in life, and constantly reminded me why I love to serve and why I will continue to serve others for the rest of my life. Many of these communities have been hurt and damaged, yet still have such a pure love for life and for people. I often talk to those who society deems as “less fortunate”, yet it is usually the case that I learn more from them than they from me. In addition, I am constantly reminded to count the blessings that God has placed in my life. Community Engagement brings me so much joy; nothing makes me happier than seeing others smile. To know that I am able to contribute to someone else’s happiness is such a humbling and gratifying feeling. The interactions I have with others and the relationships I build are the wheels that keep this car turning. It is because of these people that I love to serve and will continue to do so. 



102 Keefe Campus Center (map)

Amherst College
Amherst, MA 01002-5000

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413.542.2159 fax

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