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The Center for Community Engagement
Main Level, Keefe Campus Center
The Center for Community Engagement’s mission is to ensure that students who graduate from Amherst College are prepared to be effective, engaged citizens. We provide students with opportunities to engage the world in sustained, collaborative, reflective and meaningful ways that are a central element of their liberal arts education. We work locally, nationally and globally to create spaces for mutually beneficial relationships between faculty, students and community partners. Rooted in the belief that the liberal arts and the community both have knowledge and resources to offer, we aim to facilitate the production of knowledge that contributes to society and enriches the disciplines we study. We value collaborative work that incorporates a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives, and we seek to maximize participation in all of our endeavors.
We offer a number of core programs, including our student leadership development program, educational community partnerships, three-day Community Engagement Orientation Trip, public service internships and the Social Innovation Leadership Team. We also support engagement initiatives and research, most notably faculty scholarship, community-based learning courses, the Athletics department community engagement initiative and the Student Community Engagement Fund.
The CCE is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. It is available to student groups as a meeting space on evenings and weekends.
Molly Mead is the director of the CCE. Mead translates the mission and vision of the CCE into innovative ideas for programs and initiatives with the input and collaboration of a diverse range of stakeholders. She works closely with the CCE staff to implement the CCE’s programs and long-term strategy of enriching the liberal arts education at Amherst College. She also is an active contributor to the national conversations on community engagement and higher education.
Sarah Barr is the director for academic engagement programs. She works with faculty, staff, students, alumni and community organizations to develop community-based courses, research projects, internships and co-curricular initiatives. Barr is particularly interested in working with students to address issues such as food security, affordable housing, education, environmental sustainability and public health.
Kristin Bumiller is the faculty advisor to the CCE and a professor of political science. She works with the Amherst College faculty and the director of academic engagement to develop new community-based learning courses and encourage faculty to utilize the CCE’s resources for academic research and scholarship.
Zoë Jacobs is the assistant to the director. She manages the Center’s budget and financial records, supervises the student office staff, provides vital administrative support to many of the Center’s programs, facilitates the CCE Advisory Board meetings and assists the director.
Ethan Kolek is the director of evaluation, supervising all evaluation activities of the CCE. He develops the instruments for evaluating the Center’s programs and works with the staff to understand the findings of the assessments. Kolek also helps to develop long-term priorities and strategies for the CCE.
Karen Miller is an assistant dean of students and the director of student leadership. She runs student development programs, including the Community Engagement Leader Program and the Community Engagement Orientation Trip. She works to ensure that students have the range of skills they need to engage effectively in communities in and around Amherst.
Julia Alexander is the public service internships coordinator. She helps students secure summer internships in which they gain valuable skills and help an organization accomplish its mission.