Real problems, real solutions: Interterm in the CCE

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February 2014—story by CCE staff writer Jenny Morgan, photo by Sandra Costello

Tucked between the fall and spring semesters is one of Amherst’s best-kept secrets: Interterm.

For three weeks every January, students can dive into an array of courses that don’t make appearances during the rest of the year: principles and practices of turbine flight, celestial navigation, and cultural competence in medical care. This January, students at the Center for Community Engagement explored everything from community organizing to marketing a local biofuel car.

Real relationships with real people

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February 2014—story by CCE staff writer Jenny Morgan, photo by Eugene Lee '16, audio by  Ruodi Duan '14 and Rama Hagos '15

If 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. Perhaps that’s because it’s easy to make time for community engagement when it fits the passions of a team and the needs of the community.

‘Cac Gives Back to the Amherst Survival Center

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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.

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


Story by Lindsay Ewing ’15, CCE Athletics Liaison, photos by Mark Idleman '15

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.

Amherst students and teams bowl for Big Brothers Big Sisters


March 2013— story by Lindsay Ewing ’15, CCE Athletics Liaison

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.

Skating with an “Attitude of Gratitude”

Amherst Women’s Hockey engages with the community through “Junior Jeffs” and “Pink in the Rink”


March 2013—story by Lindsay Ewing ’15, CCE Athletics Liaison

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.

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


April 2013—Story by Lindsay Ewing ’15, CCE Athletics Liaison, photo by Eugene Lee '16

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.

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