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I am pleased to announce creation of Ithaca College’s Office of Civic Engagement (OCE), one of the key initiatives in the college’s IC 20/20 vision and strategic plan. As described in the IC 20/20 vision, the Office of Civic Engagement will coordinate service learning and volunteer community service by students and organizations.

Specifically, the Office of Civic Engagement will serve as a resource and provide support for service learning at IC. We have a distinguished tradition of service learning at IC, but it is one in which the burden of developing and carrying out the service learning component of a course has rested entirely on the faculty member teaching the course. The OCE will serve as a resource particularly with respect to helping a faculty member define service learning objectives and make the community connections necessary to build an effective service learning component into a course. The OCE will also coordinate and advance the use of service learning pedagogy across the campus.

In addition, the OCE will work with the Office of Student Engagement and Multicultural Affairs (OSEMA) to coordinate volunteer and service learning sites where appropriate, to develop collaborative programs with other universities, and to more rigorously assess the benefits of volunteer and service learning activities both for our students and for community organizations. 

The Office of Civic Engagement will be headed by Anthony Hopson. Mr. Hopson, who is part of the President’s Office, will use his existing network of community relationships to provide support, coordination and advocacy for campus-wide civic engagement as part of our mission as a residential, comprehensive college.   Reorganization within the president’s office will free some of Mr. Hopson’s time to enable him to take on these important new responsibilities. His title will be altered to reflect that fact; Mr. Hopson is now the Assistant Vice President for Community /Government Relations and Civic Engagement.

Also joining the Office of Civic Engagement staff is Marian Brown, who currently serves as Special Assistant to the Provost. Ms. Brown will bring to the OCE her existing track record of community networking and engagement specifically on behalf of sustainability initiatives, which are expected to remain a key focus of our community engagement activities.

Given that the College has not previously offered central support for service learning, Mr. Hopson has created a Faculty Design and Implementation Team whose task will be to help us jump-start our initiatives in this area. Members of the design team include Nicholas Walker of the School of Music; Hormoz Movassaghi of the School of Business; James Rada of the Park School of Communications; Jessica Valdes Taves of the School of Health Science and Human Performance; and Ali Erkan, Belisa Gonzalez, Pat Spencer and Michael Smith, all of the School of Humanities and Sciences. 

This is an important marker of progress in realization of the IC 20/20 vision. More importantly, it is a great step forward in developing a comprehensive approach to volunteer and course-related community engagement that will be of maximum benefit to student learning and to the betterment of our local, regional and global communities. 

Announcing Office of Civic Engagement | 1 Comments |
The following comments are the opinions of the individuals who posted them. They do not necessarily represent the position of Intercom or Ithaca College, and the editors reserve the right to monitor and delete comments that violate College policies.
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Announcing Office of Civic Engagement Comment from bhall2 on 03/28/12
There are certain aspects of IC 20/20 vision that I do not agree with. The flexibility of IC majors and academic programs were one of the primary attractions for me when deciding to study here. However, this new department really excites me! Civic engagement is close to my heart and I am proud to see it being valued in the coming changes to Ithaca College.