The Center for Community Engagement Announces Name Change

The CCE's office in the Carriage House at 31 Park Place
McKenna Christy
November 20, 2023
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The Center for Campus and Community Engagement has officially changed its name to the Center for Community Engagement (CCE). While this development may appear small, the achievements the center has made in the last few years in connecting OHIO campuses and communities are not so minor.

“The Center for Community Engagement continues its growth toward achieving our mission: to create and maintain mutually beneficial academic, research, and service partnerships that foster resilient communities and life-long engaged citizens,” said Director Mary Nally.

One area of recent growth is the 2020 launch of GivePulse to assist campus and community partners connect to, coordinate, and track community engagement activities, such as volunteer and service projects. Organizations in need of volunteers can post events and other opportunities to the platform where OHIO students, staff and faculty can search for opportunities to get involved.

The CCE has also worked towards expanding opportunities for people to grow in their understanding of community engagement. Three online training modules now exist that focus on Community Engaged Research, Community Engagement & Social Justice, and Civic Engagement & Voting. These trainings are appropriate and accessible to all stakeholders.

The Community-Engaged Scholars Program, formerly an annual in-person Service-Learning C-Course Training program, is now offered twice a year online to better accommodate OHIO faculty and staff in Athens and on Regional Campuses. The program provides professional development training on community engaged pedagogies with the goal of building institutional capacity for curricular service-learning as a high impact experiential learning strategy.

The CCE is also working on activating the alumni of the Community Engaged Scholars Program. Participants who complete the program are invited to join The Community Engaged Scholars Directory, which serves as a resource for external partners interested in engaging with OHIO staff and faculty who have expertise in community engagement. Alumni of the training program who are interested in joining the directory can fill out this form.

As of Spring 2023, complementing the Community Engaged Scholars Directory is a new Community Partner Experts Directory. The directory organizes and celebrates community members based on their expertise. OHIO faculty, staff, and students can search by subject matter and connect with those community experts. To apply to become an expert in the directory, community partners unaffiliated with OHIO can apply here.

Most recently, the CCE presented the first ever Outstanding Community Partner Awards at the second annual Community Engagement Symposium in September. The university recognized six community partners for their work with each of OHIOs campuses. The 2024 call for nominations application will open January 1st.

“These newly developed institution-wide honors all strive to increase connections and recognition and reward for university and community partners alike,” said Nally.

Students are also recognized for their leadership and community service contributions in coordination with the Division of Student Affairs and in partnership with Diversity and Inclusion. The Edwin L. Kennedy Awards for Community Service are distributed to students for their commitment to the OHIO community. Both students and student organizations can be nominated for the award. The applications to nominate a student or student organization will open January 1st.

The CCE’s name change allows for current programming to grow and its mission to be even clearer.

“As the Center works to continue curating its programming and increase awareness of its presence, it is essential that our name offers clear, precise, and focused language accurately describing our work,” Nally said. “The name “the Center for Community Engagement” clearly communicates our purpose in a way that is easily understood among both campus and community partners.”