Welcome to the Mary Jane Underwood Stryker Center for Civic Engagement (CCE)!
Affirming the central goals of the College, the CCE engages students, faculty, and community members in sustained partnerships that foster collaborative learning and civic participation in a diverse, democratic society. By forging a link between critical civic engagement and learning, the CCE works to strengthen the community, invigorate the educational experience, and promote a more just, equitable & sustainable world.
About two thirds of Kalamazoo College students work in the community every year, through service-learning courses and in co-curricular programs.
Through our co-curricular programs, students can earn minimum wage through federal work-study, or work as “volunteers” committing at least two hours per week throughout the term. These co-curricular programs are coordinated (and frequently designed) by Civic Engagement Scholars (CESs), “K” student leaders, who work with the CCE as professionals.
The CCE is now recruiting students to work in our partnership programs in 2016-17. These paid positions require are least three hours per week and are available to students who qualify for federal work study. For more information, check out the available positions.
"More than half-century after 'Harvest of Shame,' migrant farmworkers in the U.S. still face deplorable conditions"
Last spring, several students conducted outreach in the Holland housing complex with longtime CCE partner Farmworker Legal Services (FLS). The project was among several community-based initiatives students undertook in “Cultures of Health and Disease in Hispanic Communities,” a course Professor Maria Jose Romero Eshuis has taught for about a decade. Their effort enabled FLS to connect with a number of farmworkers living at this complex, and they are now working to ensure that their rights are respected and they receive what is due to them.
The project was coordinated by FLS staff member Mariah Hennen, K’15, who also worked as a CES for the Migrant Rights Action program when she was a student here.
The article “More than half-century after ‘Harvest of Shame’ migrant farmworkers in the U.S. still face deplorable conditions” published by Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting on November 7th, 2016, takes a closer look at the housing problems farmworkers encounter at the Holland complex and many others across the country.
A very special congratulations to two of our CESs!
Kalamazoo College Family Weekend served as backdrop for the College’s annual Honors Day convocation. More than 250 students were recognized for excellence in academics and leadership in different divisions across K. Among the 250 recipients are two of our very own Civic Engagement Scholars, Sara Bragg & Moises Hernandez K ’17.
Sarah Bragg received the GORDON BEAUMONT MEMORIAL AWARD, awarded to the student who displays qualities of selflessness, humanitarian concern and a willingness to help others, as exemplified in the life of Gordon Beaumont.
Moises Hernandez received the VIRGINIA HINKELMAN MEMORIAL AWARD, awarded to a student who displays a deep concern for the well-being of children, as demonstrated through career goals in the field of child welfare.
Congratulations to Sara & Moises on behalf of the Center for Civic Engagement!
Sarah Bragg K ’17, one of our Civic Engagement Scholar for Young Women’s Leadership, won an award for her poster detailing research on barriers to HIV testing last month. Learn more about her award here!
“Roots in the Earth” Community Work Day
On a sunny day in November, students in Amy Newday’s First Year Seminar, “Roots in the Earth,” organized and joined in a Community Work Day at the Lillian Anderson Arboretum. Along with neighbors from the township, faculty and staff, they maintained trails, cleared brush, and rooted out invasive species.
This was one of several service-learning projects students took on for the course, in which they also researched and developed educational posters for visitors to the Arb, displayed in the photos at the new Batts Pavilion.
“Roots in the Earth” examines the natural world and invites exploration of our connections to it. Experiences with the out-of-doors, the development of interpretive materials, and readings about the environment pose questions such as: How have belief systems influenced human interactions with nature throughout history and across cultures? Can we or could we envision new relationships that might be both more sustainable and more satisfying? And how do the answers to these questions affect our responses to environmental problems such as climate change, pollution, and dwindling biodiversity?
Readings include Bill McKibben's American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau and Robin Wall Kimmerer's Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants.
Global Alliances Institute for Civic Engagement Conference 2016
Kalamazoo College hosted the Global Alliances Institute for Civic Engagement Conference where dozens of students and staff from around the globe came together to explore many dimensions of work and reflections upon the promise and difficulties of cross-national collaborations through the collection of panels, case studies, and workshops.
A huge THANK YOU for all our participants!
Have additional questions? Curious about something not covered on the webpage? If so, feel free to contact Susmitha Daggubati, Program Associate for the CCE.