Faculty Fellows for Community Engagement Dive In to Service-Learning!

After a summer of workshops and trainings, the four Faculty Fellows for Community Engagement enthusiastically embarked on their first semester of service-learning. Working with a variety of community partners, the Fellows aligned their course learning outcomes with the needs of a non-profit to address social issues.

Nancy Aldrich, Assistant Professor for Business Administration, worked with the Newton Community Farm in conjunction with her Business Communication course to provide the non-profit with much needed online communication resources.

Tracy Blais, Associate Professor of Veterinary Technology, transformed her Pre-Capstone course to include a wide variety of service projects that helped to prepare students for the required Capstone projects in the spring semester by working to address needs of animal organizations throughout the region. Vet Tech students worked with a number of community partners throughout the fall semester and learned more about major issues with non-profits in the animal world.

Stephanie McGoldrick, Assistant Professor of Interior Design, required community engagement work through her First-Year Experience course, and had students collecting clothes, food and toys for people in need. McGoldrick will be embedding service-learning into her Design course for the spring semester by through work with the Chesterbrook Community Housing Project in Waltham. The course will redesign the community center at the housing project, allowing the organization to have plans for a fundraising campaign.


Jamie Picardy, Assistant Professor of Geography and Urban Planning, worked with the Newton Department of Planning and Development through her First-Year Experience course, where the students helped the City of Newton manage “Smart Growth” for the future planning.

The end of the fall semester offered the Faculty Fellows some time to unwind, and reflect upon their service-learning journey, as President Brown hosted a luncheon with the Fellows and the CITE staff as a thank you for all their hard work. While the Fellows met monthly throughout the semester as part of a cohort to receive resources around service-learning, one of the most rewarding aspects of the meetings was the opportunity to share experiences, successes and challenges with one another.

Each of the Fellows have a clear passion for work in community engagement, and will spend the spring semester making adjustments to service-learning sections of courses from the fall, and also building service into other existing courses.

The hard work of these Fellows has not gone unnoticed, as there has been a tremendous ripple effect across campus with more faculty engaging in community engagement than ever before. This past fall there were 12 community engaged courses, with 141 student participants and 1,996.25 hours of service, which amounts to an economic impact of $57,891.25.

Fourteen students from the Mount Ida Vet Tech program, under the watchful eye of Assistant Professor of Veterinary Technology Kimberly Karolides, made their way to Thailand during the January semester break.

During the course of the 11 day trip they spent time at Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai. ENP was founded by Lek Chailert and is a sanctuary for abused elephants. They also care for dogs, cats, horses and water buffalo that live at the park.

The Mount Ida students spent time working with and caring for all of the animals. The veterinary clinic had them assisting with spays and neuters, taking radiographs, and giving vaccines. They learned about each elephant at the park, gathered food for them in the jungle, fed them watermelon, assisted in wound cleaning and some even were allowed to draw blood. Meeting and speaking directly with Lek Chailert was a highlight for all.

The Newton-Needham Regional Chamber announced it has taken major steps toward building, establishing and promoting the N2 Innovation District. Six months after releasing a report detailing the viability of creating an innovation-driven economy in the area, the chamber is launching a fundraising effort, hiring a staff member dedicated to building the N2 Innovation District and launching programs aimed at driving innovation and attracting business to the region.

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