Dear Members of the Mount Ida Community,

 One of the important indicators of the growth of a college is the evolution of its programs in Community Engagement and Service Learning.  These programs provide students with an important connection between traditional pedagogical programs and outside communities and diverse populations.  In particular, service learning, as a credit based component of a curriculum, is an important way to prepare students for a life of engagement as responsible citizens, capable of contributing to growth and wellbeing of our communities and our nation.


It is for all these reasons that I am extremely proud today to announce the creation of the Mount Ida Community Engagement Initiative, which, under the direction of the Office of the President, will organize, direct, expand and implement both service learning and community engagement undertakings at the College.  The purpose of the Initiative will be to provide incentives and training for faculty to dramatically grow our curricular service learning while, at the same time, to expand civic engagement programs for our growing co-curricular programs and student organizations.

Through the Initiative we hope to demonstrate the energy, capacity and achievement of our students with a goal of recognition by the Carnegie Endowment in 2020.

We are demonstrating marked progress in many areas of engagement toward our goal.

This past fall, Mount Ida saw a thirty-three percent increase in student participation in civic and community service. This increase equated to 565 students, participating in 21 service projects and completing 1,494 hours of service last fall. The bulk of our engagement is currently co-curricular, but several important service learning and civic engagement projects were tied to instruction as well. Community Engagement has been integral to the Mount Ida experience, starting with the First-Year Community Plunge that takes place each fall where first-year students partake in a day of community service activities. This coming spring will mark the second annual Non-Profit Career Fair, where our student will have the opportunity to connect with employers from non-profit organizations from around Massachusetts.

Our faculty work hard to find new and creative ways to integrate career relevant skills and assessments for our students, which often times includes community engagement.  The Dental Hygiene Spring Break trip to Ecuador provides the opportunity for our students to treat hundreds of local school children, many of whom have never been exposed to dental hygiene in their lives. The Vet Tech trip to Belize each spring also provides hands-on, life-changing experience for our students as they tend to animals in impoverished regions.  Finally, this fall saw a section of CC 101, The First-Year Experience, partnered with Urban Science Academy at West Roxbury High School, where our students worked with first-generation students as they prepared to apply to college. These are only a few examples of the outstanding work of our faculty in community engagement.

In order to continue our progress, I have this day appointed the following, as principals, to the Initiative:  Heather Gilmour, Assistant Professor of Sports Management, who will act asDirector of the Initiative, together with Dakin Burdick the Director of CITE, and Gregg Grenier the Assistant Director of Civic Engagement and Involvement.

The Community Engagement Initiative will be supported by a Council of Advisors comprised of the Provost, the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Chief Information Officer of the College and the Dean of Curriculum & Academic Quality.

 The goals of the Initiative will include:

  • Increase opportunities for Community Engagement across disciplines and departments through the Faculty Fellows Program and the Community Engagement Faculty Grants.
  • Showcase the new and existing work around Community Engagement.
  • Develop communication, policies and resources for co-curricular Community Engagement opportunities.
  • Provide faculty training and development in service learning and civic engagement.
  • Earn Carnegie Community Engagement designation in 2020.

Importantly, the first undertaking of the Initiative will be to select Faculty Fellows from each of our four schools as well as to oversee the awarding of Faculty service learning grants:

A Faculty Fellow will be selected from each of the four schools. For their work over two academic years, they will each receive a stipend of $3,000 per year and the potential for a course release in the second year for scholarship development. Appointment will be confirmed by the Dean of respective school and any course release that would be granted. Department Chairs are not eligible as Faculty Fellows.

The Faculty Fellows will:

  • Participate in training session for course development.
  • Promote the practice of engaged scholarship and community-based research across the campus.
  • Personally use engaged scholarship in their classes.
  • Present their community engagement outcomes to the faculty through the Summer Faculty Institute.
  • Serve as advisors for peers who want to learn more about community engagement.
  • Serve as advocates for professional service by the faculty in the community.

Faculty will be encouraged to apply for the semester grants that will be in the amount of $1,000 each.  Program Chairs will also be eligible for the Faculty Grant for Community Engagement.

Faculty grant recipients should:

  • Participate in training session for course development.
  • Promote the practice of engaged scholarship and community-based research across the campus.
  • Implement Community Engagement into at least one course for the semester.

Details regarding the selection of Faculty Fellows and future Faculty grants will be forthcoming from the Initiative in the near future.

Once again, Mount Ida should take great pride in the progress we have made on all fronts with respect to Community Engagement. With your continued help, I believe the College will become an innovator and exemplary model for Community Engagement in higher education.  I thank you for all you are doing to help us reach this goal.

Barry Brown



Join the Mount Ida School of Design for Summer Design Week, July 24–30, 2016! Rising high school juniors and seniors – spend a focused week on campus, and decide if a future in design is right for you.

Choose from one of 7 workshops: Animation, Commercial Photography, Fashion Industry Marketing & Management, Fashion Design, Game Art, Graphic Design, and Interior Design! Explore our New England campus, enjoy Boston excursions, and meet new friends.

Follow @MountIdaNews on Twitter for more updates, and join in the conversation with #DesignYourSummer!

For more information and to register

Saturday, April 30, 2016


Do you have a passion for sport or fitness? There are more opportunities than ever for women in the sports industry! Ignite your interest in a career in sports at Mount Ida’s Women in Sport Workshop on April 30, 2016! Hear from women who work in professional sports, sport entertainment, fitness, and more. Plus, our campus is just minutes from Boston, so you can enjoy an evening or weekend in the city!

Learn more & register