Message from the Director: Spring 2014 in Review

As we prepare to welcome a new academic year, I'd like to take a moment to reflect on a very busy spring and summer. In late February, the Center for Civic Engagement staff and four Community Mentors traveled to Valparaiso University to participate in the 2014 IMPACT Conference. Renee Lavigne, Alie Mihuta, Sophie Owen-Jankowski and Molly Plunkett, all members of the Class of 2014, presented a workshop that focused on student leadership. Using their experiences as Community Mentors, they provided the audience with essential skills needed to be effective student leaders, as well as tangible items to put inside their "toolkits" for success. A big thank you goes out to these young professionals for representing the CCE and St. Lawrence University so well. In early March, we conducted interviews for our CCE Housing Suites and awarded two groups with an opportunity to continue their engagement with the local community. One group will be working with NYSARC: Community Arts Program and Fitness, and the other group will be working with Campus Kitchens. We started a new tradition within the Community Mentor Program and held a "seniors retreat" in late March. The retreat was offered to give graduating seniors a space to reflect on their time as a CM and to take a break from the busyness of their last semester to just bond over board games and conversation. In early April, we engaged in a bittersweet process of interviewing our next set of Community Mentors, as we prepared to bid farewell to seven seniors. Every year, the applicant pool continues to get stronger and this year, we had more applicants than we've had in recent years; although, we would still like to see more males apply! This fall, we will welcome 10 new CMs and they will join our six returners. "Kick It", in honor of Zach Hamilton, was a huge success. We moved from a Zumba packed agenda to alternating forms of fitness to give participants a nice balance and perhaps, a chance to catch their breath. Although we had less course offerings and fewer CBL students this spring, the Festival of CBL was full of excitement. We welcomed students from the Sustainability Semester, welcomed first-timers and engaged in conversations about how to expand our current programming; all of which gives more power to purpose of this particular event. In July, we welcomed the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) Class of 2018 and immersed students directly into service (and the local community) with NYSARC Fitness and the Free Will Meal Program at the Canton United Methodist Church. Looking forward, we'll work with nine courses committed to CBL, hold another CBL Roundtable for students, faculty and community partners, and hold our annual "Shawna's Walk for Wishes" event.


Brenda Papineau, Director of Community Partnerships
Contact Brenda: or 315-229-5255