Celebration of Service Shines Light on Caring, Community Building

Mentoring young children, working alongside medical professionals at free clinics, developing community data dashboards, mapping community needs for community preservation, teaching and designing curricula, advocating for policy change–for decades, the Center for Civic Engagement has created opportunities for students to engage with and learn from communities nearby Davidson and around the world. Students, faculty and staff gathered to applaud that work at the annual Celebration of Service.

While the reach of the center has expanded–more than 90 percent of the student body participated in some form of civic engagement work last year–the center's mission has always been to prepare students for lives of leadership and service.

Stacey Riemer, associate dean of students and director of civic engagement, said the work of the center is focused on immersive community engagement efforts.

"More and more our students, faculty, staff and community members move beyond transactional service by working together to find innovative ways to build the capacity of our communities and tackle pressing social issues," she said.

Stats from the 2016-17 academic year speak to the center's growing footprint (stats from the current year will be available at a later date):

  • A record number of 28 community-based learning courses offered;
  • Awarded $33,018 in faculty curriculum & professional development grants;
  • Over 70 summer immersive experiences provided or supported;
  • Provided $34,458 in grant dollars for community engagement projects;
  • Advised 30 service / social action student leadership organizations; and
  • College Advising Corps placed 17 advisers at 18 high schools, and facilitated 3,235 college acceptances.

Recognizing Contributions

The Celebration of Service highlights the many service programs and initiatives supported through the center and its partners, and honors the special efforts of individuals and groups who make exemplary service and civic contributions.

Sam Owusu '21, incoming Civic Engagement Council (CEC) chair, and outgoing chair Anmar Jerjees '18, emceed the event. The council acts as an umbrella organization for more than 30 service and social action groups on campus.

Their remarks highlighted some the Civic Engagement Council's notable achievements this year:

  • At the start of the academic year, in partnership with the Music Department and other student organizations, the council organized fundraising efforts to support those affected by hurricanes Irma and Harvey, raising over $2,000 in donations as well as clothing and school supplies.
  • In response to current events, student groups have rallied around causes about which they are passionate, and have educated peers and lawmakers at the state and national levels. The most recent example is the founding of the student group Davidson Students Demand Action, whose focus is on research and activism related to gun control, gun violence and gun culture in America.
  • During the North Carolina Campus Compact Presidents Forum, hosted earlier this year,President Carol Quillen received the Leo M. Lambert Engaged Leader Award for leadership that fosters student engagement and community impact on campus.
  • Additionally, the council supported campus initiatives in honor of National Volunteer Week and #AllInForDavidson. Throughout the week, the council collaborated with many organizations and departments to celebrate donors and volunteers for the work they do to strengthen communities. On-campus programming included assembling close to 500 laundry detergent containers for the Mooresville Soup Kitchen. In addition, alumni chapters across the country hosted a series of events and service days throughout the week.

The award winners were recognized for their work on campus and with community partners, including the Ada Jenkins Center, Levine Children's Hospital, Caterpillar Ministries and Le Escuelita Bilingual Preschool, to name a few.

In addition to the student awards, community partners, alumni, staff and faculty received accolades: Serenity House, which provides support and comfort to residents and their families during the end-of-life process, was the recipient of the Outstanding Partnership Award; Alumnus George Shaw '68 was given an Award of Distinction; Natalie Delia Deckard, an assistant professor of sociology, took home the Engaged Scholarship Award; and the Staff Award went to Kendra Intihar, assistant general manager of WDAV.


  • May 17, 2018