Mission Statement and Goals
The Center for Civic Engagement & Social Impact promotes community-based learning experiences that address issues of public concern by building mutually beneficial partnerships and empowering students to be active citizens in their local, national and global communities.
To achieve this mission, the Center for Civic Engagement & Social Impact:
- Partners with a wide array of non-profit and governmental agencies, faculty, staff, and student clubs, organizations, and athletic teams
- Facilitates academic and co-curricular community service and service-learning programs that engage students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members
- Disseminates information about service-learning, resources, and professional development opportunities
- Consults with faculty to incorporate service-learning opportunities into specific courses and programs of study
- Collaborates with all parties to ensure quality learning experiences and positive impact in the community
- Manages service-learning data and facilitates assessment
Faculty and Staff
Director, Center for Civic Engagement and Social Impact
Rita joined the Center for Civic Engagement and Social Impact in February of 2023. Rita graduated from West Chester University of Pennsylvania (WCU) with a doctoral degree in Policy, Planning, and Administration in Higher Education in 2022. She also holds a Certificate in Higher Education and Student Affairs Policy (HEPSA) from WCU. She received her MS in Technological Systems Management and BS in Biology and Secondary Science Teaching Certification at Stony Brook University in New York. Rita joined WCU in 2016 and has served in various student support roles on campus working with undergraduate and graduate student populations, faculty, and staff, and campus partners to coordinate student success initiatives. She has been involved in K-16 education for over 30 years. She is passionate about working with students to help them find success and realize their potential to create change! As her personal commitment towards these goals, she has lent her professional and personal talents as a community volunteer.
Assistant Director, Center for Civic Engagement and Social Impact
Katie joined the Center for Civic Engagement & Social Impact in August of 2022. Recently receiving her M.S. in Higher Education Policy and Student Affairs from West Chester University, Katie spent the past two years as a graduate assistant in CCESI. In this role she coordinated community partnerships and community-based student leadership programs with the Ram Corps program. Katie was also a core part of Resource Pantry operations and customer service experiences helping to support the day-to-day Pantry needs and events through her work with the Campus Garden, the Chester County Food Bank, and the West Chester Food Cupboard.
Administrative Assistant, Center for Civic Engagement & Social Impact
Alondra joined the Center for Civic Engagement and Social Impact in November of 2021. She graduated from West Chester University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies and three minors in the Department of Languages and Cultures with concentrations in Spanish, Latin American Studies, and Chinese language. She comes from a Latinx background and is a First Generation American and college graduate. Alondra previously worked in the WCU Facilities Division before moving to the Division of Student Affairs. She is looking forward to supporting the West Chester University community with persistence and professionalism.
Faculty Associate for Service-Learning for Fall 2022 & Spring 2023
Elizabeth Munz (she/her(s) pronouns) is the Faculty Associate for the Center for Civic Engagement and Social Impact (CCESI) and an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and Media within the College of Arts and Humanities. She earned an M.A. and Ph.D. from what is now the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University, and a B.A. from the University of Richmond. Before attending Purdue University, she served as a Non-Formal Education Peace Corps Volunteer in Suriname, South America from 2002-2004. Dr. Munz joined the faculty at West Chester University in 2013 as a teacher and scholar of interpersonal and family communication, has been on the Service-Learning Faculty Workgroup since 2014, and regularly incorporates service-learning into courses on family communication and public speaking. The combination of academic training and meaningful service experiences shapes her commitment to sustainable and transformative partnerships between community partners, faculty, staff, and students.
Skylar is serving as the Graduate Assistant for Resource Pantry Leadership and Development. Last year, Skylar was the Resource Pantry Operations Manager. She is a student in the Higher Education Policy and Student Affairs Program here at West Chester University. Skylar graduated from Kutztown University in 2018 and then went on to work for a youth mentoring non-profit called Big Brothers Big Sisters Independence for 2 years. She currently also works part time at Davita Kidney Care. Skylar is from West Chester PA and is excited to be working at the Resource Pantry.
Kristen is the Graduate Assistant for Civic Leadership and Development. She is a first-year graduate student in the M.S. in Higher Education Policy and Student Affairs program. Before coming to West Chester University, Kristen received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with a minor in Business from Villanova University in 2021. In this graduate assistantship, Kristen will be overseeing the RamCorps DIRECT program for students working at educational equity, environmental equity, and health equity organizations in the West Chester area and students organizing on-campus initiatives for various forms of civic engagement. She is looking forward to a great year here at CCESI!
Molly (she/hers) joined the Center for Civic Engagement and Social Impact in August 2022. She graduated from West Chester University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies and Women and Gender Studies. Molly is in her second year of the Master of Social Work Program here at West Chester University. In her role as Benefits Hub Manager, Molly will provide students with information and guidance on government programs and local resources. Molly looks forward to engaging with students and being a member of the CCESI team!
Hyo is serving as the Resource Pantry Operations Manager. She is pursuing her masters in TESOL and this year is her second year. She had teaching experiences in South Korea. This experience allowed her to fulfill her passion for supporting youth and to have a career that positively contributes to the success of others. Hyo is super excited to work as a member of the Resource Pantry team and looking forward to having opportunities for serving her community!
The annual report aims to provide a summary of both the department-led efforts, as well as community engagement initiatives reported to the department by faculty, staff, and students. Center for Civic Engagement & Social Impact promotes community engaged learning experiences that address critical community needs by building mutually beneficial partnerships with non-profit organizations and governmental agencies, while empowering students to be active citizens in their local, national and global communities.