News

New office supports civic engagement

Mara Dâ€'Amico, member of AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) working in Office of Civic and Civic Engagement, is calling local community about a recent program they are collaborating on. Zoe Lu//The Miami Hurricane

Founded two months ago, the Office of Civic and Community Engagement (OCCE) is the latest on-campus service to help students get more involved in their community.

The OCCE’s main goal is to connect faculty members, students, and community organizations to address concerns in a collaborative learning environment.

The office is headed by Robin Bachin, assistant provost for Civic and Community Engagement and associate professor in the department of history.

“Whereas the Butler Center focuses more on volunteerism and leadership development, this office focuses on more of the academic side of service and engagement,” said Mara D’Amico, who works at both the OCCE and the Butler Center for Volunteer Service and Leadership Development.

This semester, more than 30 courses feature a community service component and the website lists over 50 internships with community organization.

OCCE representative Lee Bloch stresses the importance of “experiential learning” in the education process.

“[Community-based partnerships] promote a more engaged culture and a culture that crosses those borders between the university and the community,” Bloch said.

Students can get directly involved with the office through one of its five upcoming initiatives. For example, applications are currently open for the Southridge High School Partnership, which would allow hands-on experience for history and English majors who want to use their knowledge to educate high school students.

Going forward, Bloch hopes to have more partnerships with high schools.

“[The office] would like to incorporate more high schools, programs and fields,” he said.

Through the efforts of the OCCE, D’Amico wants to address the needs of the community and to create an educational opportunity for students.

“It’s a matter of asking: ‘What does the community need and what skills do I have to address those needs?’” D’Amico said. “It’s so important for students to know what’s going on in their community and on their campus. It allows them to form connections that can further their career and experience at the school.”

September 18, 2011

Reporters

Alanna Zunski

Contributing News Writer


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

If he hasn’t made it already, Miami Hurricanes coach Mark Richt has a defining decision to ponder in ...

They were way below the radar coming into the 1983 season. And after their 28-3 opening-game loss to ...

In the opening eight minutes on Saturday — and the final seven minutes — FIU looked like a team that ...

The N’Kosi Perry era is here. Whether it’s here to stay is yet to be seen. The fans got what they wa ...

Ten takeaways from UM’s 31-17 win against FIU on Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium: ▪ Credit Mark Richt ...

Get Out The Vote, a nonpartisan initiative headed by the Division of Student Affairs and the Butler ...

University of Miami Libraries commemorates Banned Books Week with a special event and display. ...

A year after UPup’s founding father met his match, the service club is realizing its goal of becomin ...

UM students, faculty and staff commemorated the five-year anniversary of the Donna E. Shalala Studen ...

Miami’s Turnover Chain inspires copycats, but the U’s turnover prop has a ‘cool factor.’ ...

The Miami Hurricanes were one of the biggest risers in both major polls released Sunday, jumping to ...

The University of Miami volleyball program defeated Duke, 3-1, winning its fourth straight match and ...

Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team earned one of the most prestigious coll ...

The season-opening, three-day Miami Fall Invite wrapped up Sunday at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center a ...

N'Kosi Perry and a dominant Miami defense led the Hurricanes to a 31-17 victory over the Panthe ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.