Community-Engaged Learning

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About Us

Community-Engaged Learning is an experiential approach to teaching and learning that links academic study and community-engaged work so that each is strengthened—and both are transformed.

Characteristics of Community-Engaged Learning:

  • Rigorous academic learning
  • Meaningful and appropriate community-engaged project work that meets community-identified needs
  • Guided critical reflection
  • Reciprocal and mutually beneficial partnerships and collaborations

Community-Engaged Learning at Fairfield University is committed to solidarity and collaboration with people who are marginalized. We work to develop community partnerships that are based in mutuality and reciprocity. Through these partnerships, students engage in community service that includes substantial direct contact with low-income residents, social service agency clients, the elderly, public school students, or hospital/clinic patients. They serve as interns and consultants, and support personnel.

In addition to being mindful of "best practices" that have been developed nationally in the academic service-learning movement, our work flows from the Jesuit Catholic educational mission of Fairfield University that calls for the dynamic integration of academic excellence, social responsibility, and faith that promotes justice.

Community-Engaged Learning Programs provides support for

Our Team

Andrea Canuel headshot

Andrea Canuel

Associate Director,
Community-Engaged Learning
Center for Social Impact
Get to Know Andrea
Andrea Canuel serves as the Associate Director for Community-Engaged Learning in the Center for Social Impact, where she manages faculty development and partnership efforts for community-engaged pedagogies. Previously, Andrea served as the Assistant Director of the Office of Volunteer Programs and Service Learning at Sacred Heart University and the Administrative Director at Thinking Beyond Borders, a provider of gap year programs with a focus on international development and social impact education. Andrea earned a B.A. in History with Honors from the College of the Holy Cross and an M.A. in International Education from New York University. While at Holy Cross, Andrea received the Worcester, MA UniverCity Partnership Award for College Student Community Engagement. A native of Bridgeport, CT, Andrea is proud to serve in a bridge-building role between the Fairfield University community and the Greater Bridgeport region.

Advisory Committee

The Community-Engaged Learning Advisory Committee was established in Spring 2006. The purpose of the committee is to help develop and guide the vision of Service Learning at Fairfield University. Advisory committee members are also committed to supporting and consulting with colleagues who want to integrate Service Learning practice into their respective courses and programming.

Center for Social Impact

Melissa Quan, Director of the Center for Social Impact
Andrea Canuel, Associate Director for Community-Engaged Learning
Ashley Byun, Faculty Chair of Community-Engaged Learning; Assistant Professor, Biology

Academic Division

Office of the Provost

Jocelyn Boryczka, Associate Vice Provost for Scholarly, Creative, and Community Engagement
Jennifer Ewald, Associate Vice Provost, Global Strategy

College of Arts & Sciences

Michael Andreychik, Psychology
Elizabeth Boquet, English; Director, Writing Center
Judy Primavera, Psychology
Tom Sobocinski, English Writing

School of Education and Human Development

Robert Hannafin, Dean
Stephanie Storms, Associate Dean

Dolan School of Business

Mark LeClair, Economics and Director of the Masters in Public Administration
Vishnu Vinekar, Information Systems & Operations Management
William Vasquez Mazariegos, Economics

Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies

Jessica Planas, Nursing

Center for Academic Excellence

Emily Smith, Director of Mentoring

DiMenna-Nyselius Library

Barbara Ghilardi, Reference Librarian & Interim Instruction Coordinator

Student Affairs

Katie Byrnes, Campus Ministry
Nicole Heller, Assistant Director, Office of Student Engagement
Ophelia Rowe-Allen, Associate Dean of Students, Director of Residence Life and Student Diversity & Multicultural Affairs

Community Partners

Edith Cassidy, Burroughs Community Center
Bob Francis, RYASAP
Anne Gribbon, School Volunteer Association

Courses & Immersion Opportunities

Each semester, 20 - 25 Community - Engaged Learning courses are offered across Fairfield University’s five schools. Through Community - Engaged Learning students apply theory to practice by working alongside community partners on projects and activities that connect with their classroom learning and contribute to positive social impact

Faculty Resources

The Center for Social Impact facilitates connections between focused academic learning and meaningful community-engaged projects that address needs identified by community members.

Student Opportunities

Community-Engaged Learning is an experiential approach to education that combines meaningful community-engaged work, critical reflection, and civic education—all of which enhance the academic learning in a particular course.

Community Partners

The Center for Social Impact connects community partners with faculty and students to build learning opportunities for our students that also meet community-identified needs. We focus on harnessing the assets of the community: the partnering organizations and professionals, the University, the faculty, and the students.

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