Civic engagement is at the heart of our core values.
But what is civic engagement? Civic engagement can be a number of different activities, ranging from volunteer work at a local soup kitchen to writing a letter to a state official. Here at Widener 75% of our seniors participated in community service or volunteer activities, 29% as part of a course, compared to 17% of college students nationally (2009 National Survey of Student Engagement).
In Project LEAD, students get a jump-start on leadership development by taking the lead on a civic engagement project. Once comfortable around campus, students can decide to volunteer through one of our student service organizations to become a Big Brother or Big Sister.
Student athletes may find managing concession stands and games at the Delaware County Special Olympics – a decades-long tradition carried on by our Athletics Department – a great way to get civically involved.
If a student wishes to be part of Greek life, they will get involved in numerous service opportunities, as our fraternities and sororities were engaged in 2,569 service hours in 2010-2011.
Students in our School of Law provide free legal assistance through clinics that help veterans, victims of domestic violence, and others who are concerned with bankruptcy, family issues, environmental crimes, criminal defense, consumer issues, and divorce in Delaware and Pennsylvania.
Inside and outside the classroom, students will find:
- Undergraduate education students and Widener faculty working side-by-side in the Widener Partnership Charter School and the Widener Childhood Development Center.
- Graduate students in our physical therapy program who help Chester residents in a neighborhood physical therapy clinic at no or low cost.
Sometimes getting involved at Widener will take students across the U.S. – or across the globe – where they will:
- Put in “sweat equity” with Habitat for Humanity in cities and towns across the U.S. while on Alternative Spring Break.
- Bring low-cost, sustainable solar energy to a tribal village in Panama through Solar Energy for Ella Drua (SEED), a project started by Widener’s Engineers Without Borders student chapter.
Leadership Skills That Make A Difference
As a member of the Presidential Service Corps (PSC)/Bonner Leaders, students have the opportunity to tutor school children or be a companion for the elderly in the local community and participate in an international trip every year to help others beyond the borders of the United States.
Our students are encouraged to get involved because no matter what their personal interests may be, there are always opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others.
Dean Fred Akl
Professor Fred A. Akl, dean of the School of Engineering, discusses his work with NASA during the STS-63 and STS-71 space shuttle missions.
At the Health Annex
Lynn Freda, a nurse and graduate student in Widener's Family Nurse Practitioner master's program, talks about her experiences working with Dr. Shirlee Drayton-Brooks, associate professor at the School of Nursing.
Dr. Marina Barnett
Dr. Marina Barnett, associate professor in the Center for Social Work Education, talks about the leadership qualities she sees in her students. Also, Dr. Barnett gives an amazing Widener rallying cry. Check it out!
Catherine Rawlings '14
Catherine Rawlings, a junior from West Chester, Pa., talks about why she participates in the AmeriCorps Community Fellows program at Widener.
Dr. Jeannette Wyatt
Assistant Professor Jenny Wyatt discusses the work and impact of the Widener Center for Violence Prevention.
Dr. Nadine McHenry
Associate Professor Nadine McHenry talks about the importance of exposing teacher candidates to schoolchildren from different contexts.
The 1821 Experience
In this pre-orientation program, you will explore how multiculturalism adds to the college experience and connect with other students on campus.
This multi-day backpacking trip, led by members of the Outdoor Adventure Club, offers incoming Widener students a chance to build self-confidence and a social network of like-minded students on campus while having fun in the Appalachian Mountains.
This student life leadership program, Enhancing Leadership Experience Via Activities, Training, and Engagement, aka ELEVATE, allows you to build or hone your leadership skills with learning tracks for emerging student leaders.
The Oskin Leaders program inspires and equips Widener undergraduates to courageously leverage their passion and leadership skills to create significant, positive change.
University College student Dale Kerns Jr. established the Little Angels Foundation, which provides financial and emotional support for children suffering from cancer, tumors, and other deadly diseases.
College of Arts & Sciences
Chemistry Major Anna Miller ‘12, from East Prospect, PA, served as site team leader at CityTeam International in Chester, where she coordinated the efforts of 10 other PSC students.
College of Arts & Sciences
Anthropology Major Sara E. McManus ’13 has been named a 2012 Newman Civic Fellow, an award that recognizes inspiring college student leaders who have worked to find solutions for challenges facing their communities.
Alternative Spring Break
Anthropology Major Jess Viscuso ’12 and Nursing Major Devin Weesner ’13 coordinated Alternative Spring Break efforts for 87 students and faculty and staff chaperones at six locations throughout the U.S.
Institute of Physical Therapy Education
Doctoral Student Scott Cheney serves on the board of the Society for Student-run Medical Clinics, where he is one of five national directors charged with planning the society’s international conference.
President James T. Harris III has been appointed chair of the Board Directors for the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania (AICUP) for 2012–13. Harris has served on the AICUP Board of Directors since 2007, most recently as vice-chair.
Dr. Harry Augensen, associate dean of science and professor of physics and astronomy, helped alumnus Dominic Liberto ’08 arrange a private moment during a public viewing at the Widener University Observatory to propose to his girlfriend, Jenn. She said yes!