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Campus Life

About Us

What We Do

The Center for Community engagement oversees 14 different student-led organizations working with urban youth, elders, and animals at non-profit agencies and local schools. We offer more than 90 service-learning courses in which 1,200 students each year combine academics with community service. We also oversee students and faculty who are engaged in undergraduate community-based research examining local environmental issues, youth leadership, mentoring strategies, and organizational management.

The mission of the Center for Community Engagement is to educate citizens to participate responsibly in a global society. We bring together students, faculty, and staff to address five key areas through service-learning, volunteerism, and community-based action research. Those areas are:

Community Engagement Mission

  • Civic Responsibility

  • Environmental Awareness

  • Health

  • Poverty, Hunger and Homelessness

  • Youth Literacy, Education and Development

Center for Community Engagement Staff

  • Melissa Kesler Gilbert, Director

  • Leslie Cavin, Assistant Director

  • Darlene Lawson, Program Coordinator

  • John Kengla, Service-Learning Liaison

Student Staff 

The Center for Community Engagement has a variety of employment opportunities available to students. We look for students who are passionate about community service, responsible, and like to think creatively. Please stop in to inquire about current open positions.

Our History

Otterbein University has traditionally placed a strong emphasis on community engagement and the development of the Center for Community Engagement (CCE) is reflective of that commitment. The CCE was established in response to the increasing needs of both the community and the student body.  Expansions of the CCE have improved the breadth and depth of community engagement at Otterbein University. In 2005, the CCE relocated from the Campus Center to a converted home on Otterbein’s campus. The move allowed the staff to expand to its current state, which fostered significant developments in community engagement. The CardinalCorps, our volunteer network which consists of the students, faculty, staff and alumni who are devoted to social change through community involvement, has increased its participation every year through newly developed programs.

We Are a Gathering Place

The Community Room in the CCE is where service-minded people can meet and unwind. The room is available for presentations and meetings for CCE and Religious Life student organizations, volunteers, community partners, and even faculty book clubs. The room houses a resource library for students and faculty interested in running community programs or developing service-learning courses. We make crafts for community service projects in the Community Room, too. But when the work is done, the room is ready for volunteer appreciation pizza parties and game nights with Wii bowling and Rock Band! Our volunteers like to drop by, hang out, and chat—you’re welcome to join them!

Vehicles & Transportation

The CCE partners with the Otterbein Service Department to provide transportation for students who are participating in community service activities. If you have questions about becoming an Otterbein certified driver or about reserving a van for a community service activity, please contact Darlene Lawson at dlawson@otterbein.edu.

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/ Center for Community Engagement

The CCE is located in the Mikesell House, 82 W. Main St.


Office Hours
M-F: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
M-F: 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (summer)

Contact

p / 614.823.1270