Kiely ’86 Named Director at Cornell – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Kiely ’86 Named Director at Cornell

Richard Kiely ’86, a nationally-recognized scholar of service learning, was recently promoted as the director of Cornell’s new Center for Community Engaged Learning and Research, a newly established center that will provide expertise and funding to promote academic engagement experiences and opportunities for students and faculty.  

“I look forward to advancing pedagogy and scholarship in the area of community-engaged learning and research.  I am also interested in learning from and collaborating with community members locally and globally as well as other organizations and institutions, like HWS, to build sustainable and reciprocal community partnerships aimed at addressing persistent problems and issues,” says Kiely. “It is amazing what people can accomplish when there is an opportunity to collaborate and share ideas, generate knowledge and work together to apply that knowledge in support of a common cause or public good.”

Crediting his parents’ progressive thinking for the influence it had on his work in public engagement, Kiely also recognizes that his time at HWS also had a big impact on him.  “Having just attended a wonderful 25th Reunion at HWS, I would be remiss not to mention the influence of numerous HWS faculty, including in particular, Eugen Baer, who had a tremendous influence on my understanding of the connection between theory and practice, reflection and action and on my evolving sense of what it means to be critically engaged with the world and socially responsible,” comments Kiely.

Prior to his position as director, Kiely served as the faculty director of the Urban Scholars Program and Cornell Urban Mentor Initiative – two university-wide, interdisciplinary service-learning programs – as well as associate director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Cornell. Kiely also served as the faculty fellow at Cornell University’s Public Service Center, the Cornell service organization that connects students, faculty, and alumni with community organizations.

Before returning to Cornell in 2006, Kiely was an assistant professor in the Department of Lifelong Education, Policy and Administration at the University of Georgia where he taught courses in instructional design, learning theory, community development, qualitative research and global service-learning.

With extensive experience in both local and global service learning, Kiely co-founded a service-learning program at Tompkins Cortland Community College that worked with community members in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. With the program now in its 17th year, Kiely says, “I am proud of the longstanding relationships we have developed with our partners in Puerto Cabezas.”

Additionally, while at the University of Georgia, he served as the faculty adviser for a group of students who developed a global service-learning program in Moshi, Tanzania and volunteered as the academic director for Amizade Global Servive-Learning, a non-profit that works with colleges and universities to support global service-learning programs in multiple countries including the U.S., Bolivia, Brazil, Tanzania, Jamaica, Germany, and Northern Ireland.

At Cornell, Kiely has been involved in the New Orleans Planning Initiative and has served as the faculty director of the Cornell Urban Scholars Program, a position which gave him the opportunity to teach a number of service-learning courses aimed at preparing students to effectively engage in field-based service learning, conduct research, and document and apply their learning.   

Kiely earned his B.A. in philosophy and political science from Hobart College, where he played baseball for four years, earning the 1983 Emblem Award. As an alumnus, Kiely returned in March 2010 as an Engaged Citizenship speaker.  He holds a master’s degree in international relations from the University of San Diego, and a Ph.D. from the Department of Education at Cornell University. He was recognized nationally as a John Glenn Scholar in Service-Learning for his longitudinal research that led to the development of a transformative model of service-learning.

The photo above features Kiely when he visited HWS in 2010.