We're only our best
when all of us thrive.
Deepen your learning and make a difference in the lives of others by getting involved -- locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. From planting a community garden to tutoring local kids to community-based research projects, the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (CCESL) offers numerous opportunities to develop into an empathetic, aware and involved human being through community service, civic engagement, civic leadership and engaged citizenship.
100% of HWS students participate in community service, service learning and/or community-based research. Annually, students contribute over 80,000 hours of service and engagement and generate approximately $110,000 in fundraising efforts that are directed to non-profit organizations. Our campus efforts regularly receive national recognition:
- Carnegie Classification - HWS is one of only 28 baccalaureate colleges selected for the Community Engagement Classification designation by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
- Washington Monthly - For the seventh year in a row, Hobart and William Smith are among the top five U.S. liberal arts institutions for service.
- Voter Engagement - HWS participates in the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement and has received recognition as a Best College for Student Voting by Washington Monthly.
Get InvolvedCompassA four-step process to engaged citizenship.
Step 1: Community Service
Paint a room. Plant a community garden. Clean a beach. Meet new friends while working in the community. See how personally rewarding it is to help others. Start seeing the connections between community service and your academic interests.
Step 2: Civic Engagement
Spend spring break serving in another community. Become an America Reads tutor. Take a course with a service learning component. Apply what you are learning at HWS in Geneva, across the country or around the world.
Step 3: Civic Leadership
Work with an adviser on a community-based research project. Lead students as an America Reads or America Counts Coordinator. Volunteer as a board member in a community organization. Discover how to pursue your ideas and interests while leading others toward a common goal.
Step 4: Engaged Citizenship
Lead change. Rally for a cause. Become an activist. Join AmeriCorps. Vote. Get involved in government. Be a mentor. Determine what needs to be accomplished and then do it. Find your place in the world as a citizen, humanitarian and leader.
CCESL Civic Leader Learning Goals
Students who are particularly invested in community engagement and who have moved through the four phases of Compass become Civic Leaders. Civic Leaders participate in and lead a variety of campus and community engagement opportunities. CCESL guides Civic Leaders in developing the ability to:
- support a constructive team climate for accomplishing service activities
- articulate the goals of the Compass program to peers
- lead and support their peers and civic engagement efforts in the Geneva and Finger Lakes communities
- identify and communicate some of the challenges/opportunities for the Geneva community
- draw upon collective service experiences to imagine creative solutions to community challenges
- develop capacity to collaborate with community members to solve problems
- articulate insight into their own cultural rules and biases about power, privilege and service
- appraise possible career options through the lens of their experience in the Compass program
Who We Are
The Center for Community Engagement and service learning stands for learning through service that produces students who are civically engaged and graduates who are active, global citizens.
A sustained, engaged relationship with the community through the Geneva Partnership that promotes positive community change and enhanced student learning.
Are you a community partner in the greater Geneva area? Click here to join our monthly listserv of opportunities around campus.
If you are a faculty member and want more information regarding Service Learning courses, please click here.
Meet the Team
Kathleen Flowers (She/Her)
Peter Budmen '15, MAT'16 (he/him)
Alexander Cottrell '20 (he/him)
Graduate Program Assistant
Craig Talmage (he/him)
CCESL Faculty Adviser and Liaison
Heather Mills (she/her)
Geneva 2030 Director
Service30 Years of Day of Service
In 1994, Day of Service began as “a message of hope.” Thirty years later, HWS celebrates the anniversary of a thriving tradition.
ServiceNew Grant Will Study Community Literacy Initiatives
Geneva 2030 receives a grant from the Sociological Initiatives Foundation to support a study of HWS tutors’ approach to literary acquisition.
ServiceHWS Joins MLK March
Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Bill Woodson and Chaplain and Dean for Spiritual Engagement The Rev. Nita Byrd offered remarks during Geneva’s march and memorial service in commemoration of the work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
- Summer of Service interns Jamachukwun Atumonyogo ’26, Anjalee Wanduragala ’26, Caroline Ruffner ’25, Wedad Al Rousan ’26, Mia Lugo ’25 and Jordan Hodge ’26 enjoy paddle boarding after a picnic at Seneca Lake State Park.
- President Mark D. Gearan welcomes new AmeriCorps VISTAs (Volunteers in Service to America) to campus during their Partners for Campus Community Engagement Pre-Service Orientation. Included among the group of VISTAs are James Anderson ’23, Jonathan Garcia ’23, Emma Ibbotson ’22 and William Koepp ’23.
- Bianca Jameau ‘24 and Karina Connolly ‘23 take a break while working at the Geneva Lakefront park as part of the fall Day of Service.
- Kicking off the annual Fall Day of Service, President Mark D. Gearan gathers with students on the Quad before they begin their volunteer work throughout the Finger Lakes area on Saturday.
- Students spread wood chips at Richards Park playground during community service activities.
- As part of Orientation, students participate in community service activities. Here, they gather for a photo after working in the community garden on State Street.
- Sam Calderon ’23 discusses his Peace Corps service in Guatemala during an event held in the Stine Multipurpose Room of the Adams Intercultural Center.
- At St. Francis de Sales and St. Stephen School, students help move books and prepare for the new school year.