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Civic Engagement for Social Good

Inspiring community collaboration and meaningful change

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Introduction

The world critically needs changemakers committed to understanding social issues and collaborating alongside their communities to foster meaningful change. In Civic Engagement for Social Good (CESG), previously known as CIVICUS, students work with organizations addressing a range of societal challenges, including poverty, food insecurity, housing insecurity, child welfare, education, political activism, animal rights, and the environment.  Students explore:

  • Issues impacting local communities
  • Organizations that are addressing pressing social issues
  • Ways to engage in hands-on work in civic engagement
  • Strategies for deliberative dialogue in a multicultural world
  • Methods to leverage their strengths to make sustainable change

CESG coursework and community engagement activities operate in tandem, creating a synergy that enhances the overall student experience. Coursework provides an opportunity for students to explore the root causes of social needs and strategies for addressing social concerns that they see during their work in the community, while service projects and co-curricular activities create an environment for students to implement what they learn in the classroom. 

As an interdisciplinary program, CESG students represent a wide range of academic interests and majors. Civic Engagement for Social Good encourages students to ground their work in their passions, academic majors, and professional interests.

Through their shared passion for social good and engagement in co-curricular activities, CESG students form a close cohort who develop strong friendships and support each other throughout their time at UMD.

 

Colloquium and Lecture Topics

  • The complexities and the structures that cause social issues
  • Concepts related to the theories and practices of civic engagement 
  • Models for working towards positive social change 
  • Ways to engage in difficult conversations with empathy around differences of perspective, beliefs, and identities

[This program] has made me a kinder, more compassionate, more informed person. [It] gave me the opportunity to get my hands dirty, to engage in the community in ways I never thought I could. [It] has taught me that it takes a village but also that I can make tremendous change myself..providing me with more opportunities for learning and character-building than I would've gotten in any other program or club.

kimberly hubscher and testudo
Kimberly Hubscher CIVICUS alum

Other Learning Opportunities 

Students are actively engaged in UMD, College Park and surrounding areas, and Washington, DC annually completing over 1,000 hours of volunteer work.  Students can choose from over 100 projects per year with a wide array of partner organizations.  

Students:

  • Participate in civic engagement projects.  Recently, students have acted as mentors for local elementary students, planted trees to increase the canopy in Washington, DC, served meals from a mobile soup kitchen, handled dogs at a humane rescue adoption event, canvassed on behalf of political candidates, and captioned videos to ensure accessibility for a wider community.
  • Take trips to Washington DC and the surrounding area where they participate in scavenger hunts, visit memorials, monuments, and museums,  and attend baseball games, cultural heritage events, and the performing arts.
  • Meet guest speakers, including politicians, staff members from local non-profit organizations, and local community leaders and activists
  • Participate in community-building activities, such as challenge courses,  trivia nights, bingo, BBQs, and study breaks

CESG staff provide the planning, logistical support, and transportation for most activities.  All second-year students also participate in a capstone experience for academic credit. The capstone can include an internship, extensive work with a non-profit, or affiliated experiential learning courses.  Students in the past have held internships in local and national politics, non-profits, high-profile media outlets, medical facilities, research labs, mentoring organizations, and peer dialogue training.  The capstone gives students authentic experiences and skills that help support their academic work, career goals, and future community engagement efforts.


Curriculum Overview

Over the two-year program (four semesters), students complete 12-credit hours that count toward their CESG Scholars citation.  The following table represents a typical two-year curriculum. Details about courses and requirements can be found on the CESG Citation Checklist

SEMESTER COURSE CREDITS
Semester 1 CPCV 100: Colloquium I 1 credit
CPCV 225: Intro to Civic Engagement for Social Good 3 credits
Semester 2 CPCV 101: Colloquium II 1 credit
Semester 3 CHSE 328C: Intergroup Dialogue (DVCC) 1 credit
Semester 4 CPCV 230: Internship; or
CPCV 240: Service-Learning; or
CPCV 250: Research; or
3 credits
3 credits
3 credits
Semester 1, 2, 3, or 4 Supporting Course (var. Gen Ed) 3 credits

Office Address

1103 Centerville Hall

Office Email

cesg@umd.edu

Faculty

Portrait of Korey Rothman

Korey Rothman

Program Director, Civic Engagement for Social Good
Portrait of Julie Randolph

Julie Randolph

Associate Director, Civic Engagement for Social Good
Portrait of Deborah Omotoso

Deborah Omotoso

Graduate Assistant, Civic Engagement for Social Good

News and Notes, Etc.

 


Civic Engagement for Social Good News

Showing 13 - 18 of 147
  • Scholars Shine at Do Good Challenge Finals

    Despite not capturing the top prizes at the 2024 Do Good Challenge Finals held earlier this week, four members of College Park Scholars and their respective projects shined.Two Scholars - Takiyah Roberts (STS) and Elias Laskey (GPH) - and their teams went head-to-head in the Project Track competition.

  • PL's Susannah Washburn Receives Donna Hamilton Teaching Award

    Susannah Washburn, the director of College Park Scholars' Public Leadership program, was recently awarded the 2024 Donna B. Hamilton Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in the Office of Undergraduate Studies (UGST) Programs. She becomes the fourth College Park Scholars program director to earn the honor, following Dr. Elisabeth Maring, who leads the Global Public Health program (2022), Kalyani Chadha, former director of Media, Self and Society (2015) and David A. Crocker, former director of the Public Leadership program (2012).

  • Two Scholars Programs Receive New Do Good Campus Fund Awards

    Dozens of projects were recently awarded $460,000 from the University of Maryland’s new Do Good Campus Fund. The Fund is part of a suite of new campuswide investments to expand the university's leadership and impact to advance the public good. These investments also include the Do Good Campus Strategic Leadership Council, composed of senior administrators from colleges, schools, and units across campus to celebrate the social impact already being made by faculty and staff across campus.This year's 27 grantees include faculty, staff, and student groups and two recipients are Scholars programs. Congratulations to Justice and Legal Thought and Media, Self and Society!

  • PL Alum Receives Student Award from BSU-UMD Social Justice Alliance

    The Bowie State University and University of Maryland Social Justice Alliance (SJA) recently hosted its sixth annual Symposium at the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center on the College Park campus.The Bowie State University and University of Maryland Social Justice Alliance is dedicated to eradicating the ideology of intolerance, while confronting individuals and combatting systems that normalize indifference, justify injustice, perpetuate hate and inflict violence. The SJA is committed to social justice change through advocacy and action that impacts local, state, national, and global challenges.

  • First at Creating a Healthier Global Community

    It can be as simple as a high-five from a kid while prepping an anti-bullying workshop in Prince George’s County. Or seeing a family equipped with tools like mosquito nets to reduce their malaria risk in Sierra Leone.“Every time I travel with our students, I’m so impressed with the work they put in,” said Clinical Professor of family science Elisabeth Maring and director of the Global Public Health Scholars program. She has advised the group since its inception and led its first trip to Peru in partnership with EWB, where the engineers built a water chlorination system while the public health students surveyed the local community on health needs.

  • Three Scholars Advance to Do Good Challenge Finals

    The Do Good Institute recently announced the selection of the 2024 Do Good Challenge finalists. The teams were selected from groups and organizations across campus that are tackling issues ranging from providing health education to reducing health disparities around the world to educating low-income youth on how to become entrepreneurs. On April 30, the finalists will share more about their work and impact with an audience of hundreds and a panel of expert judges at the Clarice to compete for a share of more than $20,000.Three of the six finalists are College Park Scholars. Congratulations to Sara Blau (International Studies), Elias Laskey (Global Public Health), and Takiyah Roberts (Science, Technology and Society)!

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