The Johnson Center for Civic Engagement has a strong history of collaboration with Pennsylvania Campus Compact’s (PACC) AmeriCorps*VISTA program.
PACC AmeriCorps*VISTAs have been instrumental in strengthening the university’s connection with the Selinsgrove and surrounding communities by:
- Increasing meaningful volunteer opportunities
- Contributing to the development of service trips including GO programs
- Enhancing capacity within the Johnson Center to pave the way for a full-time position
In 2011, the capacity built by AmeriCorps VISTAs led to the creation of the assistant director of residence life for civic engagement position at Susquehanna University.
Bader worked closely with SU Neighborhood Council (SUN Council) and the award-winning community service Project House system (now GROWTH housing) to create more structure and capacity for those programs. She also assisted in helping to make the (then) Office of Volunteer Programs an independent university office.
Emily Bowling ’06
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, Bowling was instrumental in the further development and leadership of the Hurricane Relief Team (HRT) involving Susquehanna students, faculty and staff. HRT has sent more than 20 teams to Louisiana and became a GO program in 2011. The success of HRT enabled subsequent VISTA positions and provided a model for SU’s response to future disasters.
Andy Nagy ’08
Nagy continued the HRT program in New Orleans and helped build capacity in the Center for Civic Engagement, including the addition of several new programs. Nagy was named the interim coordinator of civic engagement with the creation of a full-time position in 2011.
Palmer was the first VISTA at SU focused on food access. She was instrumental in developing the campus garden as both a volunteer opportunity for students, faculty, and staff and a vehicle for producing donations for community partners working to alleviate food insecurity. Palmer has also enhanced partnerships with these organizations for volunteer and educational opportunities.
Sarah Dickerson ‘13
In the second year of the food access grant, Dickerson will continue to grow capacity at the campus garden, and strengthen partnerships in the surrounding community helping to address identified needs.