Fairfield University to hold forum on service learning and community development


Fairfield University's Office of Service Learning in the Center for Faith and Public Life will host a Community Forum: Getting to Know You, Building University-Community Partnerships in a Service-Learning Context, on Wednesday, Oct. 10. The Forum takes place in the Charles F. Dolan School of Business Dining Room, beginning at 8:30 a.m. and ending at 1:30 p.m.

Non-profit agencies in the region are invited to participate in learning about an assets-based approach to community partnership development, as well as the benefits of service learning and university-community partnership building. Wendy Hrynewski, volunteer coordinator for Bridgeport's Habitat for Humanity, will participate in a case study of how Habitat works in partnership with the university in several different capacities to achieve their goals.

Youth and community development specialist, Bob Francis, executive director of RYASAP: Catalyst for Community Change, of Bridgeport, will be the keynote speaker at the event. A national leader in fostering healthier communities by creating nurturing relationships free from the harm caused by substance abuse and crime, he has toured the country speaking and conducting training sessions on youth and community development, coalition building and juvenile justice system reform.

Francis is the co-founder of the CT Juvenile Justice Alliance, an advocacy organization that works with the juvenile justice system in Connecticut, and the Connecticut Assets Network, a statewide organization that works with local organizations to incorporate strength-based approaches into community work. He has worked for the Assets Based Community Development Institute since 1997, developing web-based youth development curricula, publishing training manuals and providing assistance in implementing new approaches to community building in both the United States and Canada. He is currently working with Reclaiming Futures, the Benedict Foundation, Act for Youth at Cornell University Extension Service, the Connecticut Youth Services Association and Fairfield University.

In addition to Wendy Hrynewski, the panel discussion will include Wylie Smith, campus minister at Fairfield University; Kurt Schlichting, Ph.D., the E. Gerald Corrigan Professor in the Humanities and Social Sciences at Fairfield University; and Nikko Valaris and Emily Martucci, both seniors at Fairfield University. Attendees at the conference will be encouraged to offer their perspectives on community partnerships and will have the opportunity to network with other community agencies as well as university faculty, staff and students around common issues in order to plant the seeds for potential partnerships.

For more information, please contact Melissa Quan, Assistant Director Center for Faith and Public Life, at (203) 254-4000 ext. 3455 or by e-mail at mquan@mail.fairfield.edu or visit the Forum website at: www.fairfield.edu/communityforum2007.

Bookmark and Share

Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on October 2, 2007

Vol. 40, No. 65