An experiential approach to teaching and learning that links academic study and community service so that each is strengthened—and both are transformed
The Office of Service Learning (OSL) is committed to solidarity and collaboration with people who are marginalized. We work to develop community partnerships that are based in mutuality and reciprocity. Through these partnerships, students engage in community service that includes substantial direct contact with low-income residents, social service agency clients, the elderly, public school students, or hospital/clinic patients. They serve as interns and consultants, and support personnel.
Students’ work is directly related to service learning course content and clearly connected to course learning objectives. Critical reflection is an essential component.
In addition to being mindful of "best practices" that have been developed nationally in the academic service-learning movement, our work flows from the Jesuit Catholic educational mission of Fairfield University that calls for the dynamic integration of academic excellence, social responsibility, and faith that promotes justice.
The OSL provides support for
Associate Director for Service Learning, Center for Faith and Public Life
Faculty Chair, Service Learning
The Service Learning Advisory Committee was established in Spring 2006. The purpose of the committee is to help develop and guide the vision of Service Learning at Fairfield University. Advisory committee members are also committed to supporting and consulting with colleagues who want to integrate Service Learning practice into their respective courses and programming.
Office of Service Learning
Melissa Quan, Director of the Center for Faith and Public Life
Andrea Canuel, Associate Director for Service Learning
Karen Pritchard, Program Coordinator
Betsy Bowen, Faculty Chair of Service Learning, Professor, English
College of Arts & Sciences
Michael Andreychik, Psychology
Elizabeth Boquet, English, Writing Center Director
Anita Deeg-Carlin, Associate Director, International Studies Program
Mark LeClair, Economics and Director of the Masters in Public Administration
Judy Primavera, Psychology
Tom Sobocinski, English Writing
William Vasquez Mazariegos, Economics
Dolan School of Business
Vishnu Vinekar, Information Systems & Operations Management
Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions
Robert Hannafin, Dean
Stephanie Storms, Associate Dean
Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies
Eileen O'Shea, Nursing
Jessica Planas, Nursing
School of Engineering
Center for Academic Excellence
Emily Smith, Director of Mentoring
Jennifer Ewald, Director, Office of Study Abroad
Barbara Ghilardi, DiMenna-Nyselius Library
Katie Byrnes, Campus Ministry
Nicole Heller, Assistant Director, Office of Student Engagement
Ophelia Rowe-Allen, Associate Dean of Students, Director of Residence Life and Student Diversity & Multicultural Affairs
Edith Cassidy, Burroughs Community Center
Bob Francis, RYASAP
Anne Gribbon, School Volunteer Association
Elisabeth Krebs, LifeBridge Community Services
The Office of Service Learning at Fairfield University encourages and supports service-learning course development, community partnerships for cooperative education, and meaningful reflection experiences.
Each year, 40 or more individual courses include service learning, involving hundreds of Fairfield University students and dozens of community organizations.
Interested in developing a service learning partnership with Fairfield University?
Contact Andrea Canuel at (203) 254-4000 ext. 3393.
"Professor Weiden's tax class provided a unique way for accounting students to use their skills to become engaged in the surrounding community. Our group found their eager attitudes and expertise invaluable during the tax season; we always look forward to working with Fairfield University students."
- outreach advocate, Connecticut Association for Human Services, Hartford, Conn.
Examples of Partnerships
For more, see our list of courses and descriptions
Fairfield University Students work with Habitat for Humanity to provide families with decent, affordable homes
Since 2009, US nursing students have worked with students from Universidad Centroamericana (UCA), faculty from Fairfield and UCA, and community partners, to develop and implement sustainable, evidence-based interventions to address health concerns. Our community partners include two barrios (neighborhoods) in Managua: Ayapal and Nueva Vida, and the Santa Maura coffee farm in northcentral Nicaragua, near the town of Jinotega.
Please support the work of this project, named “Cuidemos Nuestra Salud” by one of our partners in Managua. Donations will go toward the purchase of supplies needed to implement and sustain the public health interventions.
In 2018-2019, we are working in two urban communities, one in Managua and the other in Cuidad Sandino. We respond to health concerns raised by community members. In Managua, we will be promoting women's health; in Cuidad Sandino, we will be addressing issues related to child growth and development.
2018-19 academic year
We provide support to faculty for:
A community-based approach to education that combines meaningful community service, critical reflection, and civic education—all of which enhance the academic learning in a particular course.