Q&A, Spring 2012

Why are community service and civic engagement important?

Join the conversation.

Allen Kim

Allen Kim ’13, optometry student

“To me, community service means putting my neighbor’s needs before my own. It matters because it bridges gaps between people of different backgrounds and strengthens the solidarity of the community. Community service defines my involvement in the optometric profession.”

Deke Gunderson

Deke Gunderson, professor of biology

“It encourages positive human interaction. Given the way life is today in the U.S., students need to learn how to be aware of their surrounds, which includes interacting with other humans in a positive way. With all of the technology around us, we forget how to directly interact with one another and how our actions affect those around us.”

Jill Hertel

Jill Hertel ’98, MAT ’03, 2011 Young Alumni Leadership Award

Community service and civic engagement are vital to building communities. They offer a sense of ownership and pride to participants, while empowering future leaders to make a positive change in their local community and the world. Community service provides basic needs such as food, education, play and love to people in need. Community service and civic engagement are the difference that makes our world a better place.”

Stephanie Stokamer

Stephanie Stokamer, director, Center for Civic Engagement

“Civic engagement matters because the challenges of our times are growing increasingly complex and cannot be solved by any one person or organization or economic sector. In order to address issues such as poverty or climate change, we need many citizens around the globe who are informed and actively working together, whether through service or through political systems, to create more sustainable and just societies.”