“Love calls us to look upon anyone and say: You are a part of me I do not yet know. Love calls us to be brave with our grief and take in those wounded, neglected, and abused as our own flesh and blood. Revolutionary love calls us to harness our rage in the face of injustice.” — Valarie Kaur

By Alex Foley ’22

Valarie Kaur

When I think of systems change and the difficult work that must be done to dismantle systems of oppression, I usually am not focused on love, nor actively trying to incorporate love into my community-engaged work. …


An interview with Dr. Mark Sarvary and Kitty Gifford

By Sanjna Das ’21

Mark Sarvary discusses digital media with a student during the Introduction to Applied Science Communication course in 2017. / Matt Hayes

Author’s note: In my last blog post, I reflected on what I learned as a student in BIOG 3500: Applied Science Communication (a community-engaged learning tagged course) and how the concepts are incredibly relevant as we work to effectively communicate community-engaged leadership experiences in the modern world. Since then, I had the opportunity to meet with the instructors of the course — Dr. …


Escaping my comfort zone through community-engaged learning

By Alexander Li ’20

Alexander Li ’20 (far right) meets with his SMART team and field advisor in Kenya.

Editor’s note: This is the last post in a series about community-engaged learning in the Student Multidisciplinary Applied Research Teams (SMART) program in the Cornell’s Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. Also check out Finding Like-minded People and Gaining Clarity on My Purpose through SMART by Isabelle Noelsaint ’21and Meaningful Community Engagement and Its Impact for Students by Amanda Ward, MPA ’15, MBA ’21.

Today I find myself a few months out from starting an incredible journey as a member of the Schwarzman Scholars 2022 cohort…


By Sokhnadiarra Ndiaye ’24

Photo by Felicia Buitenwerf on Unsplash

“ ‘Ugh!’

Emily angrily slams her fist against her desk, fuming yet again about the betrayal she should’ve seen coming. Startled, Cole, who was sleeping on the desk next to her, nearly falls out of his chair and frantically darts his grass-colored eyes around the room.

‘Ms. Jones! My classroom is not the place for your tantrums! Keep quiet or take it outside.’

Emily sank into her chair, attempting to hide her red face behind her long brunette hair.”

These were the kinds of fictional stories I was writing in middle school. I used to have…


Creating partnerships and lifelong friendships in Bangladesh and Kenya

By Amanda Ward, MPA ’15, MBA ’21

TEEAL Team at the University of Dhaka

Editor’s note: This post is part of a series about community-engaged learning in the Student Multidisciplinary Applied Research Teams (SMART) program in the Cornell’s Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. Also check out Finding Like-minded People and Gaining Clarity on My Purpose through SMART by Isabelle Noelsaint ’21 and Small Steps by Alexander Li ’20.

Following an internship with Among the Least, a non-profit that promotes business-skills training for women in Kenya, for my Masters of Public Administration; I returned to…


By Isabelle Noelsaint ’21

Cornell SMART team with chief marketing officer and manager of Cappeny Estates in 2019. (l to r) Krystal Chindori-Chininga ’19, Nicolette Ocasio ’19, Professor Josephine Allen, Isabelle Noelsaint ’21, Yoliswa Gumede (chief marketing officer), Oupa Malunga (manager), Khyatee Tewari ’20

Editor’s note: This post is part of a series about community-engaged learning in the Student Multidisciplinary Applied Research Teams (SMART) program in the Cornell’s Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. Also check out Meaningful Community Engagement and Its Impact for Students by Amanda Ward, MPA ’15, MBA ’21 and Small Steps by Alexander Li ’20.

Growing up in Haiti — where livelihood is continuously threatened due to rampant inequality — I have always felt a responsibility to contribute to the economic growth of my country and other developing nations. This ambition led me…


Reflections on stress culture and how to protect yourself from burnout during activism and service

By Sokhnadiarra Ndiaye ’24

Photo by JJ Jordan on Unsplash

I remember when burnout first hit me. I didn’t even hear it coming. Like a child with no home training, it barged into my life and knocked everything over. It had anger unlike anything I’ve ever seen, wrapping its bony fingers around my lungs, daring me to inhale but never allowing me to breathe. It would watch me sleep, but never allowed me to rest. …


Training Cornell ILRies with a Sense of Purpose and Justice

By Catherine Creighton ’87 and Shannon Gleeson

Editor’s note: The Buffalo Co-Lab’s work is so rich and multi-faceted that we needed two blog posts to cover it all! Here you’ll read about the Co-Lab’s long-term commitment to undergraduate community-engaged learning. For the history of the Co-Lab, recent research, the labor movement and upcoming projects, check out part one of the series.

The Cornell ILR School’s Buffalo Co-Lab is a premier model for student community-engaged learning. The High Road Fellows program first began in summer 2009 when it brought five ILR…


A Model for Executing Cornell’s Public Mission

By Shannon Gleeson

Buffalo’s West Side neighborhood (Jason Koski/Cornell Brand Communications)

Editor’s note: The Buffalo Co-Lab’s work is so rich and multi-faceted that we needed two blog posts to cover it all! Here you’ll read about the history of the Co-Lab, recent research, the labor movement and upcoming projects. To read about Buffalo Co-Lab’s long-term commitment to undergraduate community-engaged learning, check out part two of the series.

Who/What is the Buffalo Co-Lab?

Cornell’s history is a unique one, and the university’s imprint reaches far beyond Ithaca’s East Hill. These engagements, however, have mostly been long erased from the minds of most Cornellians. This includes Cornell’s complicity…


A reflection on my journey as a community-engaged leader

By Ashley Loke ’22

Photo by bantersnaps on Unsplash

As with most immigrant families, my parents strongly emphasized education as the path to future financial stability and success. We were barely making ends meet, but my parents still found the time and energy to teach me the value of education. Education is important not just for individuals but also for communities; it is a cornerstone of healthy communities. The health of a community depends not only on its residents but also on the environment in which these residents live. Thus, a healthy community is one in…

Cornell Office of Engagement Initiatives

The Office of Engagement Initiatives at Cornell supports positive change through community-engaged learning. We’re building a better world. Together.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store