by Tony Moore
Dickinson recently launched its Center for Advising, Internships & Lifelong Career Development, merging the Office of Academic Advising and the Career Center. The new center will focus on career opportunities and outcomes, its outreach kicking into gear before students ever reach campus and continuing deep into postgraduate life.
“It will help our students make purposeful and authentic decisions about what paths interest them and what graduate and career opportunities they want to pursue,” says President Margee Ensign. “What’s more, the center will increase our support for our alumni community as their careers and interests change throughout their professional lives.”
Center staff arrange networking opportunities, one-onone consultations and more—all designed to equip students with the tools they need for success after their undergraduate experience. Work with affinity groups allows students with common interests to learn from one another, while careerfocused workshops—such as “Networking: Building Solid Career Connections” and “Working With Corporate, Agency and Executive Recruiters”—keep students moving forward toward fruitful postgraduate lives.
The center is directed by Damon Yarnell, associate provost and dean of academic advising, and his message to the community about the new center is simple but powerful: “Dickinson promises a useful education, and we deliver.”
Funded by a $900,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Dickinson has launched the Center for Civic Learning & Action to further carry out its abiding civic engagement mission.
“ ‘Learning and action’ underlies what’s distinctive about what we do, emphasizing the ties between the learning that goes on in our academic programs and what happens when we’re active in the community,” says Neil Weissman, provost and dean of the college. “And in President Ensign we have someone who is very committed to community action. Her vision has been a big driver.”
The center will oversee the long-running Mosaic program and subsume the Community Studies Center, while continuing the work of Dickinson’s learning and action networks, which connect members of the Dickinson community with local leaders to address pertinent issues.
“Higher education institutions have a responsibility to better serve their communities and the nation,” says Eugene Tobin, senior program officer at the Mellon Foundation. “Dickinson’s partnership with its neighboring community and its Center for Civic Learning & Action are clear examples of higher education serving the public good.”
Dickinson has a longstanding relationship with the Mellon Foundation that includes significant past grants to establish the Center for Sustainability Education, enhance work in the digital humanities and expand civic learning and ethics across the curriculum. In addition to supporting the creation of the center, this new grant supports an executive director and a program fund for projects connected to the humanities.
“We are grateful for the Mellon Foundation’s support and thank them for recognizing the value of civic engagement through learning and action,” says Ensign. “We will continue to form strong community partnerships, address community-based issues and share our successes broadly so communities across the U.S. can learn how to harness the intellectual capital and creativity of their neighboring colleges and universities in addressing critical issues.”
Published February 14, 2019