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Smith student doing community service and hugging a child in school

Jandon Center for Community Engagement

The Jandon Center engages faculty, students and community partners on social-change projects that tackle community-driven goals. Through experiential learning and scholarship, students build essential capacities in critical thinking while providing significant leadership on urgent, complex issues facing communities and society. To learn more about ongoing opportunities, sign up to receive our newsletter.

Advancing Social Equity and Supporting Healthy Communities


Smith Alliance for Justice & Equity Fellows

  • Josephine Neumann ’26, Study of Women and Gender
  • Kerry LaRose ’26
  • Morgan Fizer ’25, Environmental Science and Policy
  • Mya Wilson ’24, Africana Studies & English
  • Nicole Bamberger Segura ’26, Economics
  • Shariqa Shaila ’24, Neuroscience
  • Vanessa Nicole ’24, Government
  • Veta Duncan ’25, Film and Media Studies
  • Yena Perice ’26J, Study of Women and Gender & Philosophy
  • Ruby Masters ’26, History & Education

Smith Awarded MUREP Grant

Smith College was one of seven women’s colleges or universities to be awarded a NASA Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) grant! This three-year grant is led by PI Christophe Gole (Professor of Mathematical Sciences, Faculty Director of the Clark Science Center) and Co-PI Shannon Audley (Associate Professor of Education & Child Study); it aims to reduce math anxiety and boost math resilience in students. Read more about the program and check out the news coverage.

CBL Program Update

Due to budget pressures and the need to take time to assess the best use of our limited resources devoted to our multiple faculty collaborations, we have paused our community based learning grants (CBL) program for AY '24.

To find information on other sources for funding, please visit the College's Internal Grants and Funding page. A pdf of the current moneybook can be found there. The application for Lecture Committee funding can be found in the moneybook and here.

About the Center

We work with community partners to critically engage with theories, data and experiences to improve interdependent aspects of community health. We initiate, encourage, support, test and reflect on collaborative strategies and projects. We aspire to:

  • Serve as the center where the ethics of civic engagement and community building remain at the forefront.
  • Further build Jandon initiatives that engage campus and community deeply and over the long-term.
  • Develop opportunities for ethical civic engagement in the classroom, both in teaching and by supporting course-related community-based work.
  • Create a space where anyone can drop by and feel welcome.

Named in memory of Jane Grossman Cecil ’50, the Jandon Center fosters opportunities for Smith students to engage actively with the community and practice responsible citizenship. Along with her husband and lifelong partner, Don, Jane was a leading philanthropist, co-founder of the Jandon Foundation (Jane + Don = Jandon), and a tireless advocate for education. She was a champion of programs designed for meaningful change.

The Jandon Center 
Wright Hall 013 

Graeham Dodd 
Education Initiative Director 

Asli Ali 
STEAM Outreach Coordinator 

Madeleine DelVicario 
Experiential Learning Coordinator 

Hannah Gates 
Community Engagement Coordinator 

Denys Candy 
Director of the Jandon Center 

Nancy Zigler 
Director of the Programs and Partnerships 

Laura Boban 
Education Initiative Coordinator 

Brittany Gaetano 
Project Coach Coordinator

Yesenia Valentin 
Project Coach Assistant Director

Autumn Guntor 
Smith Food Rescue Network Coordinator

Charlotte Ljustina
Math Resiliency Project Coordinator

Xiomara Delobato
Vice President and Chief of Staff, Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council

Clare Higgins
Executive Director, Community Action Pioneer Valley

Maeve McCurdy ’21
SC Climate Change Concentrator alum

Vanessa Pabón-Hernandez
Executive Producer, Presencia (WGNY/PBS)

Sarah Stapleton ’21
SC Community Engagement & Social Change alum

Beverly Lipsey ’18
SC Community Engagement & Social Change alum; Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, Malaysia

Elvis Mendez
Organizing Director, Neighbor to Neighbor MA

Farah Samawi ’19
Smith College Community Engagement & Social Change alum ’19; Research Coordinator, CHA Center for Mindfulness and Compassion

Jennifer Walters
Rector, All Saints’ Church, Peterborough, NH

Lourdes Rodríguez
CEO, David Rockefeller Fund

Emma Robertson ’25
Neuroscience major, Community Engagement & Social Change concentrator

Fhryneé Lambert ’24
Africana Studies major

The Jandon Center and the Education Initiative share a common mission—involving students in experiential education opportunities connected to promoting social equity and addressing complex, urgent problems. There are opportunities for, and a mutual commitment of time focused on, shared learning and interdisciplinary dialogue on jointly chosen mission-critical issues (examples include community engagement practices, achieving equity in multiple contexts and creating opportunity while addressing inequality in its numerous manifestations in local settings).

In 2019, we renamed the Education Fellowship in honor of Dan Mindich, a high school English teacher and lifetime educator who loved teaching and learning. Many aspects of the program are made possible through generous funding honoring his legacy. Dan believed that students benefit the most when teachers work in communities where they learn together and support each other, and the Mindich Fellowship embodies that crucial set of values. The initiative also includes the longstanding Project Coach program, as well as the more recent Project SPARC (Springfield Participatory Action Crew) program.

Education Initiative Staff

Graeham Dodd 
Education Initiative Director 

Through our programs and more, we provide students with opportunities to engage in regular long- and short-term community placements, nonprofit administrative training and specialized leadership programs in a collaborative model that is community driven, ethically informed and reflectively adaptive. Please see our directory of projects with partnering agencies.

Partner Agencies

The Partners Portal website was developed and designed by students, and serves as a platform to connect Smith students, staff, faculty, and our community partners with each other and the work currently happening in our area. Visit the site to learn more about our active partners and how to get involved with exciting work happening right now.

Meet With Us

Set up a time to talk with one of us about:

  • the CESC Concentration (Maddie DelVicario)
  • the SAJE Fellowship (Nancy Zigler)
  • Community Service Organization and getting involved locally (Hannah Gates)
  • Collective organizing (Ana Del Conde)
  • Activism and career pathways (Denys Candy)
  • the STEAM Team (Asli Ali)
  • the Food Rescue Network (Autumn Guntor)
  • the Math Resilience Project (Charlotte Ljustina)

Schedule a time using our scheduling page.

I’ve always loved community service, and the Jandon Center helps me bring love for others to create a better world. That’s what Smith is all about.
Asmae Lichir AC

Jandon Center, by the Numbers


students actively engage in Jandon Center projects each year


community organization partners


pounds of food from Smith dining halls are donated to a local community kitchen each week


van trips are taken by students each week to community partner sites

Jandon Center Voices

Contact Jandon Center for Community Engagement

Wright Hall

Smith College

Northampton, MA 01063