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Community Initiatives

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.

Two students using a skill saw.

Community Service Organization

The Community Service Organization (CSO) at the Jandon Center works to connect student volunteers with community partners to utilize students’ passions and dedication to strengthen the greater Northampton-Springfield community. The CSO facilitates both short- and long-term partnership placements, valuing our partners’ expertise in how to best serve the most pressing needs of our community.

For over 20 years, Smith students have worked as tutors and mentors, manual laborers, organizers, and more with local entities such as K–12 schools, the International Language Institute, Manna Soup Kitchen, Gardening in the Community, Hampshire County Jail and many others.

Smith Alliance for Justice & Equity

The Jandon Center is proud to announce the Smith Alliance for Justice & Equity (SAJE) Fellowship, a one-year experiential learning opportunity for Smith College students and community organizers to promote justice and equity in their communities. It involves coursework, community events, site visits and faculty/fellow research projects. 

To learn more about the SAJE Fellowship, please contact Nancy Zigler,

The Smith Alliance for Justice & Equity (SAJE) Fellowship is a one-year experiential learning opportunity for Smith College students and local community organizers to dive deeply into the theories and practices of impactful Community Organizing.

Beginning with a 4-credit colloquium on Collective Organizing, fellows develop a strong foundation for effective and impactful social change work. Through readings, reflection and case studies, fellows learn the theories and best practices of organizing for empowerment and social change.

Site visits provide fellows with a rich perspective on cities in development, an understanding of the assets and issues in rural communities, first hand accounts from community organizers and a brief introduction into the vibrant arts and culture of a place. These on-site experiences range from simple to ambitious, blending historical context with current community life.

Additionally, fellows participate in community events focused on urgent issues impacting communities, from rural to urban and hyperlocal to global.

After building a solid knowledge and experience base, fellows work with the combined assets of the fellowship cohort, Smith faculty & staff, local communities and local organizations to develop and implement social change projects and research.

The SAJE Fellowship is an unparalleled opportunity for Smith students and community organizers to learn, grow and work together to solve some of the complex, urgent problems facing our world today.

SWG/CCX 245: Collective Organizing

This course (strongly encouraged but not required) is designed to introduce key concepts, debates and provocations that animate the world of organizing for social change. Through a course of study that includes local activists, students explore central organizing skills to build an awareness of power dynamics and learn activists’ tools to bring people together towards common goals.

A central aspect of this course is practicing community-based learning and research methods that ground the study with community-based partners. CCX 245 gives fellows the knowledge and skills they need to work alongside communities to develop and implement projects for change.

Site Visits

Varying semester to semester, site visits are a critical component of the SAJE Fellowship. By blending historical context with visiting and documenting locations, Fellows learn from and work beside university affiliates and community organizers. Site visits explore a variety of locales including those close to home (Springfield, Holyoke, Greenfield) and some farther afield (Boston, NYC, Pittsburgh).

Community Based Learning & Research

Semester 2 allows Fellows to use what they have learned in real world situations. Working alongside community members and organizers, Fellows utilize best practices to engage in empathetic, impactful community based projects and research. Projects utilize combined assets of the community involved, the Fellowship cohort, Smith College faculty and community partners to support local, ongoing efforts to understand and positively engage in community work.

The research and projects developed and implemented are developed directly with Smith faculty and the community involved. In this way, Fellows ensure that the research and projects are truly respectful and beneficial to everyone involved.

Reflection Sessions

Reflection provides a crucial opportunity for fellows to link and synthesize classroom and experiential learning into a more complete understanding of the systems and assets that contribute to the health and success of communities and their members.

By taking time together to integrate knowledge, experiences, thoughts, and feelings, fellows develop new, deeper understandings of complex and urgent issues facing our communities and our world.

Jandon Activist Fellowship

The Jandon Center for Community Engagement at Smith College supports students, faculty and campus partners to advance social equity by supporting vibrant and healthy communities. The Center seeks students motivated to continue or pursue activist work with community partners. Successful applicants for The Jandon Activist Fellowship (JAF) will be paid to work closely with a community partner(s) or project(s). Please contact Nancy Zigler ( for more information. 

Math Resilience Project

The Pathway to MaRS (Math Resilient Students) project has kicked off its first year starting fall 2023! The Clark Science Center, the Department of Education and Child Study, and the Jandon Center for Community Engagement are collaborating with NASA to build math resiliency for STEM students at Smith College. These students lead and conduct outreach to 5th–8th graders through engaging in peer-to-peer mentorship. The Math Resilient Students project includes on-the-job training centered around mindfulness, community building, and playful math activities to foster a sense of being human in STEM and reduce math anxiety on the Smith College campus.

Please contact Charlotte Ljustina, Math Resilience Project Coordinator, for more information (

Student working on a math equation at a blackboard

STEAM Outreach

The STEAM Team is composed of Smith undergraduates interested in increasing access to science, technology, engineering, art, and math at Smith College and the surrounding communities. Members have a passion for connecting STEAM-related content, inspirational activities, and experiential learning opportunities with community needs. 

There are a variety of single or multiple-session leadership opportunities throughout the academic year. These opportunities include the Robotics Outreach Initiative, science education outreach, and monthly art pop-ups in the Jandon Center. With guidance from the STEAM Outreach coordinator, the STEAM team collaborates to develop and facilitate lessons and activities. External partnerships include K-12 schools, after-school programs, local fairs, or community organizations that request STEAM experiential educational opportunities.

Learn more or get involved.

“As a member of the STEAM Team (a branch of the Jandon Center), I have been able to work with intelligent and considerate team members, and explore various interests in the sciences while also integrating my passion for the arts. Although college is very busy and academically charged, the Jandon Center at Smith makes it possible to become a part of the greater community and feel the benefits of activist work while also striving toward desirable academic goals.”
STEAM Team Member Emma Robertson

The Crafting for Community (C4C) initiative at Jandon was designed to provide experiential engagement opportunities by crafting hand-made goods like afghans, blankets, hats, and scarves to give to organizations in need. C4C was recognized and awarded the 202 President’s Innovation Grant Award for Equity and Diversity at Smith College. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, C4C made nearly 1,500 masks, which were donated to campus essential workers, student residents, and people in need in the Northampton community and beyond.

Read the article.

Asli Ali
STEAM Outreach Coordinator 

Jandon Center for Community Engagement
Wright Hall
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063

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Food Rescue Network

The Smith College Food Rescue Network was founded in the Spring of 2022 by Smith alumna Shastia Azulay. As a Jandon Activist Fellow, Shastia created a system where volunteers collect excess prepared food from the dining halls and deliver it to Manna Community Kitchen. Manna then distributes this food through community meals and home deliveries for free to community members experiencing food insecurity. This program currently runs out of the Jandon Center and is coordinated by a full-time AmeriCorps VISTA member. Over 30 student volunteers make FRN operations possible and we have passed 20,000 pounds of food rescued since September of 2022. 

In addition to food rescue, FRN supports academic endeavors by mentoring STRIDE and AEMES research scholars, collaborating with classes such as the Critical Design Thinking course, and by sharing information about food and climate justice. This fall, we live-streamed a Food Rescue Conference to learn about food donor relationships, measuring impact, and college campus food recovery from several industry leaders. 

Follow us on instagram @smithfoodrescue for updates! You can contact the Food Rescue Network Coordinator, Autumn, at for more information.

Ask a Question or Get Involved
Two students and a staff member pose with food to be donated.

Student Spotlight

Hannah Gates ’22

“A highlight of my Smith experience has been visiting the Kensington school, watching our mentees’ huge smiles when the mentors walk into the classroom.”

Nicole Lussier ’22

“Getting to work with youth from Springfield, I’ve had the opportunity to think deeply about the realities of my community.”

Claire Bunn ’21

“I have noticed that my community at Smith is passionate about using our knowledge and resources to make change.”

For Volunteers


If you don't drive there are several partnering agencies within walking distance or on a bus route. If you do walk, please be aware of your surroundings. Set up a time to talk with someone in the Jandon Center to find out about some of these opportunities.


If your community service activity is on a bus route, check the PVTA bus schedule.

Private Vehicle

The Jandon Center's transportation policy does not allow students to use their own private vehicle to drive other students or program participants for Jandon or CSO-sponsored community service projects.

Smith College Vans

The Jandon Center maintains four vehicles to assist students in getting to community service partner organizations, Jandon Center-related initiatives and projects, and religious services.

First-Time and Returning Users: before reserving a van, you must ensure that you are up to date on your Smith College Van Certification. Students are required to get recertified every school year. Please follow the steps below to begin or confirm your driver credentialing:

Once you have completed these steps, you will be cleared to start driving Smith vans (both for the Jandon Center and any other Smith programs). 

Reserving a Jandon Van:

  • Complete this online form with the date of your trip so we can connect the reservation to your Smith email.
  • Vans are not guaranteed until you have received an email confirmation.
  • Be on the lookout for an individualized email confirming your scheduled day/time (recurring each week for weekly programs).
  • Collect your key packet Monday-Friday between 9am and 4pm the week that you will be using the van.

Keys are located in the Jandon Center, room 013 on the lower level of Wright Hall. The Jandon Center vans are located in the Helen Hills Hills Chapel parking lot. 

Before You Leave:
  • You must complete the pre-visit form digitally using your phone (if you do not have a smartphone, one of your passengers can likely assist).
  • Scan the QR code attached to the key using your camera app and complete the required fields.
  • Only approved, certified drivers will be able to submit this form.
  • You may only leave campus once the pre-visit form is submitted.
When You Return:
  • Park in one of the four Jandon Center/CSO parking spaces in the Chapel parking lot.
  • Check your email for the link to the post-visit form.
  • You must complete this form immediately upon return from every trip, while still at the van, in order to accurately report the odometer reading.
  • Return key and key packet in the Chapel dropbox or to the Jandon Center.

Chapel drop box is located on the outside of the chapel. Go down the external staircase located on the side of the building across from the van parking spots. The drop box is a mailbox-like slot in the lower level door. You may return key packs to the Jandon Center from Monday-Friday between 9am and 4pm.

Thank you for your commitment to community engagement! Here are the next steps you need to complete before beginning working with minors.

1. Complete a Smith CORI

If you will be working with children under 18, you must complete Minor Safety Certification and an in-person CORI certification with the Office of Student Affairs.

You will need to bring a government-issued photo ID to your appointment. 

The CORI process can take a while after you submit all your information, so do this as soon as possible.

2. Complete Two Virtual Child Safety Trainings

Complete the trainings on the Risk Management Portal.

Please contact Hannah Gates, Community Engagement Coordinator, at if you have any questions or have trouble accessing the two modules.