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A Culture of Care

Read Smith’s plans for the fall 2021 semester.
Current Operating Mode: GREEN

Community Initiatives

Two young students at a community service event

The Jandon Center supports student engagement in meaningful community service work and leadership training that enhances the educational experience, meets community-identified needs, provides opportunities for reflection, and models collaborative and effective community partnerships. We encourage a lifelong commitment to community service and social action, with the goal of building bridges between diverse groups of people.

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.

Three students in the field for Jandon Community Service Office
 

 

Data Science Corps

The Data Science Corps—Wrangle Analyze, Visualize (DSC-WAV) program provides a semesterlong opportunity for Five College students with an interest in data science to practice and develop their skills by providing data analysis and visualization support for local nonprofit organizations. This project is funded by the National Science Foundation and is a collaboration between Smith’s Department of Statistical and Data Sciences and the Jandon Center. DSC-WAV teams have worked with The Nature Conservancy, Valley Bikes, VentureWell, Girls Inc. of the Pioneer Valley and others. Read about recent projects in the Grécourt Gate. Interested in learning more or applying? Please contact Andrea Dustin, DSC-WAV coordinator at the Jandon Center, at adustin78@smith.edu.

 

Project Sparc

Project SPARC (Springfield Participatory Action Research Crew), funded by AmeriCorps, is an intergenerational team of young adults and invested members of the Smith College, Project Coach, Jandon Center and the New North Citizens’ Council community. In 2020, we recruited the first cohort of emerging adults for the Springfield Fellowship for Young Leaders. Through the summer and early fall of that year, fellows engaged in a series of remote leadership sessions designed to facilitate near-peer connections. We also provided opportunities for refection and long-term planning toward personal goals. Sessions included social capital building, financial literacy, strengths-finding and educational/vocational mapping.

Our Project SPARC young adult team expressed the desire to access community-based resources. A comprehensive guide to young adult life in Springfeld, Springfeld Choose Your Future, was designed and developed by our staff and student team. The guide lists over 30 Springfield-based organizations and networks. Resources include mental health services, scholarship portals and career training programs.

Currently, we’re invested in learning more about young people’s experience of life after high school, and how out-of-school programs can support that critical transition to adulthood. We are kicking off a spring research fellowship that will involve Smith students and faculty as well as youth and young adults in Springfield and Holyoke. Want to learn how to get involved? Please contact Erin DeCou, Project SPARC Program Manager, at edecou@smith.edu.


Smith Partnerships

We know that college-community partnerships not only sustain stronger communities and advance community goals, but they also support and advance our goals as an educational institution.

Ireland: Overcoming Divided Histories

This project, coordinated by the Jandon Center and the Lewis Global Studies Center, involves examining different views of Irish identity and exploring how they are represented in the urban landscapes of Belfast and Dublin.

The group looks at ways in which artists and writers respond to divisions and then work together to propose alternative futures. Participants walk the streets of both cities, meeting local activists, artists and writers, and sampling local culture, with ample time for reflection and dialogue.

Project on Women & Social Change

The Smith Project on Women and Social Change is an interdisciplinary faculty research group that was founded in 1978.