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COMPACT Monthly Newsletter

May 2024

Our Mission

The Vic ’63 and Bobbi Samuels ’63 Center for Community Partnerships and Civic Transformation (COMPACT) at Brandeis University brings together scholars, activists, students, practitioners, and community partners to work collaboratively to create a more just, equitable, and sustainable world.

Curricular Engagement Spotlight

HSSP Capstone Course with Professor Sara Shostak and Waltham Fields Community Farm (WFCF)

This Spring, students in Professor Sara Shostak's Health: Science, Society & Policy (HSSP) Capstone Course partnered with Waltham Fields Community Farm (WFCF) to evaluate and develop resources for the VegRx Program. This innovative program provides fresh, seasonal produce to individuals who have been identified by health care providers as at risk for diet related illnesses.

With support from a COMPACT Community Engaged Pedagogy Project Grant, the students worked together in five collaborative research groups on the following projects:

  1. analyzing three years of survey data from VegRx program to assess its outcomes for participants;
  2. designing a new, streamlined survey and selecting an online platform for administration;
  3. interviewing operational stakeholders of the program to gain perspective on its strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for development;
  4. researching other produce prescription programs, with a special focus on those directly connected to farms, to learn about different program models and strategies;
  5. creating an online map of food and nutrition resources in Greater Waltham, to support food access across the community.

Additionally, the class created a recipe collection featuring vegetables grown at the Farm, with each student contributing one recipe that represents their family or culture and one recipe tailored to a specific health concern. When the students presented their projects to representatives of WFCF on April 17, Executive Director Stacey Daley thanked them for "adding great capacity" and "opening doors" that will significantly advance the Farm's efforts to improve nutrition and health in Waltham. Students described the class as a "transformative learning experience," with the opportunity to "contribute to positive change in the community" giving a "real sense of purpose in doing our work." 

Community Engagement Resources

COMPACT is delighted to share a variety of community engagement resources with our students, faculty, staff, and community partners.

Resources for Students

Samuels Scholars Program

The Samuels Scholars Program is an innovative yearlong cohort experience that offers first- and second-year undergraduate students the opportunity to learn about and explore the many exciting pathways for community engagement offered at Brandeis University and beyond.

We invite applications from any first- and second-year students at Brandeis with an interest in community engagement. First-generation, low-income and underrepresented students will be prioritized.

Applications for the AY 25 cohort are now open! Apply by September 27, 2024.

Fill out the application today!

Community Engaged Scholars Program

Open to students in any major, the Community Engaged Scholars Program (CESP) is an academic program that connects our students' longstanding commitment to community service directly to their studies. It will provide students with the knowledge, skills and resources necessary to serve as ethical, respectful and responsible agents of service and of social change in their local, national and global communities. Students who complete the program will receive a notation on their transcript as recognition of their accomplishments.

Consider registering for one of our core classes this Fall 2024!

  • CESP 10A (Foundations in Community Engagement) with Professor Danielle Perry
  • Tues/Thurs from 3:55 PM - 5:15 PM

For more information, please contact Megan Moran, CESP Program Advisor, at

'24-'25 Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA Cohort

AmeriCorps VISTA is a year-long, full-time opportunity for Americans 18+ to build capacity for organizations that provide critical anti-poverty interventions. During your service year, you will:

  • Serve with our campus and community partners for a one-year period.
  • Build systems and programs that support low-income college students and community members.
  • Work on projects that support healthy futures, environmental stewardship, economic opportunity, education, veterans, and more.

Learn more and apply!

Massachusetts Historical Society Fellowship

The Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) announces a new short-term (6-week) fellowship for the 2024 selection season. Sponsored by the Algonquin Club Foundation, the fellowship carries a stipend of $5,000.

This fellowship supports research in the Historical Society's holdings on topics related to the social and cultural aspects of Boston club life from the mid-nineteenth century to the first quarter of the twenty-first century. Priority will be given to projects that focus on and incorporate the Algonquin Club into the broader context of American life and the built landscape.

Read more and apply today!

Resources for Faculty & Staff

Community Engaged Pedagogy (CEP) Fund

Brandeis faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars in any discipline who center community engaged pedagogies in their undergraduate or graduate courses at Brandeis are invited to apply to the COMPACT Community Engaged Pedagogy Fund. The two grants available through this fund support recipients in bringing ethical, reciprocal and sustainable community engagement into Brandeis classrooms.

Community Engaged Pedagogy (CEP) Project Grants

This grant offers up to $2,500 in funds for community engaged research or creative projects that will be conducted in a Brandeis course. Applications for Fall 2024 classes are due Aug. 2, 2024, and applications for Spring 2025 classes are due Dec. 2, 2024.

Apply now!

Community Engaged Pedagogy (CEP) Mini Grants

This program offers up to $500 in funding to bring community partners to campus as guest speakers in a class (e.g., honoraria), to bring students off campus for a specific community engaged project or event or to conduct small-scale community engaged research or creative projects in a Brandeis course. Grant applications for AY24-25 are being accepted on a rolling basis, for as long as funds remain available.

Apply now!

Community Engaged Research (CER) Fund

Brandeis faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars and students in any discipline whose research or creative activity addresses the questions, issues, and/or needs of a community partner — whether at the local, state, regional, national or global level — are invited to apply to the COMPACT Community Engaged Research Fund. The two grants available through this fund support recipients in building ethical, reciprocal, and sustainable research and creative projects with community partners.

Community Engaged Research (CER) Project Grants

This grant offers up to $2,500 in seed funding for community engaged research projects. There are two upcoming deadlines for proposal reviews: Sept. 6, 2024 and March 14, 2025.

This grant is available to faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows. Preference will be given to proposals that 1) include at least one undergraduate or graduate student research assistant; 2) articulate how this opportunity will be used as seed funding to develop a sustainable, long-term partnership; and 3) include a clear plan for assessing project outcomes.

Apply now!

Community Engaged Research (CER) Mini Grants

The Community Engaged Research Mini Grant offers up to $500 to support development and/or implementation of a small-scale community engaged research project. Grant applications for AY23-24 are being accepted on a rolling basis, for as long as funds remain available.

This grant is available to faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, and both undergraduate and graduate students. Students' applications must include a letter of support from a faculty advisor who will provide mentorship for their project.

Apply now!

Resources for Community Partners

Brandeis University Work Study

The federal work study program at Brandeis allows students to use their work-study hours to support approved community service agencies. For eligible students, this means that 60% of their hourly wages will be paid by work study; the community service agency is responsible for the remaining 40%. This offers community partners the ability to employ a student for 40% of what it would otherwise cost!

Brandeis University would love to work with you to figure out how to support your organization and the Greater Waltham community through creating meaningful opportunities for work study students to engage in direct work with the community. Please contact Kristyn Burke, Manager of Student Employment at Brandeis, at if you have any interest or questions about this opportunity.

General COMPACT Resources for Community Partners:

Community Partner Highlights

Africano Waltham and Melody Mentors

Congratulations to all who made possible year two of Melody Mentors, a partnership between Africano Waltham and Brandeis’ student club Basement Records. COMPACT is proud to support this program which grew out of club president Liz Sandoval’s “action plan” for making real change in the local community as part of her membership to the inaugural cohort of the Samuels Scholars Program

Melody Mentors offers HS students in Africano Waltham the opportunity to collaborate with Brandeis mentors in the production of music tracks over the course of several Saturday afternoons in the Sound and Image Media Studios (SIMS). This year, Liz and Juliet Najjumba, the founder of Africano Waltham, expanded the vision of the program to include college mentorship more broadly over lunchtime sessions. 

Read more about this year’s experience!

Alumni Engagement

BOLD 9 Interviews with Samuels Scholars

This Spring our Samuels Scholars interviewed Brandeisians Of the Last Decade (BOLD 9) to learn more about their career paths, social justice activism, and life after Brandeis. We are delighted that these interviews serve to foster mentorship bonds between our current students and alumni. 

Want to listen in? Their interviews will join those from the last year’s Samuels Scholars cohort in the COMPACT Story Lab. To learn more about this innovative digital space, please check out our website.

Pictured: Jonathan Goldman ‘19 (2023 BOLD 9 class) with

Samuels Scholars Monica Claros '26, Emily Levy '27, and Alanis Gonzalez '27

Looking Back / Looking Forward

Looking Back

Global Community Engagement's Focus on Cambodia

COMPACT's Global Community Engagement Program brought its three-part "Focus on Cambodia" to a close by hosting a residency and performance featuring Cambodian dancer/choreographer Prumsodun Ok and four exceptional musicians from Japan.

Our esteemed visitors were guests in six classes (in Music, CAST and AAPI courses), and shared a world premiere production on stage, A Deepest Blue, with a standing-room-only crowd. Twenty people in the audience -- all members of the Cambodian American community in the city of Lowell -- travelled to Brandeis for the event, including two dancers and one musician who had been key in bringing the country of Cambodia and its culture back to life following the genocide in the 1970s. So, in this 45th anniversary year marking the end of that genocide, we have been celebrating creativity that honors the past, and looks to a bright future. 

Connect with COMPACT:

Coffee Connect Series

Thank you so much to all who participated in our AY 24 COMPACT Coffee Connect Series! Over the course of this year we enjoyed hosting sessions around topics such as “What does it mean to partner with a Brandeis class?” and “How do I recruit Brandeis student volunteers?" Special shout out to WATCH CDC, Waltham Museum, and Gore Place for hosting three of our sessions!

If you are interested in hosting a session at your organization next year, please reach out to Senior Program Coordinator, Tony Thein, at Stay tuned for our AY 25 schedule!

Brandeis Faculty and Staff Presenting at Campus Compact Conferences

Three Brandeis faculty and staff members traveled to Denver in April to discuss innovative Brandeis University community and civic engagement programs at Campus Compact’s national Compact24 conference “Now is the Moment: Higher Education Civic & Community Engagement as the Way Forward.”

Campus Compact is a national coalition of colleges and universities, including Brandeis University committed to advancing the public purposes of higher education. It is the largest and oldest higher education association dedicated to higher education civic and community engagement. Compact24 is the largest and most inclusive national conference focused on the role of higher education in building healthy communities and fostering a just and equal democracy. Sessions explored topics such as civic learning and democratic engagement, publicly engaged scholarship, practice, and teaching, community-engaged partnerships, institutional action, and anchor initiatives.

David Weinstein, Assistant Director of ENACT, presented ENACT: The Educational Network for Active Civic Transformation in a poster session, and Professor Rosalind Kabrhel of Legal Studies and Professor David Sherman of the English Department presented on the emerging possibilities of undergraduate carceral studies programs and shared the Brandeis Educational Justice Initiative (BEJI) as a case study for new models for higher ed in prison programs that emphasize diversion and re-entry.

Megan Moran, COMPACT's Associate Director, represented COMPACT virtually at Campus Compact's annual meeting of the affinity network -- The Research University Civic Engagement Network (TRUCEN) where she presented on a panel with her sustained conversation group -- Equity in Community Engaged Research.

Pictured L-R: Weinstein, Kabhrel, and Sherman at the conference.

Toni Shapiro-Phim - Keynote Speaker at the Dancing Ecologies in the Asia-Pacific Conference

Toni Shapiro-Phim was the keynote speaker at the Dancing Ecologies in the Asia-Pacific: Negotiating Identities in a Context of Change and Dispossession conference hosted by the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore on February 19-20. Her presentation was entitled "Cambodian Dancers on Contested or Ravaged Ground."

The conference featured talks, films and an activation by dancers, choreographers and filmmakers, and researchers, writers, and scholars in the fields of anthropology, geography, musicology, performance studies, political science, theater, and Asian, Critical Heritage and Indigenous studies.

Sillerman Center Collaboration

COMPACT is incredibly grateful to The Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy for collaborating with us on a two-part series that offered our Samuels Scholars the opportunity to both learn more about philanthropy and also participate in a Giving Circle.

Special thanks to Andrea Martinez Frey (Citizens Bank) for leading our Philanthropy 101 workshop as well as co-leading our Giving Circle alongside Brian Kibler MBA/MPP '22 (Beker Foundation)! We are delighted that our Giving Circle generated $2500 in support to Sociedad Latina!

Looking Forward

Announcing the Inaugural Justice Brandeis Practitioner-In-Residence:

Claudia Bernardi

Claudia Bernardi has been selected as the inaugural Justice Brandeis Practitioner-In-Residence. Bernardi is an installation artist, painter and printmaker whose artwork reflects the impact of war and its legacies. An Emerita Professor at the California College of the Arts, Bernardi designs and facilitates collaborative art projects with survivors of political violence, survivors of torture, survivors of sexual violence and with communities forced into exile.

Bernardi will be on the Brandeis campus in November 2024. During her one-day residency, she will interact with students, faculty and staff through class visits, workshops, lectures, and other opportunities.

Hosted by COMPACT and ENACT in celebration of the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life this series highlights the knowledge and experience developed by the Ethics Center and exposes the Brandeis campus community to spheres of activity that have only become more critical to our interconnected world over recent years.

Read more about the Inaugural Justice Brandeis Practitioner-In-Residence Claudia Bernardi.

Announcing the First Cohort of Brandeis Research and Advocacy Fellows

Ten Brandeis students have been selected to serve as Research and Advocacy Fellows for the 2024-25 academic year:

Maria Antonio ‘26, Jovita Bell ‘25, Happy Emmanuel ‘27, Rachel Gao ‘25, Alyssa Golden ‘26, Vickie Hsieh ‘25, Aviva Gornick ‘25, Melora Hutcheson ‘25, Gerardo Enrique Rios Ramirez ‘27, and Lev Sewald ‘26.

The Research and Advocacy Fellowship affords students the opportunity to collaborate with a group of their peers to engage in on campus research followed by an on campus change project. Together, the cohort will explore themes of access and ultimately create events and/or awareness raising efforts to enact data driven change in their community. Students will also learn about state level policy and ways in which they can advocate for state, local, and institutional policies.

They will conduct research under the mentorship of ENACT Assistant Director of Research Charlotte Powley, and each will implement a change project on campus linked to the research.

Read more about the 2024-25 ENACT Research and Advocacy Fellows.

2024 Gittler Prize Announcement

Danielle Allen has been selected as the 2024 winner of the Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize by Brandeis University.

She is a seasoned leader, public policy and public affairs expert, national voice on pandemic response, and distinguished academic and author. Danielle’s work to make the world better for young people has taken her from teaching college and leading a $60 million university division to driving change as board chair for a $6 billion foundation, writing for the Washington Post, and most recently, to running for governor of Massachusetts. 

The Gittler Prize is hosted by COMPACT on behalf of the Office of the President and Office of the Provost.

2024 Newman Civic Fellow Announcement

Introducing Mandy Feuerman, the 2024-2025 Newman Civic Fellow for Brandeis University! Selected for her outstanding commitment to public problem-solving and community engagement, Mandy joins a prestigious cohort of national student leaders at Campus Compact dedicated to creating positive change.

Learn more about Mandy and this fellowship opportunity!

Upcoming Community Events

To submit upcoming community events or community engaged resources to COMPACT's monthly newsletter, please fill out this form.

Stay up to date with COMPACT's Official Google Calendar

(includes all of COMPACT's events and deadlines).

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