SRU christens pair of new offices for student leadership and service

talking to student

Jeffrey Rathlef, director of service learning and community service speaks with Samantha Anderson, a graduate student from Midland, who works in the Office for Student Engagement and Leadership

Aug. 22, 2017

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The acronym CSIL may have ceased to exist at Slippery Rock University, but support for student leadership, engagement and service will continue to flourish at the University under the jurisdiction of new offices with different monikers.

The former Center for Service Involvement and Leadership, an iteration of the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, has split into two separate offices, now known as:
-Office for Student Engagement and Leadership
-Office for Community-Engaged Learning

The Office for Student Engagement and Leadership is a resource for students to learn about and explore opportunities to connect with peers and engage in cocurricular and leadership experiences at SRU. The office oversees the more than 150 student clubs and organizations on campus, as well as working with SRU's many fraternities and sororities, the Slippery Rock Student Government Association, the University Program Board and others.

moran

   MORAN

The Office for Community-Engaged Learning is a resource that connects students with community service programming and supports students and faculty with their service-learning programs and courses. The office also supports the University's ability to effect change and serve the common good through civic engagement and community-engaged scholarship, where academic knowledge is applied in collaboration with the expertise of community partners.

"We want to come into the semester with a new image," said Lauren Moran, director of student engagement and leadership. "By becoming two separate offices, we are able to strengthen the programs that currently exist and create new opportunities with directors that are solely focused on their specific areas. It allows us to really hone in on leadership components and enhance leadership experiences for students."

"This change signifies a deepening and expansion of our work," said Jeffrey Rathlef, director of service learning and community service. "We'll continue to collaborate in organic ways that we've always done, but this frees us to spread our wings individually."

According to Moran, this change will have no immediate impact on students, but long-term, both offices will be strengthened by the distinction and focused efforts.

The Office for Student Engagement and Leadership has three professional staff members: Moran; Julie Varnish, assistant director; Jayne Piskorisk, program coordinator for Greek life and student organizations; and a vacant administrative assistant position. The office is also staffed with five graduate assistants and will continue to be housed in the Student Development Suite on the second floor of the Smith Student Center.

The Office for Community-Engaged Learning has two professional staff members: Rathlef, whose concentration is with curricular, service-learning programs, and Laura Villers, program coordinator for community-engaged service and leadership, who focuses more on cocurricular community service programs. The office also staffs two graduate assistants. Previously housed in the Smith Student Center, the office is temporary housed in Room 215, Spotts World Culture Building, until a permanent space is secured in the Bailey Library, following the conclusion of renovations to that building.

For more information about the Office for Student Engagement and Leadership, email leadership@sru.edu or call 724.738.2092. For more information about the Office for Community-Engaged Learning, email ocel@sru.edu or call 724.738.4937.

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 | justin.zackal@sru.edu