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Each year, more than two thousand Sacramento State students, faculty, staff, and alumni participate in programs and projects sponsored by Community Engagement Center. Programs such as Alternative Break, Sac State Serves, and Service Learning fulfill our mission to facilitate learning and engagement by linking campus and community for mutual benefit. Through Spotlight, Community Engagement Center highlights outstanding individuals and programs advancing community engagement in the Sacramento region.


Nazia Khan

Student Spotlight, May 2013
Nazia Khan

Graduate student Nazia Khan’s commitment to family and community inspires her to realize her full potential. After emigrating from Pakistan at a young age, she became the first in her family to get into a graduate program; now she tries to set an example for others by getting the most out of her college experience. ... Nazia Khan story continues …



Kathryn Palmieri

Staff Spotlight, April 2013
Kathryn Palmieri

Working with students has reinforced Kathryn Palmieri’s belief that getting involved on campus and in the community is an excellent way for students to find their fit and reduce the achievement gap impacting graduation rates. As the Associate Director of Academic advising, Kathryn encourages volunteering and community involvement for three reasons: it creates a sense of pride, provides personal development and self-reflection, and fosters future employment potential, noting “volunteering is associated with a positive work ethic, which translates well into a potential workplace.” ... Kathryn Palmieri story continues …



Todd Migliaccio

Faculty Spotlight, March 2013
Todd Migliaccio

Associate Professor Todd Migliaccio considers service to be a beneficial component of his students’ learning. When hired by the Sociology department in 2002, Migliaccio realized that Sociology 169: The Changing American Family (SOC 169) was much more interactional than the other courses he taught. He felt that it was important for his students to see that interaction within the community, and decided to teach SOC 169 with a Service Learning component. ... Todd Migliaccio story continues …



Margaret Johnson

Student Spotlight, December 2012
Margaret Johnson

Junior Margaret Johnson makes it a goal to volunteer every weekend despite her hectic work and school schedule. “I’ve always been… a person that likes to be engaged in things, and I don’t want to lose that… I don’t want to lose touch with people.” ... Margaret Johnson story continues …



Gawzong "Emily" Vang

Student Spotlight, December 2012
Emily Vang

As a Service Learning student enrolled in Social Work 95, Emily is better assured that she is taking the right career path. She sees the hands-on activities, the engaged and inclusive environment, and the opportunities to hear different opinions she would otherwise not consider as benefits to her educational journey. She has also had the advantage of gaining a better understanding of Service Learning now that she has seen all of the hard work that goes into it behind the scenes at Community Engagement Center. ... Emily Vang story continues …


Tammy Martin

Student Spotlight, November 2012
Tammy Martin

Sac State Senior Tammy Martin is driven by her passion to help people help themselves. When it comes to her service, Tammy said, “I don’t like to say ‘give back’ because I feel like I get more from the experience.” For her, the most rewarding things about volunteerism have been the good feeling it brings, the ability to learn from her different experiences, and the opportunity help others advocate for themselves. ... Tammy Martin story continues …



Gregory Hicks

Student Spotlight, March 2012
Greg Hicks

For Greg, the thought that this is his last Alternative Break is bittersweet. “I’m happy I did so many things but sad that since it’s my last semester it won’t be the same,” given that Alternative Break is open only to current Sac State students. All the experiences and friendships are something he wouldn’t trade for the world. He considers his fellow volunteers from Alternative Break to be like family. ... Gregory Hicks story continues …



Justin T. Edwards

Student Spotlight, September 2011
Justin Edwards

When talking to Justin Edwards about his volunteer efforts, you can tell from the huge smile plastered on his face that he is passionate about serving the community. Working with Community Engagement Center has allowed Justin to take advantage of his desire to help others. Life experience has made Justin realize that “money isn’t everything”; giving your time is just as valuable. ... Justin Edwards story continues …



Lesly Argueta

Student Spotlight, August 2011
Lesly Argueta

[Having experienced the] challenges and rewards of helping so many people from different countries, Lesly concluded that she’s “not scared of (volunteering) anymore.” She has realized that she doesn’t have to know how to do everything to be successful and have fun as a volunteer.  To others who are skeptical about volunteering she says, “Go ahead and do it. Go try and see if it is something you like. If not, at least you tried.” ... Lesly Argueta story continues …



Monica and Evelyn Rojas

Alumni Spotlight, August 2011
Monica and Evelyn Rojas

Working side by side, smiles beaming, Monica and Evelyn Rojas are obviously having a good time. Less obvious is that these two Sac State alumni are mother and daughter, volunteering together for the first time. For Evelyn, this event has shown her that there is always an opportunity in some way to get involved in what you are interested in. ... Rojas story continues …



Jacob Guinn

Student Spotlight, August 2011
Jacob Guinn

As a senior Communication Studies major with a concentration in Mass Media, Jacob enjoys the opportunity to observe different forms of communication in action, particularly when "working with different individuals or seeing diversity in the people we serve. " ... Jacob Guinn story continues …



Hien Nguyen

Student Spotlight, May 2011
Hien Nguyen

Hien believes that every volunteer opportunity is a, “Mini adventure you can take yourself on; you experience new things, meet new people and old people you don’t usually see.” When asked what her ideal volunteer opportunity would be she replied with, “everything” especially any opportunity where she can re-connect with volunteers from previous activities... Hien Nguyen story continues …



Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services

Community Partner Spotlight, March 2011
Student volunteer painging the SFBFS logo on a wall.

Although Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS) has offered food assistance since 1976, combating hunger is only one of the many ways this organization contributes to the community.  SFBFS helps “those in need with the resources to move towards self-sufficiency and financial independence.”  Sacramento State students participating in Service Learning have given SFBFS a “fresh perspective” ... SFBFS story continues …



BIO 184: General Genetics

Course Spotlight, August 2010
Service Learning student with two Project R.I.D.E. youth.

For Sacramento State instructors of General Genetics (BIO 184), understanding the dynamics of different genetic disorders and phenotypes goes beyond what students can learn from a textbook.  Through a Service Learning collaboration... genetics students learn to understand the real life manifestations of genetic conditions that affect human development. ... BIO 184 story continues …



Wellspring Women's Center

Community Partner Spotlight, August 2010
Service Learning student providing health screening.

“Every woman is treated as a guest,” said Sacramento State Child Development lecturer Judy Judd, Ph.D. Guests are “respected and offered help that promotes health, wellness and education.” Wellspring Women’s Center’s mission of “hospitality with dignity and love” is present in all the work that it does—from the nutritious breakfasts served to counseling, referral services, and emergency assistance. ... Wellspring story continues …


John Kanemoto

Student Spotlight, October 2010
John holds a heart shaped dirt clod he shoveled at an Alternative Break Habitat for Humanity landscaping project.

“I am inspired, hopeful, and open to new things.  I am a leader!”
--John Kanemoto

On any given day, the energetic Sacramento State junior math major can be spotted all over campus juggling multiple leadership roles… John Kanemoto story continues …


PSYC 122: Qualitative Research in Psychology

Course Spotlight, October 2010
Dr. Rachel August, psychology 122 professor

Sacramento State Psychology professor, Rachel August, Ph.D., initiated the Service Learning collaboration between PSYC 122 and Sacramento County’s In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program. Dr. August believed it was important to get students out of the classroom and undergo processes similar to any researcher in the field.… PSYC 122 story continues …


People Reaching Out

Community Partner Spotlight, February 2010

People Reaching Out Logo

People Reaching Out strives to promote a healthy community by empowering youth to make healthy choices, strengthening families to guide their children away from drugs and violence, and forming effective partnerships working together to build a strong community. People Reaching Out has successfully partnered with Community Engagement Center for ten years, providing Sacramento State students with one-of-a-kind mentoring and leadership experiences outside the classroom… People Reaching Out story continues …


Soil Born Farms

Community Partner Spotlight, February 2010

Soil Born Farms Logo

In partnership with Soil Born Farm’s Youth Education Program, Sacramento State students engage in a variety of service learning activities, including implementing nutrition education. Students have mentored youth in planting and gardening fresh organic produce and learned to interact with the environment. Students have also assisted with cooking classes offered at Soil Born Farms that demonstrate how to incorporate fresh produce into everyday cooking… Soil Born Farms story continues …


Judy Judd

Faculty Spotlight, February 2010

Judy Judd

Dr. Judy Judd has been an influential force in the fields of Education and Child Development at Sacramento State and in the local community. As a teacher, Dr. Judd hopes to introduce students to passion projects though community engagement. Her goal is to two fold; show individuals what’s possible and develop critical thinkers … Judy Judd story continues …


Project R.I.D.E.

Community Partner Spotlight, February 2009

College student helping elementary student with therapeautic horseback riding

Project R.I.D.E. is an exemplary service learning community partner with Sac State. This long term partnership has provided Sac State students with a classroom outside the classroom, one in which many continue to volunteer after they complete their service learning hours… Project R.I.D.E. story continues …


Writing Partners

Campus Program Spotlight, February 2009

College student helping elementary student with writing

In the 2008/ 2009 academic year, 600 Sacramento State and local K-12 students participated in Writing Partners through courses spanning the Foreign Language, English, Ethnic Studies, General Studies, and Nursing departments as well as CAMP and EOP… Writing Partners story continues …


Dr. Catherine Gabor

Faculty Spotlight, October 2008

Catherine Gabor

Dr. Catherine Gabor advanced service learning at Sacramento State while an assistant professor with the English department. As a faculty partner of Community Engagement Center, she initiated the Writing Partners program, incorporated service learning into many of her courses, and promoted service learning through faculty development workshops … Catherine Gabor story continues …


Alternative Break

Campus Program Spotlight, June 2008


Alternative Break male participant hanging a building doorAlternative Break seeks to engage students in extracurricular, community service activities over winter and spring breaks. During the first Alternative Break, 20 students participated in spring 2007 to make a difference in the Sacramento community. In 2008, over 100 students were involved … Alternative Break story continues …


Kellie Cook

Student Spotlight, June 2008


Kelly Cook During the week of Alternative Break – Winter 2008, Kellie Cook participated in four day-long volunteer projects, volunteering with Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services, Sacramento Tree Foundation, and Habitat for Humanity ReStore … Kellie Cook story continues …


Denise Wall Parillo

Faculty Spotlight, June 2008


Denise WallEach spring, over one hundred of Denise Wall Parilo’s nursing students partner with community organizations such as Wellspring Women’s Center, Jesse Baker School, Strategies for Change, John H. Jones Center, St. John’s Shelter, WEAVE, Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services, and Folsom Cordova Partnership … Denise Wall Parilo story continues …


Mishae Parker

Student Spotlight, June 2008


Mishae ParkerMishae Parker is a senior at Sacramento State with a clear purpose to integrate education and service. She is a psychology major with a minor in teacher education and is actively engaged with projects, clubs, and mentoring opportunities on and off the Sacramento State campus … Mishae Parker story continues …


Dr. Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

Campus Program Spotlight, September 2007

Dr. Wangari MaathaiDr. Wangari Maathai’s address on campus drew a packed house to the University Union Redwood Room on Friday, Sept. 21. The 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner attracted more than 300 students, faculty, staff and invited high school students, all eager to hear her message … Dr. Wangari Maathai story continues …


Expanding Your Horizons

Campus Program Spotlight, October 2007


EYH participants doing experiments in Sac State Chemistry labEYH 2007, a one-day science and math conference for 6th-8th grade girls, was made succesful largely due to the expertise, energy, and excitment of our dedicated Sacramento State and Women of AT&T volunteers. The Sacramento State community volunteered in a variety of capacities, including serving as workshop facilitators, mentors/buddies, and engaging participants in hands on learning activities… Expanding Your Horizon story continues …


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last updated: 10/7/2013