Center for Community and Civic Engagement Working with Northfield Community Partners

May 22, 2018

The Center for Community and Civic Engagement (CCCE, pronounced “trip-C-E”) is an important and powerful program that has been around the Carleton campus since 1985. Back then, it was referred to as ACT (Acting in the Community Together). In the spring of 2011, ACT, Academic Civic Engagement (ACE) and Public Scholarship merged to create CCCE, a department in Carleton’s Academic Division.

The mission of CCCE is to connect college students to the Northfield and broader Rice County community through meaningful volunteer experiences. The CCCE hosts 25+ ongoing programs with regular, committed volunteers, one-time events to meet periodic community needs, and educational programming to inform the way we understand community engagement and learning. CCCE programs reach out beyond the borders of our campus not only to enrich the lives of Carleton students, but also to foster strong, cooperative relationships in our hometown.

Recent Events

On May 17, over 100 Community Partners, Student Volunteers, Campus Collaborators, and supporting Carleton faculty and administration gathered for the CCCE Community Partner Appreciation Luncheon held in Severance Great Hall. Dean of the College Bev Nagel shared opening remarks followed by CCCE Director Amel Gorani, who introduced the programs and staff. Teddy Gelderman, TORCH (Tackling Obstacles, Raising College Hopes) Coordinator, Saul Melo, Senior English Major, and Anita Chikkatur, Associate Professor of Educational Studies, all spoke.

The event allowed interaction between all parties, and was a celebration of the good partnerships as this year’s awards and fellowships were recognized. A post-luncheon mix-and-mingle for faculty, staff, and community partners was held to reconnect and continue conversations about collaborative opportunities. 

Other well-known community events that the CCCE organizes are the Lighten-Up Garage Sale and Empty Bowls. This year’s Empty Bowls was a huge success on May 11, with a total of over $8,300 raised for the Northfield Community Action Center.

If you are on the Carleton campus, check out the newly-renovated space for this office in Sayles-Hill 150.

Meet the Staff

Amel Gorani is the Director of the CCCE and a social justice, peace and community development specialist. Her career has spanned work for governments, foundations, and local and international NGOS across four continents. Before joining Carleton in 2016, Amel worked as inclusion coordinator for the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue, a Swiss peace mediation organization on projects in Africa and the Middle East. In addition, she held positions at USAID, the Swedish International Development Agency and the Open Society Foundations.

Amel has Bachelors and Master’s degrees in Political Science from Stockholm and Uppsala universities. She speaks Arabic, English, and Swedish fluently. Amel is responsible for the overall management of CCCE and all staff supervision, budget, fundraising, communications, and the Global Affairs Issue Area.

Several other staff members have been hired in the past two years: Seth Snyder, Associate Director for Student Leadership; Emily Oliver, interim Associate Director for Academic Civic Engagement; Erica Zweifel, Program Coordinator; Kendall Clements, Program and Administrative Assistant; and Briannon Carlsen ’17, Educational Associate for Public Arts and Humanities. Check out their brief bios and more information about their responsibilities.

CCCE Programs

CCCE supports 43,945 student hours contributed to local communities through programs, projects, and courses. In addition, there are over 60 community partner organizations. You can learn more about the center’s ongoing volunteer programs and projects on the CCCE website.